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Here's What You Can Expect at CES 2023

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after getting remote at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, CES returned to Las Vegas in 2022 for a hybrid experience. Many companies have chosen to continue to participate in the annual consumer fair virtually. While CES 2023 is not expected to regain the entire magnitude of previous years, the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), which hosts the event, predicts around 100,000 participants.

CES 2023 takes place from January 5th to 8th, and even offers a remote service option. Despite an economy that is troubling for most CEOs and last year’s big flops (remember the NFTs?), innovative hardware announcements will continue to make an impact in the showroom. From cohesive developments in the smart home category to quirky EV designs, here’s what you can expect at CES 2023.

Interoperability that matters

What if all aspects of your smart home really did work together, even if the products were made by different companies? Matter, a new protocol from the Connectivity Standards Alliance, enables seamless interoperability between smart home devices from Apple, Amazon, Google, Samsung and other manufacturers. Previous fragmentation impeded the overall smart home experience, especially for consumers who wanted to mix and match gadgets. “The great promise of the smart home, literally from its inception, was that all connected devices would work seamlessly together,” said WIRED Senior Editor Michael Calore. “That wasn’t the case, so Matter looks like the next big step towards the promised interoperability.”

Launched in November last year, nearly 300 products are already Matter certified, with more announcements expected at CES 2023. “Matter makes smart home devices easier to buy for consumers as they can now choose the products that best suit them. to their needs, regardless of what ecosystem, smartphone, app or voice assistant they have,” writes Tobin Richardson, president and CEO of the Connectivity Standards Alliance, via email. Lights, locks and thermostats are some of the categories currently supported. The company is working to extend compatibility to additional smart home devices like cameras, home appliances and smoke detectors.

Their unique approach to smart home security uses blockchain technology. Richardson writes, “Matter also raises the bar on security, using blockchain to validate and store credentials on the home network, encrypting messages (commands) between devices, enabling local (non-cloud) control, and including a path for easy security updates.” . Security experts point to cloud control as a major weakness when it comes to protecting the data collected by your smart home.

The Metaverse Goes Sober

At last year’s CES, plans for a utopian metaverse where consumers would live, work and play like never before were the main focus. While not completely scrapped, undoubted excitement for the concept has dissipated due to billions of dollars lost, slow consumer adoption, and turbulent macroeconomic factors.

While the content of the discussions is moderated, you can expect hardware innovations to continue for virtual, augmented, and mixed reality devices. WIRED’s review editor Julian Chokkattu anticipates a potential breakthrough moment for smart glasses as they become less complicated: “This has been one of the biggest barriers for the category, and I think we can expect some companies to show some advances in making components smaller and lighter, so AR glasses don’t have to be thick, ugly and cumbersome.”

Mighty Morphin’ Electric Vehicles

During CES 2023, you can bet on seeing a lot of electric vehicles that don’t match the aesthetics of a typical car. “Because EVs don’t have gas tanks or traditional drivetrains, and because their batteries can be flat, the interior floor doesn’t have all the bumps or bumps we’ve dealt with for decades,” Calore writes. “It frees up designers to think about the interior in new ways, from seating configurations to entertainment systems.” While the most bizarre ideas aren’t readily available at your local dealership, the concept cars provide a small taste of what might be on the road five to 10 years from now.

A Saturation of Sustainability

Whether it’s smartphone cases created from recycled materials or TV remotes that don’t need batteries, companies will continue to rethink their manufacturing process to accommodate growing consumer demand for sustainable products. “I see more and more companies highlighting how a product is made and whether it uses recycled or sustainable materials, which seems to be the trajectory everyone is following,” writes Chokkattu.

Sustainability trends can even impact your spa nights at home! Decadent bubble baths are out of fashion. Decadent (albeit short) showers are all the rage. “My only odd observation is that when the pandemic started, everyone was really talking about baths, like Kohler’s ultra-luxury stillness bath. Now people are more concerned about sustainability and water use, which means I’m seeing a lot of ultra-luxury showers, uh,” shares WIRED Senior Associate Review Editor Adrienne So. “I’m going to advance that the luxury shower will be a trend in 2023. Installing a low-flow shower that warms the surrounding air is good. Just don’t stay in the shower for 40 minutes.”

trinkets galore

Of course, this year’s CES will include a flurry of new product announcements, from a wireless TV that uses vacuum suction to stick to the wall to slightly larger gaming laptops. Chokkattu anticipates new developments for smartphone cameras, with improved data collection for applications such as skin condition detection.

So still expects companies to release health-tracking devices made specifically for “people who are fertile, pregnant, or in the immediate postpartum,” despite the repeal of the roe x wade. She also envisions an imminent proliferation of satellite messengers that are accessible and easy to use for anyone who wants to stay safe when they are off the grid.

Michael Calore, Julian Chokkattu and Adrienne So contributed to this report.