The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is back for 2022 and with it comes the usual mix of wacky and wonderful tech. It describes itself as the most influential tech show in the world so basically, it's Sea Otter for people that like to say 'integrated', 'immersive' and 'metaverse' and think NFTs are good, actually. With the rise of electric vehicles, we've started to see cycling and even mountain bikes represented at the Las Vegas event in recent years so we normally check in for trends and cool products.
Although the show is apparently sparsely attended this year, there have still been plenty of announcements made to coincide with it. Among the robot cats that bite you and the smart patch that prevents premature ejaculation (yes, really), here are some of our favourites that might be relevant to mountain bikers.
LG's Wrap Around Smart Trainer
Home fitness has become a big trend at the CES in 2022, as gyms around the world shut down due to the pandemic and people looked for alternate ways to keep fit. LG is hoping to capitalise on this and bring a new level of integration to smart trainers with its Virtual Ride screens. The trainer uses three 55" screens that wrap around the user including a curved display that is apparently the tightest currently designed for its size. LG says, "the whole setup lets you ride a bike through a forest at night or down the street of a European village in the most realistic possible way without actually being there."More info, here
Rear facing action camera
The Apeman Seeker RI is an action camera that has apparently been optimized for cyclists. Mainly targeted at road cyclists, it can provide a live stream from behind your seat to your phone so you can spend more time looking in front of you at what's on the road. It can also act as a cycling computer and will live feed data to your phone that is displayed around the video. At night, it has some extra safety features including a light and two lasers that project a cycling lane around you as a marker for drivers. More info, here
NIU's Double Internal Battery eBike
NIU's first ebike probably won't be shredding down Gargamel
any time soon but it does offer a unique approach to increasing the battery power of ebikes. While some commuter ebikes do have double external batteries, this is the first ebike we've seen with double internal batteries - one in the downtube and one in the seat tube. The closest eMTBs come to this is Bosch's DualBattery system
or Specialized's booster bottles
but both of these have an external component. Could this style design ever translate to an eMTB? Probably not without a lot of difficulty and compromise but it's clear that there's still innovation to be found among the saturated world of ebikes.More info, here
Drones are Getting Better and Smarter
One drone that has caused a fair bit of buzz at the CES this year is the Skydio 2+. This edition is an update of the Skydio 2 that won a CES Innovation Award in 2021
but with improved flight range, longer flight time, a Skydio Care program, and a new Keyframe mode. That new mode offers programmable flight paths and automatic collision avoidance for professional filmers and creatives (full specs and information, here
In short, much like action cameras before them, drones are offering amateur filmmakers get the kind of shots that were previously only available to professionals with a full crew and the pace of the technology is making this easier and cheaper seemingly year on year. The previous model already has Darren Berrecloth's seal of approval, watch his video shot using the drone below:
BMW's Colour Changing Paint
BMW has made a colour changing car. That's it, that's the story.
Ok, so this is probably a long way from coming to mountain bikes but imagine one day being able to change your bike's colour from dark grey to stealth black on a whim.