The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas was back in person this year, hosting more than 3,200 exhibitors and over 115,000 attendees – double that of last year’s conference. Presenters, brands, and attendees alike breathed a sense of relief to gather among colleagues once again, despite an overall sense of repetition from many of the booths and product reveals.

Intuition and intention were sewn into many of the show’s tech activations across industries. AI product advancements were prominent throughout the show, including an AI-powered oven from Samsung and a self-driving stroller from Canadian startup Glüxkind. At a panel discussion on Web3, XR, Metaverse and Entertainment moderated by AMD Director of Developer Relations John Canning, American film director Brett Leonard emphasized the importance of the “intention to create things that are healing for people, and have a positive affect” as technology continues to become more personal and more engrained in consumers’ daily lives. “We have to get the AI creation to reflect the better of our nature.”

Consumer Technology Association (CTA) President and CEO Gary Shapiro spoke about the “technology that is delivering access, accountability [and] enhancing our human capacity to create” at the CTA State of the Industry and John Deere Keynote at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show. Product displays on the show floor bubbled with intuition and an evolved human-touch across a range of industries.

A woman with dark curly hair demonstrates mapping for autonomous vehicles to a group of onlookers.
HERE Technologies

New age navigation

Mapping technology took on a new direction for the intuitive, human-centric navigation of the future. BMW showcased an automated mapping technology. UniMap by Here Technologies is a product powered by a series of AI models that will allow users to generate their own digital maps and location tools. Its Live Map System powers BMW’s Level 2 automated driving, hands-free Highway Assistant functionality and supports BMW’s 7 Series Level 3 functionality.

Wearable navigation from Loovic and Ashirase made waves on the show floor as well. Although still in beta, consumers will wear Loovic’s navigation tool around their necks so that users don’t have to look at a phone screen for direction, and can help with spatial awareness for the visually impaired. Ashirase’s device attaches to a consumer’s shoe and uses a combination of voice assistance (through a connected phone) and haptic indicators to direct its wearer. Water resistant and rechargeable, this device is expected to be released soon.

Ryan Mullins, CEO and founder of Aglet, explains the importance of mapping technology to Wunderman Thompson Intelligence: “I position mapping as the latest phase of internet evolution.” He defines Web3 not just as blockchain and crypto, but as “a spatial, place-based internet. It's not only pages and people but reality itself that is made machine-readable.”

“The real revolution,” Mullins says, “isn't simply mapping but a new opportunity for UI and how we will interface with the internet and computation spatially.”

One hand taps a watch-shaped device to the left. To the right, and overlay of two iPhone screens indicate data tracking from the device.
Nowatch

Ritualistic tech

Smart phone applications are helping consumers regulate their habits, emotions, and lifestyles with built-in tools for daily practices and routines. The Nowatch (pronounced "now-watch") is what the company calls the industry’s first “awareable”: a screenless wrist-wearable that monitors a user’s sleep, stress, and movement in real time without a flashy distracting screen to encourage consumers to live in the “now.” Launched in 2021, the product is now market-ready for those willing to shell out $500. Regular vibrations from the device encourage its wearer to stay grounded in the present, and a connected app records their movements day and night to guide each consumer towards healthy recovery and restorative tools and habits. Nowatch CEO and co-founder Hylke Muntinga stated in a press release that the company’s goal is not to “become another distraction or obstacle for the wearer,” but rather to offer “a powerful tool to help people stay grounded in the present and achieve well-being.”

A digital rendition of three men in soccer jerseys climb on top of each other as a woman watches to the right.
Canon MREAL demo

New realities

Although there were fewer metaverse activations than attendees saw last year, there were strong metaverse integrations into new product launches.

Canon USA unveiled an immersive movie experience, placing viewers inside of a film for the ultimate storytelling experience. Using the Kokomo VR software, Canon and filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan dissolved the lines between the physical and virtual worlds and inserted viewers into Shyamalan’s upcoming Universal Pictures thriller, Knock at the Cabin. The activation is a true glimpse into what the metaverse can do to elevate physical communication and viewing experiences.

True liminal immersion was a common theme in many metaverse activations. OVR Technology showed a headset that incorporated smell for the wearer, adding a third sense to the vision and touch perspectives usually provided by a VR headset. MREAL, another Canon activation, is a mixed reality service in development that will integrate virtual and physical worlds using premium simulators that optimize a user’s scale, perception and participation with its gamified tools.

Inclusive beauty

Makeup brands are continuing to embrace inclusivity, leveraging new technology to made products more accessible to users with limited mobility. L’Oréal unveiled a motorized lipstick applicator called HAPTA: a handheld device for people with limited hand and arm mobility. Lancôme will pilot the tool this year.

AR social media

Brands are finding more ways to connect consumers to product information and to each other through AR. Arbeon, an AR IT startup from South Korea, is an AR social media app service that combines commerce, social media connection, product information, and AR content creation from one app. Users can scan an object for pricing, physical makeup, and purchasing information, and can view tags and conversations of the product on social media by other users. Users can also scan, “cut” and animate any object or picture to share, post, and create with in the app and on connected social platforms.

Traveltainment

Entertainment brands are honing in on travel activations and new capabilities for consumers on the road. Sony and Honda launched their own car brand, called Afeela. Their joint venture to create and build electric cars was announced last year, and the brand has now revealed new prototypes of the vehicles scheduled to be delivered in North America in 2026. “At the heart of this mobility experience is the word ‘feel,’” Sony Honda Mobility chief executive Yasuhide Mizuno said at the company’s CES presentation and reveal.

In-vehicle VR entertainment startup Holoride is now available for integration with all motor vehicles. Backed by Audi and previously only available with 2022 model year Audi vehicles, consumers can now purchase the packaged screen, headsets, and subscription to virtualize their automobiles with the meta-entertainment system.

Two people sit in a helicopter flight-simulation experience wearing VR headsets.
SK Telecom’s Urban Air Mobility (UAM) Solution

Sustainable tech

Global brands continued to embrace new technology for connectivity and climate action on the show floors this year. SK Group presented a range of carbon-cutting products and technologies across industries, from biotechnology to telecommunications. One notable activation was SK Telecom’s Urban Air Mobility (UAM) Solution, which reduces time and pollution with AI semiconductors and virtual power plants for renewable energy. An on-site simulator showed attendees how the virtual power plant supplies renewable power to aircrafts and airfields. SK ecoplant shared WAYBLE, a digital tracker that manages the life cycle of waste and winner of the Innovation Award in CES 2023 in the Smart City category.

Bosch introduced the next generation of MEMS sensors for the brand’s products and wearables that are “more accurate, more robust, and more power-efficient.” Tanja Rückert, member of the board of management at Robert Bosch GmbH, said that “Sensors improve quality of life and reduce the environmental footprint of smart everyday companions,” at CES 2023, and that “climate change is driving technological progress at our company—including in sensors."

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