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3 CES take-outs shaping technology in 2023

by GfK SE , 26.01.2023

What are the top 3 CES take-outs shaping technology in 2023?

CES is the most influential tech event in the world. It marks the start of the year for the Consumer Technology and Durables (T&D) market, and is the proving ground where the sharpest innovators hit the stage. For CES 2023, over 3,200 exhibitors showed off their newest innovations and offerings. Our Strategic Insights team attended and have shifted through the wealth of product demonstrations and exhibits to pull together three major take-outs that are shaping technology growth in 2023: immersive experiences, smart home ecosystems, and purpose & sustainability.

1. Immersive experiences using AR, VR and the metaverse

As in 2022, the metaverse was a big theme seen across CES 2023. This year, though, the focus is on accessories, such as tactile gloves and suits, to deliver a more immersive, 'physical' experience. Applications have already reached well beyond gaming, into areas including risk-to-life training (e.g. allowing surgeons or bomb disposal experts to practice preforming complex procedures in safety), or visiting real-life venues in the virtual world (e.g. theme parks, retail centres or concerts) while surrounded by thousands of other avatars.

That last part ties into a key drive seen at CES on applying the metaverse and virtual reality (VR) to provide a more inclusive service for consumers. Examples include VR glasses and virtual premises to give ready access, greater control, or a richer experience to visitors with mobility or visual challenges. 

2. Smart home ecosystems for seamless experiences

Smart home ecosystems was another big take-out, with a focus on seamless device-to-device connectivity. This truly is becoming king, accelerated by many products being revealed that now support the Matter protocol. This will smash down previous user barriers within smart homes by allowing devices from different brands to work together. Additionally, it will open up direct partnerships between different fields, e.g. TV and lighting, or domestic appliances and air-conditioning.

Another smart home expansion seen in CES is safety. As well as baby care, there is now a focus on areas such as auto, with systems able to monitor driver alertness and stress and automatically change the car’s audio volume, temperature and lighting, or select more relaxing routes.

3. Purpose & sustainability

Rather than being a stand-alone topic, sustainability is now embedded within the overall experience. Smart ecosystems are driving sustainability through personalization options, devices working together to reduce energy use all round, and greater durability, upgradability and repairability. And this doesn’t stop indoors. Water saving is a key part of this agenda, with ecosystems monitoring weather forecasts and pausing automated watering systems when rain is coming,

Outlook for the T&D market 2023

The big question everyone is asking is, at what level are consumers going to spend this year?

When making purchasing decisions, T&D consumers generally can be divided into two categories: those who need to buy in order to replace a broken product, and those who want to buy.  In Q3 last year, there was a surge in consumers moving away from the ‘want to buy’ group, with gfknewron Consumer tracking a 1.4% drop in people saying that “upgrading a working product” was the reason they were making a purchase, compared to Q1.

Even in this environment of high inflation, GfK expects the T&D market to stabilize in 2023, with growth being driven by the following factors:

  • Product performance continuing to be a success factor, with consumers still attaching great importance to value for money in their purchasing decisions, whether they need to buy or want to buy a new device. A higher performance model at a price not too much higher than the alternative will attract consumers.
  • Sales in the Telecom category increasing as the replacement phase for smartphones bought at the beginning of the pandemic kicks in.
  • Emerging Asia and Middle East continuing their growth, and China recovering in 2023, which will positively boost the global market.

Final take-away

When it comes to product innovation and performance, 2023 is not going to be so much about the devices, but about their connectivity… how data from these devices can be used seamlessly together to provide a truly immersive user experience. 

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