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Wednesday, Jan, 4. 2023
CES 2023 officially kicks off tomorrow. Here’s what we’re hoping to see.
The new year has officially started, and that means crowded gyms, diets that will last about a week—at least in my case—and the year’s most important technology show: CES. The show, which officially kicks off in Las Vegas on Thursday, sets the stage for the various gadgets and gizmos that will land in consumers’ hands in 2023.
In previous years, companies have shown off everything from concept cars to virtual reality (VR) headsets and powerful new processors—and 2023 is shaping up to offer even more advancements. This year also marks a kind of return to normalcy for the big show, as visitors from around the world once again descend on the bright lights of the Las Vegas Strip following two years of COVID lockdowns.
So what kinds of gear can you expect to come out of CES 2023? Read on.
Electric vehicles and car tech
It’s been said before, but it’s worth repeating: CES might be the biggest tech show of the year, but it’s every bit a car show as well. The Las Vegas Convention Center’s West Hall will feature 300 automotive exhibitors displaying their latest and greatest vehicles and technologies. Two of the biggest names on hand will be BMW and Stellantis (STLA).
BMW chairman Oliver Zipse is seen to deliver a pre-show keynote. And the company itself is expected to unveil its latest concept car, as well as its mysterious “Dee character,” which could be what the carmaker will call its latest proprietary in-car artificial intelligence platform.
Stellantis CEO Carlos Tevaras, meanwhile, will give us a glimpse at the company’s Ram 1500 Revolution Battery Electric Vehicle Concept and the Peugeot Inception Concept.
And then there’s Sony (SONY) and Honda (HMC), which are expected to give us an update on their joint EV efforts. The Japanese giants teamed up to form Sony Honda Mobility, Inc., earlier this year, and CES could prove to be the perfect place for them to show off their vehicle to the masses.
That’s not all, though. CES usually offers a look at any number of transportation technologies, whether that’s flying cabs or electric watercraft, and we’ll likely see more of both at this year’s show.
And if you’re looking for some wild subwoofers and in-car audio accessories, CES is the place for you. Just make sure to bring along some earplugs to keep your ears from ringing for the rest of the show.
AR/VR and the metaverse
Facebook renamed itself Meta (META) to highlight its focus on the industry in 2021, and Apple (APPL) is expected to debut its first headset later this year. So it makes sense that the technology will be front and center at CES 2023.
Based on my inbox, companies from around the world are headed to Las Vegas to give us a look at how they think the metaverse should evolve. (I seemingly can’t go an hour without a slew of new metaverse or AR/VR pitches.)
At the moment, Meta’s Quest 2 and high-end Quest Pro are getting all of the attention in the AR/VR industry. But HTC, which currently offers three families of headsets on the market, is set to show off a new rig that will likely compete directly with the Meta Quest 2.
The AR/VR industry is still very much in its infancy, especially in terms of consumer acceptance, so it will be interesting to see what kind of reception HTC’s headset gets at the show.
Smart home tech gets smarter
Every CES brings us a host of new types of smart home devices, from intelligent showers, lights, and door locks to toilets with Amazon’s Alexa built in. (Yes, you can talk to your toilet.) And while we’re certain to see a large array of smart home devices this year, the big change is that they should finally start to work together.
That’s because manufacturers will start to roll out products compatible with a new smart home standard called Matter. To date, the smart home market has been a bit of a Wild West. When you buy a smart home device, you need to make sure that it plays well with your existing devices. If they don’t, you can find yourself having to control various smart home products via a litany of different apps and voice assistants. It’s all quite annoying.
Matter, however, is meant to change that by offering a single standard that all smart home device makers stick to. So far, Google (GOOG, GOOGL), Apple (AAPL), Amazon (AMZN), and Samsung are onboard, meaning if a gadget is Matter compatible, you can use it via those companies’ apps. Expect a variety of smart home product makers to debut Matter-specific devices at CES 2023.
New PCs powered by new chips
The PC and chip markets took a hit in 2022, as fewer consumers needed to buy new computers after purchasing units at the start of the pandemic. But that doesn’t mean chip and PC makers are taking CES 2023 off.
Intel (INTC) and Nvidia (NVDA) have shown off their chips in Vegas, bringing more power and performance to both consumer and business products, and AMD (AMD) is set to do the same. Of course, that also means we’ll get to see plenty of new laptops and desktops from manufacturers ranging from ASUS and Acer to HP, Dell, and Lenovo.
Gaming systems are always a hot option at CES, since manufacturers can count on gamers to upgrade their systems sooner than the average consumer. In other words, expect to see a healthy dose of light-up keyboards and sleek designs at this year’s show.
TVs as far as the eye can see
This year will mark the 11th time I’ve covered CES. I’ve gone in person 9 times and watched remotely in 2021 and 2022. Admittedly, I’m tired of walking the show floor for hours on end and zipping between the convention center and hotel. But the one thing I still love about the show is seeing all of the new TVs.
Over the years I’ve seen a host of new television technologies come and go. 3D TV, for example, was a bust; others have proven incredibly useful, such as high-dynamic range. At this year’s CES, you can expect to hear more about 8K TVs, which are still completely unnecessary unless you’re buying an absolutely massive panel, think more than 70 inches, or are a gamer that needs faster display refresh rates. Or have a bunch of cash to burn.
I’m hoping to get a better look at newer display technologies like microLED, which is set to power the future of TVs, as soon as its price drops to something more palatable than $80,000. Then there are the slick new designs like LG’s rollable TV. And it wouldn’t be CES without a company like Vizio or Hisense debuting a new high-end TV at a cut rate price.
Now if only there was an easy way to sneak one of those bad boys out without being caught.
Town Daniel Hawley, tech editor at Yahoo Finance. Follow him @DanielHowley
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