AI companionship: Embracing tech to quell our loneliness at CES 2024

AI companionship emerged as one of the top trends at CES 2024, with vendors showcasing various forms of non-human companions to address a potential companionship void. Examples included Ballie, a rolling yellow ball from Samsung designed to keep users company, an anime-inspired robot called Mirokai for lonely patients in the medical sector, and WeHead, a 3D structure that gives ChatGPT a face. The prevalence of wearable rings was also notable, with vendors such as RinConn and Amazfit introducing rings that claim to understand the wearer’s body and promote health. Air gestures were another prominent trend, demonstrated in a smart mirror at Unveiled and the Mudra band, which allows users to navigate through their iDevices using gestures. Sleep tech also made an appearance, with products such as the Frenz Brainband and myWaves aiming to improve sleep through the use of AI and personalized sound waves. Finally, live captioning with smart glasses was showcased, with TCL’s RayNeo X2 Lite glasses providing real-time translations and transcriptions, and the XanderGlasses targeting users who are hard of hearing by delivering scrolling words to aid understanding. These trends highlight the ever-expanding role of AI and technology in our daily lives, addressing our needs for companionship, health, and communication.