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In face of omicron scare, Korean tech firms make bigger presence at CES

From Samsung, Hyundai to startups, record number of Korean exhibitors to show off new technologies at world’s largest tech

People walk through the lobby of the Las Vegas Convention Center during set up for CES 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Monday. (Reuters-Yonhap)
People walk through the lobby of the Las Vegas Convention Center during set up for CES 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Monday. (Reuters-Yonhap)
The Consumer Electronics Show will be back in-person this week after going fully online last year, with a record number of Korean exhibitors flaunting their technological prowess.

Kicking off its three-day run Wednesday in Las Vegas, the number of participating companies overall this year have been reduced by almost half to some 2,200 due to the protracted coronavirus pandemic. But facing the virus risk, a record number of 502 Korean companies, including 292 startups, are set to test their potential and competitiveness at the annual show that has become the largest tech event in the world.

Following is a sneak peek of major Korean companies’ exhibition themes designed to steal the limelight of this year’s show.


Samsung

Samsung Electronics, the world’s largest smartphone and home appliance maker, boasts the biggest exhibition at 3,596 square meters, with two giant light-emitting diode walls set up to display its new technologies.

Samsung will present a future lifestyle that allows users to control all consumer devices through its SmartThings platform based on the internet of things, artificial intelligence and 5G, the company said.

The Galaxy 21 FE, a budget version of its flagship Galaxy 21 smartphone, and some robot concepts are expected to debut at CES as well. A separate exhibition hall is set up to introduce startup projects carried out under Samsung’s acceleration programs for both in-house and outside venture firms.

New CEO Han Jong-hee is also making his CES debut as he plans to deliver a keynote speech at the show’s opening ceremony Tuesday, during which he is expected to introduce Samsung’s innovative efforts to help build a more sustainable planet under the theme of “Together for Tomorrow.”


LG

Samsung’s crosstown rival LG Electronics, which has drastically reduced the scale of its in-person exhibition at CES, is going online to show off its latest appliances and services.

The firm’s new in-vehicle infotainment concept for autonomous driving, LG Omnipod will be unveiled to turn the car cabin into a space where passengers work, watch TV, exercise or experience camping virtually.

The new system can be controlled via smartphone or voice command through LG’s ThinQ app, a smart home solution. This compatibility blurs the distinction between home and car, LG said.

Other smart appliances based on the ThinQ platform, including the LG PureCare AeroTower that functions as an air purifier, fan and heater, LG Tiiun, an indoor plant-growing appliance, and LG StandbyMe, a 27-inch battery-powered TV, will also be displayed.


SK

Subsidiaries of SK Group, including SK Telecom, SK hynix, SK Innovation, SK E&S and SK Ecoplant, will operate a joint 920-square-meter exhibition booth that offers a glimpse into its “net zero” pledge, under which they aim to reduce 200 million tons of carbon emissions by 2030.

SK Telecom’s new AI chip Sapeon will make its debut at CES. The high performance chip is considered a key to massive computing for AI-based services. It is also eco-friendly as it uses only 80 percent of the electricity compared to existing AI processors.

SK Innovation will showcase futuristic battery technologies, including the NCM9 lithium-ion battery. The battery, developed by SK On, its battery-making unit, is made mostly with nickel, which allows higher energy density and improved storage capacity. The battery will be used in Ford’s incoming F-150 Lightning electric truck.


Hyundai

Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Chung Euisun will present the group’s new vision for future mobility and robotics business in-person at a separate press event held Tuesday.

Transforming itself from a transportation maker to a smart mobility service provider, Hyundai Motor said the key message of its presentation will include the company’s purpose and direction of expanding the robotics technology business.

The carmaker will exhibit examples of how robotics technology can work as a medium to connect the virtual world to reality in the metaverse. Other robot products will also be showcased, including the Mobile Eccentric Droid, or MobED, mobility platform, as well as Boston Dynamics’ Spot and Atlas robots.

By Lee Ji-yoon (jylee@heraldcorp.com)
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