The CES in Las Vegas is one of the largest technology fairs in the world. Innovations are pompously presented and celebrated here, which then provide topics of conversation throughout the year.

The electronics trade fair CES has repeatedly been the scene of important technology premieres over the past 45 years. The first video recorder was shown in 1970, the first DVD in 1996 and the first televisions with advanced OLED screen technology in 2008.

In the past three years, however, the trade fair has been slowed down by the corona pandemic. This year, 3100 exhibitors from 173 countries are vying for the attention of CES visitors. Key themes in Las Vegas include these trends that may dominate the high-tech year of 2023.

Artificial intelligence everywhere

At the end of 2022, applications with artificial intelligence experienced a spectacular breakthrough. For example, the AI ​​research company OpenAI released the chatbot ChatGPT, which can provide seemingly intelligent answers to questions. Word quickly got around that the text generator can write essays in seconds that, at least at first glance, hardly differ from elaborately researched term papers. The software robot can also imitate Shakespeare or write program code.

Text-to-image generators like Midjourney and Stable Diffusion can already create impressive art on command. And they keep getting better with every update. The AI ​​trend will continue with full force in 2023. It is foreseeable that the big AI specialists like Google, Microsoft and Meta challengers like OpenAI will not leave the field. But smaller providers and start-ups will also jump on the AI ​​train.

Metaverse not just from Meta

On the one hand, the metaverse refers to a digital and interactive environment that can be entered with virtual reality glasses. In it, users can work, play, meet or shop as avatars. However, the metaverse also includes applications in which digital information is displayed in the real field of vision of the user. “For me, the Metaverse is the next generation of the Internet,” said Steve Koenig, who is responsible for market research at the trade fair organizer, the US industry association CTA.

At the Las Vegas show, it becomes clear that the Metaverse isn’t just an obsession of Mark Zuckerberg, who is so into the trend that he’s even renamed his Facebook company Meta. HTC is expected to offer a product that competes with Meta’s Quest VR glasses. And Sony announced before CES that the new virtual reality glasses Playstation VR2 should be launched this February. Among other things, four cameras are embedded in the headset, which record the movements of the controller and the players, including their viewing directions.

Something is also happening with metaverse applications: the car manufacturer Stellantis and Microsoft are presenting an exhibition room in the metaverse at CES. And a company called OVR is coming up with a solution to convey scents in the metaverse. Apple could still bring big movement to the market in 2023. Some observers are certain that the iPhone group will launch its first headset this year. Apple CEO Tim Cook is enthusiastic about the “Augmented Reality” approach, in which digital data expands the analogue world. However, Apple traditionally does not let itself be looked at at the CES, but relies on its own events.

Autonomous driving

Autonomous cars will move much more safely through town and country than vehicles driven by humans. Almost all experts agree on that. But when the self-driving cars will finally be ready for the market is still in the stars. Last year, the “off” for the highly traded start-up Argo AI shocked the industry: Volkswagen and Ford stopped financing the Robocar project and wrote off 4.5 billion dollars. But at the CES it becomes clear that the industry has not said goodbye to the vision of automated and autonomous cars. The companies are pursuing different technical approaches. While Tesla relied entirely on cameras to capture the environment for a long time, most other players rely on a mix of radar and laser sensors (lidar).

Tesla boss Elon Musk has announced a novelty in the automotive sector, the so-called 4D imaging radar. With this system, many small radar antennas are to be integrated in one system. This is said to achieve a much finer resolution similar to that of a much more expensive lidar system. The coming months will show whether Musk can keep his full-bodied promises.

End of the chip crisis

In the Corona years, many chips were in short supply because, with increased demand for electronic products, important supply chains were interrupted and mistakes were made in procurement policy. According to the CTA manager Koenig, that could change this year. “The huge demand from the pandemic times is decreasing. And that’s good news, because chips are finally available again,” said Koenig. The excessively long lead times are slowly returning to normal, also because more production facilities are starting up operations. For the industry, however, this could also be a harbinger of another problem: “We will develop from a chip shortage to a possible oversupply.”