It's that time of year again, the time when the technology world descends onto Las Vegas, not to take in its many lights and attractions but to geek out over some of the hottest new technology on the planet. It's the biggest year in the technology writer's calendar, except bar perhaps Apple's WWDC. It's certainly the most varied, with a whole slew of new devices shown off from every company you could possibly imagine.
The sheer breadth of the companies involved in CES means there is no shortage of things to get excited about, although it's absolutely important to remember that not all of the things announced at CES ship immediately, if ever. But last year saw some great innovations, both with brand-new technology and improvements on technologies that already existed. And it's the improvements in wireless technology at CES 2023 that I hope will turn into a focus for 2024 and beyond.
It's impossible to try and predict everything that will be announced at CES, and the surprising announcements are among the best in my eyes. Last year saw companies finally start to deliver on the idea of wireless technology that fixes a problem we've all dealt with while other announcements took existing technology and pushed it to its limits. And I'm absolutely here for it.
Wireless TV, for reals this time
Some of the announcements that caught my eye last year were related: multiple televisions that offered different degrees of wireless capabilities, something that couldn't come a minute too soon. Wireless TVs are so promising because we all want to hang our big screens on a wall, but none of us want to deal with the mess that is cabling and chiseling out spaces for them.
We've been hearing lots about the promise of wireless TVs for years and they've never quite happened for one reason or another. Last year saw LG's mind-blowing OLED TVs go wireless and it finally shipped in August of 2023. Yes, the prices are enough to compete with a small car at almost $8,000 but the promise makes up for it. These TVs wirelessly have a breakout box of sorts that all of your devices plug into before having their HDMI and other connections wirelessly transmitted to the TV itself. Despite the wireless connection the TV still supports 4K at 120Hz, and it's pretty great. TV sizes start at 77 inches though — I'd like to see this technology become an option in smaller sizes if possible.
As great as the LG TVs might be, they still need to be powered. That's something the Displace TV fixes, using batteries that can be hot-swapped out and removing the need for any cable whatsoever. The batteries are rechargeable and last for six hours a day before they need swapping out, and that's just cool. Even cooler? The proprietary loop vacuum tech effectively sucks the TV onto a wall — no mounting hardware or accessories required.
I'd absolutely love to see this technology start to become more mainstream, although I accept that we might have to wait a little while before that happens. Pricing is already high for the Displace TV but as we all know, prices fall. I'd love to see what Displace has been working on over the last 12 months.
Wi-Fi without limits
Wi-Fi 7 isn't necessarily new technology at this point, but it was a focus of 2024 and TP-Link has been ahead of the game since late 2022. And while you might think that your existing Wi-Fi setup is up to snuff, the joys of Wi-Fi 7 aren't so much in faster downloads but the better connections it affords.
In a recent meeting with a networking company, I was told that it saw Wi-Fi 7 as a big deal because it allows for a more stable connection across a large number of devices. 2024 could well be the year of Wi-Fi 7 coming into its own, and it's high time. With more and more people filling their homes with ever-increasing data-hungry devices, having them all work at a moment's notice is more important than ever. Add into the mix the smart home accessories like bulbs, speakers, and more, and it's easy to see why better connections can be more alluring than faster ones for a whole lot of people.
If Wi-Fi 7 really is to have its big moment in 2024, I'm hoping that CES will see more of the same. More routers, more mesh setups, and a better understanding of why Wi-Fi 7 is about more than the usual speed bump.
It's time to cut those cables
There's something inherently cool about wireless things. I'm old enough to remember when Wi-Fi became a thing, back when plugging in a network cable was the only way to get a computer to talk to another. Before phones could get on the internet and before laptops were truly mobile. The buzz of the first time I wrote an email on a PDA from my conservatory remains, and I'm starting to feel something similar about TVs.
It's easy to take wireless technology for granted, especially if you're of the generation that has grown up with it. But it truly is amazing, and CES is where it all starts. Here's hoping 2024 is no different.
Check out our CES 2024 hub for all the latest news from the show as it happens. We'll be covering everything from 8K TVs and foldable displays to new phones, laptops, smart home gadgets, and the latest in AI, so stick with us for the big stories. And don’t forget to follow us on TikTok for the latest from the CES show floor!
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Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back.