CES is more than just a neon-drenched show-and-tell session for the world’s biggest tech makers. It’s increasingly a place where companies showcase innovations that could truly make the world a better place – and CES 2023 was the place to see that kind of technology in full. We’ve seen everything from accessible PS5 controllers to pedal-powered smart desks. But of all the amazing innovations on display this year, these three impressed us the most:
Samsung’s Relumino mode
Around 300 million people worldwide suffer from moderate to severe vision loss and in general most televisions do not take this into account. In an effort to make TV more accessible and enjoyable for millions of people with visual impairments, Samsung is adding a new picture mode to many of its new TVs.
Relumino mode, as it’s called, works by simultaneously adding a number of different visual filters to the image. The outlines of people and objects on the screen are emphasized, the contrast and brightness of the overall picture are turned up and everything is shown extra sharp. The resulting video would probably look strange to people with normal vision, but to people with low vision it should look clearer and closer to “normal” than it would otherwise.
Excitingly, since Relumino mode is ultimately just a clever software trick, this technology could theoretically be rolled out via a software update and installed on millions of existing Samsung TVs – not just new and recently purchased ones.
My own voice of Acapela Group
My Own Voice is essentially audio deepfake technology that has been tweaked, simplified and reimagined to help people – particularly people who may be losing the ability to speak due to illness or injury. Functionally, the platform allows users to synthetically clone their voice and preserve the unique tone, timbre, and personality that make it their own — something that’s typically lost with most text-to-speech software (think you to Stephen Hawking or the text-to-speech software). voice feature on your MacBook).
The software can create an impressively realistic voice clone after listening to just 50 sentences of reference audio, which is a drop in the bucket compared to the huge data sets typically required to create a convincing voice clone. To be fair, this isn’t necessarily a new technology, but it’s really exciting to see it helping people — and not just to create novelty smartphone apps and silly YouTube overdub videos.
Samsung’s “Less Microfiber” technology
Microplastics are everywhere. They’re in our oceans, they’re in our food, and they’re even in our bodies. According to some estimates we use approx Plastic worth a credit card every few weeks — and a multitude of studies have shown that all that plastic messes up both our bodies and the ecosystem at large. The new Less Microfiber technology from Samsung should help with this.
How? Well, one of the biggest sources of microplastics is our laundry. When we wash our clothes, tiny bits of synthetic fibers like polyester and nylon come loose and eventually end up down the drain and into our waterways. To stop this process, Samsung has developed two technologies: a special wash cycle that requires less movement and therefore creates fewer microfibers during washing, and an in-line filter that catches any fibers that come through and end up in the drain hose. The coolest part, however, is that Samsung designed the filter to be compatible with every washing machine — not just the ones it makes and sells.