In Las Vegas, technology looking for consumers’ precious free minutes

San Francisco (AFP) – Vehicles and increasingly connected devices and services to access the metaverse will be honored this year during the annual high mass of technologies and electronics that opens Thursday in Las Vegas.

From January 5-8, 2023, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) will take place across more than 18 hectares, from hotel booths to outdoor spaces dedicated to cars.

This fair should be one of the mass return of exhibitors and investors, after two editions compromised by the pandemic.

In 2021, it had stood in line. And in 2022, “there were big empty halls, CES was a shadow of itself,” recalls Avi Greengart.

Techsponencial’s analyst rejoices at the prospect of “the return of the crowds, the difficulties of getting around and meetings behind closed doors – everything that makes a fair!”.

In this year’s program, many vehicles (cars in search of autonomy, electric boats and planes, connected agricultural machines), gadgets inflated with artificial intelligence and a new category: the Web3, that is, the new generation of the internet, which includes the metaverse .

“It’s going to look like an auto show,” warns Kevan Yalowitz, director of software at Accenture.

The organizers announced that they had sold all available stands in the West Hall, a space dedicated to manufacturers and suppliers.

These companies will promote their software, predicts Kevan Yalowitz. “We believe that by 2040 around 40% of all vehicles on the road will have computer operating systems that can be updated remotely.”

available brain time

This evolution will pave the way for developers to “create experiences” for drivers and passengers, as well as users of any digital service.

More and more vehicles will therefore participate in the “battle for consumer time”, one of the central themes of CES 2023, according to the expert.

“We are witnessing the emergence of a certain discomfort on the part of consumers in view of the number of requests. One third of users of the main streaming services canceled at least one subscription in 2022, and this trend will continue”, he stresses, citing a study carried out by Accenture in ten countries.

Hence the need for the various platforms and mobile applications to offer increasingly irresistible experiences, especially in the metaverse, which for the time being is struggling to convince.

The metaverse, supposedly embodying the future of the internet, consists of immersive universes accessible in particular via virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR).

Photo provided by Meta Connect showing a person wearing the Meta Quest Pro VR virtual reality headset © – / Meta Connect/AFP

It was already a dominant theme at CES in 2022, right after Facebook’s pivot, renamed Meta, to these technologies.

A year later, the social media giant has poured tens of billions of dollars into its Oculus VR headsets and platforms, scaring off investors who see it as a bottomless pit.

The CES Web3 category will bring together companies specializing in the sector, as well as blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Many engineers hope that one day a decentralized internet will emerge from these technologies.

“But there may be less crypto than expected because of FTX,” comments Carolina Milanesi of Creative Strategies.

The implosion of this cryptocurrency platform and the arrest of its boss Sam Bankman-Fried, who popularized digital currencies, indeed ended a dismal year for the sector.

Stuffed animals, humanoids and drones

The new products that will be presented at CES were designed during the pandemic, recalls Avi Greengart, who expects many objects to facilitate teleworking.

Health will also occupy the minds, from accessories connected day and night, to the latest innovations at the service of emergency physicians.

The exhibition area called Eurêka Park should receive around 1,000 start-ups from 20 countries, with a large French delegation, but also young Ukrainian shoots and, for the first time, Africans, with companies from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Whatever your innovation, most exhibitors will showcase your progress in terms of sustainable development.

Robots will not be left out. Visitors will find stuffed animals with big innocent eyes, surprising humanoids and high-performance drones in the halls.

“I think we’ll see big advances in personal robotics for home use, as well as demonstrations inspired by technologies originally designed for the military,” says independent analyst Rob Enderle.

“But there will also be a lot of cheap garbage,” he adds.

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