After five steamy days in Las Vegas, the entertainment capital of the world, CES 2023, the world’s largest tech show, ended on Sunday night. On balance, this first physical edition since the Covid-19 pandemic really reconnected with people, but above all confirmed the trends seen before the crisis, the strengths but also the cons of this great fall put together. more than 2,500 exhibitors and welcomed more than 100,000 visitors.
The car, the real star of the show
Faurecia, Valeo, BMW, Mercedes, Peugeot… all manufacturers and suppliers of the automotive sector will be there to present their latest vehicle models, their new on-board systems, software development and other innovations in mobility of tomorrow, preferably smart and electric.
Mercedes-Benz, for example, announced the same new car but also the implementation of a new network of charging stations in North America, as well as crossing a new milestone in terms of safety and reliability in terms of autonomous driving. Others, like American Chrysler, presented in Las Vegas not a car, but a passenger compartment equipped with screens and comfortable seats dedicated to work and entertainment, to give an idea of the driverless car of the future. For its part, Fiat announced its online store in the metaverse, where the consumer can test cars in virtual reality (planned in France for the winter of 2024 after an experiment currently in Italy).
Many start-ups also took advantage of the presence of industry players to showcase their innovations. So, Holoride, a nugget supported by the manufacturer Audi, presented a virtual reality helmet intended for passengers in the back seat of the car. The idea is to allow them to watch a movie, series or play a video game without motion sickness, which is the main obstacle to using in-car entertainment in the cars of tomorrow. Holoride’s trick: the content is synchronized with the car’s movements.
A more marked BtoB shift
Historically, the consumer electronics show -hence its name, Consumer Electronics Show-, CES has become over the years more and more a professional show, where the tech giants and the actors of the sectors who live in a deep digital transformation come to present their latest innovations. It is therefore no coincidence that CES has tended to replace the Detroit motor show in recent years: the profound transformation of the automotive industry -and mobility in general-, under the impact of electrification of fleets and of automation of the automobile, makes CES the place for OEMs and OEMs.
This BtoB shift can also be seen in startups. Of the approximately 200 startups in the French delegation, approximately 90% are BtoB according to Eric Morand, director of the BtoB events department at Business France. ” In line with previous years, these are mainly distributed in the mobility, energy transfer, professional software and health/wellness sectors. “, he says.
The nuggets that show innovations in traditional areas of CES such as video or audio, are a very small minority, only about fifteen. It is also to blame for the global economic crisis that caused the valuations and fundraising of startups to fall in 2022. CES is mainly used to talk to the general public of BtoC startups, some chose to reduce the budget that this which was considered unimportant at the time when technology discovered reason.
Metaverse Everywhere Despite Very Low Adoption
Smelling imaginary roses, learning fighter jet maneuvers in augmented reality, treating Alzheimer’s with virtual reality… At CES, startups competed for ideas to develop metaverse and solve many problems in almost everything. .
Thus, auto suppliers have used the term across the board to invent the passenger compartment of the future in autonomous vehicles. New virtual and mixed reality headsets (ie virtual and augmented reality) have been presented, such as the Indian AjnaXR, which are intended to be lighter and more functional than existing models so that users can wear them for hours. For its part, French nugget SocialDream has also launched its own mixed reality headset, called Dreamsense, specially designed for its immersive videos intended to stimulate the memory of patients suffering from Alzheimer’s.
Less directly useful, many olfactory technologies were presented at CES. American startup OVR has developed an accessory that attaches to the bottom of a virtual reality helmet to diffuse smells, to perfect the metaverse experience. So, the user can smell the smell of his virtual barbecue, and open the scents he can smell before buying online…
Problem: right now, the metaverse remains mostly speculative. Despite the coming of age of augmented and virtual reality technologies, the general public does not yet seem ready to spend hundreds – even thousands – of euros to equip themselves well with headsets and applications for the metaverse, in addition to a dear real life. Despite the buzz and its disproportionate place at CES 2023, the metaverse remains, for now, a niche: Meta’s (Facebook) metaverse, Horizons, has nearly 200,000 active users per month, and the reality device headset remains weak. compared to smartphones and tablets. Thus, CTA, the association that organizes CES, expects 3.1 million VR headsets to be sold in the United States in 2023 (still an increase of 20% compared to 2022) and more than 380,000 glasses of augmented reality (+ 100%). Far from the promised wave.
The “bullshit innovation” of the year: the lawyer scanner
Like every year, the colossal Ali Baba cave that is CES has displayed its share of amazingly useless innovations. If the famous French connected potato, the star of the 2020 edition, is surely a satire of the once sterile race for innovation, there is nothing like it in One third, the very first degree lawyer scanner and caused a sensation this year. for ” fight against food waste », this American nugget has developed an infrared scanner that detects whether the fruit is ” unripe », « ripe “where” very ripe “. Obviously, the result can be read in a mobile application with a color code that varies according to the maturity of the lawyer. In addition to avoiding choosing overripe avocados in the supermarket – which in fact can increase the unsold product and therefore food waste? – the tool is supposed to prevent consumers from feeling the fruit, which spoils it. But still, that would require everyone to have a smartphone and take it with them to shop. ..
French regions shown
As every year since 2016, France is one of the leading countries exhibiting at CES. Much thanks to its army of startups traveling to Eureka Park, the space dedicated to young shoots. This year again, more than 170 nuggets were presented in Eureka Park, all united under the same banner of the red rooster of French Tech, organized by Business France.
As in 2020 – the last 100% physical edition of the show – almost all regions (10 out of 13) played a joint game. From Ile-de-France by Valérie Pécresse (LR) to Occitanie by Carole Delga (PS), via Aura by Laurent Wauquiez (LR) and Brittany by Loïg Chesnais-Girard (PS), all agreed to dilute their own logo a little to highlight the strength of innovation made in France. For many years, CES has been considered a strong lever of attractiveness for the French regions, making the journey to expose the dynamism of the regional economic fabric, in the hope of attracting talent, companies and French and international investors.
This year, the Minister Delegate for Digital and Telecommunications Jean-Noël Barrot personally traveled to support France’s innovation team and remember that one of its main missions is to develop tech everywhere in territories. But so far, the results remain mixed, as the Ile-de-France continues to concentrate almost half of the creations of startups in France and 80% of the investments.