A week after our arrival in Las Vegas, it’s time to take stock of CES 2023, the biggest show dedicated to new technologies. Some trends were predictable, others more surprising.
The 2023 edition of CES ended on January 8. Three years after the onset of covid, things are pretty much back to normal in Las Vegas, where thousands of attendees from all over the world crossed paths amid an endless array of connected devices. Of course, not all innovations are created equal. There have been some enticing products like the Withings urine sensor Where the LED strip to learn the pianobut also lots of gadgets like the connected shower cubicle Where an Xbox controller screen. The routine for the CES.
What will we remember from CES 2023? Numerama spent 6 days in Las Vegas. Here’s what to remember from the big tech show.
Virtual reality in the spotlight, while waiting for Apple
Is CES 2023 the victim of a bubble? Or is it ahead of the next technological revolution? The number of virtual reality headsets present in the aisles of the Las Vegas show was abnormally high this year. Impossible to walk two minutes without crossing a person with a helmet, while we know that this technology is still struggling to convince in the real world. It’s not necessarily surprising for a high-tech show, but the overrepresentation of VR was really one of the thrills of 2023.
Among the novelties of CES 2023 in the virtual reality category, HTC unveiled its new Vive XR Elite headsetSony has proposed first public demos of its PlayStation VR2the French startup Lynx came with his mixed reality headset. Several ultra-specialized brands also showed products unknown to the general public. At TCL, we even got to see real augmented reality glasses, to give a taste of the future. Finally, it was not uncommon to come across accessories dedicated to virtual reality. Glovesjackets, sensor to allow its use in the car… Anything goes to increase immersion.
What about metaverse ? If the word was on a few stalls, it was oddly rare (or misused, with some displaying it wholesale, but talking about virtual reality). The proof that the concept convinces less than before, but that the helmets continue to interest the market.
What should we think of this explosion of virtual reality? Unfortunately, its overrepresentation at CES means nothing. Let the tech world get carried away while Apple is supposed to enter this market in the coming months is not surprising.
The connected home is still looking for itself
The arrival of the Matter standard changes everything for the connected home. In the coming months, all home automation objects should be able to interact with each other, whether you use Apple, Amazon or Google assistants. Matter aspires to simplify everything, which would already be a huge step forward for this complex market.
At CES, Matter was everywhere. The connected home has rarely benefited from such great exposure, even if one can wonder if the builders are really going in the right direction. We could see the inscription “Matter” everywhere, but for what? Most compatible products were bulbs and sockets, few brands announced updates for their existing products.
Did CES 2023 come too soon after the launch of Matter? Is that why few products that really use the standard have been shown? Either way, the connected home is back in the spotlight.
The automobile always more present in Las Vegas
Are car brands confusing CES with a car show? Given the number of manufacturers present in Las Vegas, this question is more legitimate than ever in 2023. At the same time, how can we blame brands for taking advantage of this global, and especially American, exposure to try to attract new markets?
The approaches of automotive brands are not all the same at CES. Some, like Peugeot, reveal concepts. others, like BMW, technology (cars that change color). While tech giants, like sony, are preparing to land on the automotive market. There were cars all over Las Vegas.
Of course, self-driving cars were also in the spotlight (it was not uncommon to come across them in the streets, we even witnessed a race of driverless vehicles). Many props have also bet on screens to occupy the passengers in the back… or VR headsets.
TV was not the queen
For several years, the CES has been transformed into a TV show. Brands usually wait for Las Vegas to unveil their latest innovations, which usually attract visitors. In 2023, we felt a big slowdown on this side.
While there have certainly been many new, often larger, TVs, the innovation wasn’t really there. Samsung’s 2023 lineup resembles, for example, that of 2022, even if the Korean has logically unveiled thinner and larger TVs. On the other hand, at Sony, there was no TV for the first time.
The only trend observed on the TV side concerns wireless. Startup Displace showed off a 55-inch screen that runs on batteries (but which doesn’t work very well), while LG wants to eliminate the HDMI and USB ports to go wireless.
Accessibility, the good news of CES 2023
We enter the category of surprises, and we start with a good one. At CES 2023, several brands bet on accessibility. Multiple startup projects were presented (such as the SCEWO wheelchair, which allows a disabled person to climb up to grab something high). We could see a PlayStation controller for people with disabilities or an articulated arm to put on lipstick at L’Oréal.
Rather than throwing out fun but useless gimmicks to get people talking, some companies have decided to appeal to a smaller audience with high-interest products. This trend is welcome, as accessibility gains importance in the world of new technologies.
The surprise return of 3D (yes, 3D)
Who remembers the 3DS, the Nintendo console that allowed you to see in 3D without glasses? For some reason beyond us, this technology made its big comeback at CES 2023. No one asked for it, but the tech manufacturers did. The effect Avatarwhile the first film had already caused the explosion of the 3D television market, at the time at CES 2010.
One of the products that caused a stir in Las Vegas is signed Asus. The brand unveiled a laptop with a 3D display, which uses cameras to track your eyes. Our colleagues from Frandroid were blown away by experience, even if the absence of compatible content risks burying the product. On our side, we came across 3D televisions without glasses. It’s quite impressive when you’re in front of it, but much blurrier than with a “normal” screen.
In Las Vegas, virtual reality, the connected home and cars took over in 2023. Will the trends be the same next year? Will 3D disappear as quickly as it reappeared? The year promises to be interesting from the point of view of technological innovations.
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Didn’t follow anything at CES 2023? Here are the 6 trends to remember
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