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What's going on at CES 2023, the biggest US tech show

Alexandria Williams Las Vegas
January 5, 2023

The Consumer Electronics Show is said to be among the world's biggest tech showcases. This year's CES is highlighting tech that has the potential to solve some of the most urgent global challenges.

The front end of the BMW i Vision Dee (Digital Emotional Experience) concept car is shown during a BMW keynote address at CES 2023
Electric cars are among the major draws at this year's CESImage: Steve Marcus/REUTERS

The "most influential tech event in the world." That's how the Consumer Electronics Show (CES)  describes itself. The yearly three-day event that showcases new trends and the latest developments in the world of consumer technology is taking place in the US city of Las Vegas from January 5-8. CES events happen at multiple venues across the city, which is known for its casinos and gambling. 

A spotlight on solution-focused tech

While the CES traditionally features a number of different emerging technologies, this year the show is focusing on technologies that could help solve the world's biggest challenges, according to the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), which organizes the event.

They include sustainability-focused tech  such as robots that dive into pipes and search for leaks.

"Globally about 30 billion cubic meters of clean water are lost due to leaks each year," said Steve Koenig, vice president of research at the CTA, at a press event. Solutions like this may help find and fix leaks more quickly, according to Koenig.

An attendee demonstrates the Shiftall Megane X virtual reality headphones, Haritora X full-body tracking system, and mutalk microphone for metaverse experiences during CES
While last year's CES attendees were required to wear masks to attend the event, no masks are required this yearImage: PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP

Enterprise technology or tech that aims to help businesses run more efficiently is also at the forefront this year. Most notable are innovations that enable humans to work alongside robots.

An example is what Koenig called the Cray X, a robotic wearable made by German Bionic. It is meant to replace the velcro backstrap that warehouse workers used to protect themselves while lifting heavy objects. The Cray X robotic exoskeleton is supposed to provide an extra boost to workers as they lift to help reduce fatigue and injury.

The metaverse is also receiving special attention this year. The term was most recently popularized by Meta (formerly Facebook) in 2021. While not yet a reality, it is imagined to be an immersive virtual world.

But this year the metaverse is "beyond virtual reality," said Koenig. He highlighted wearable headsets that integrate scents that pair with visuals as a new innovation in the space. This, said Koenig, offers a heightened sense of immersion to the user. Visitors at CES this year will be able to see and sample these devices on the showroom floor.

Powerful consumer technology

Beyond gadgets that focus on the show's new impact-driven target areas, visitors will also have the opportunity to explore new wearable devices and next-generation video games.

Many top tech companies are in attendance this year, but Tesla and Apple are two notable absentees. In their absence, companies like Dell, LG and Germany's Volkswagen are looking to make the most of the event, presenting new products to challenge the stronghold the two companies have on the electric vehicle and personal device market.

A woman hugs a Fufuly, an anxiety-reducing robotic cushion by Yukai Engineering with deep breathing technology
A wide variety of consumer devices are on display at the CES, including an anxiety-reducing robotic cushionImage: Steve Marcus/REUTERS

Products from large and growing tech companies

Large companies like BMW, Samsung and Google have built large dedicated spaces for their newest wares at the CES. But growing tech-focused companies are also in attendance. They see the show as an opportunity to strengthen relationships with local customers and build connections with international customers as well.

"We like to showcase our entire roadmap for the rest of the year so that retailers and other partners can plan out what's coming and where we are going," Chuck Akins told DW. He is the vice president of sales and marketing at J5create, a  technology company that produces electronic devices for everyday consumers.

This year marks 56 years since the first Consumer Technology Show. Over 3200 exhibitors from across 173 countries are expected to showcase traditional and non-traditional gadgets to attendees eager to experience the future of technology.

Edited by: Ashutosh Pandey