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Three years ago, High Mass in Las Vegas drew more than 117,000 visitors just weeks before the Covid-19 pandemic shut down part of the planet.
In 2021, only 40,000 remained to attend a hybrid version of CES amid a tidal wave of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus that had prompted many to stay home. “It’s a great feeling to see people reuniting after two or three years of darkness,” said Gary Shapiro, President of the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), which organizes this amazing outing in the middle of the desert.
The organizers hope to gather more than 100,000 participants for this year’s CES, an event whose first edition dates back to 1967 in New York.
The car picks up speed
The automotive sector will dominate this year, with nearly 300 industry exhibitors gathered in a dedicated exhibition hall, including presentations from Stellantis, BMW and the presence of Honda executives. “It’s almost going to feel like you’re at an auto show this year,” summarizes Kevan Yalowitz, Accenture’s head of software and platform activity.
The technological acceleration of the automobile now makes CES an obvious target amid the loss of momentum of the Detroit show, which was suspended for three years before restarting on a smaller scale last September.
Even if the arrival of fully autonomous cars seems a long way off than initially expected, the majority of the innovations presented this year aim to replace the driver with software. Among the novelties is the possibility of updating the vehicle management software remotely, for example via a computer or smartphone.
These programs could “instantly change vehicle operating parameters and identify problems that can be fixed without the driver even realizing it,” Yalowitz says.
The metaverse sticks
Last year’s CES was dominated by the idea that virtual reality, accessible with a headset, is the future of the internet. But enthusiasm waned, weighed down by a poor year for Meta (ex-Facebook), credited as the Metaverse’s locomotive. The Menlo Park, California-based group is still struggling to convince users to take the plunge, despite colossal investments.
The metaverse “is not yet a mainstream category,” says Carolina Milanesi of Creative Strategies. Virtual worlds will be in the spotlight again this year. Several companies and speakers will thus show the possible applications of these parallel universes.
The connected revolution
Connected devices have been gaining momentum for almost a decade, but the market remains very fragmented, with dozens of manufacturers and many competing standards and standards. Under the auspices of the Connectivity Standards Alliance (CSA), more than 550 companies have worked together to define a common protocol that experts see as a revolution.
With the new standard called Matter, the first version of which launched in October, it will now be possible to buy a device from almost any brand and connect it to your home’s existing ecosystem, whether it’s powered by Amazon’s Alexa or Google’s Nest apps.
“Some products have already received their certification” for compliance with this new standard, “and there will be many more to be seen in the aisles of CES,” announced Techsponential’s Avi Greengart. “We will see Matter devices synced to doorbells (entrance), vacuum cleaners and others,” adds the analyst.