2023 CES: How Emerging Technologies Will Shape Brands’ Connection to the Consumer

BY: Katie Scherer - Sr. Account Executive | Maeve Casey - Sr. Account Executive

PUBLISHED: 1/18/2023

The 2023 CES show in Las Vegas debuted a wide range of buzz-worthy technology that will shape the consumer electronics space in the year to come. While some of the technology may seem like prototypes with a distant launch in the consumer space, brands can find value in understanding how these trends affect their business and then adapt strategies to capitalize on them in their infancy.

The smart home takeover
In 2022, the launch of Matter 1.0 standardized the way smart home products work together. Major players are participating in this new platform, removing the friction in purchasing products from multiple brands. This new standard has caused a surge in smart home advancements and more connected ecosystems than ever before.

  • At CES 2023, Samsung displayed their SmartThings hub that centralized Matter-compatible products, highlighting their huge ecosystem of products like Philips Hue lighting, Samsung Appliances and TVs.
  • Google showcased how their ecosystem of products like Nest and Android are supported by Matter to connect seamlessly throughout the home.

Why this matters
Matter will lead to a new standard of expectation from consumers. Brands will not only need to adopt this platform, but they will also need to find a way to provide differentiation and value through simplifying and enhancing the experience for their consumers.

The sustainable footprint to the future
A theme that was threaded among brands was that sustainable technology is designed for the consumer’s lifestyle.

  • LG dedicated show floor space to displaying the sustainable cycle program that prioritizes green considerations during each stage of a product's lifecycle. The brand shared their own plan to reduce carbon emissions, increase the use of recycled plastics, expand the collection amount of e-waste and transition to renewable energy, all while designing products and services that are available to all types of consumers.
  • Samsung presented their sustainability plans by sharing how the company's SmartThings products make a home smart and sustainable. Attendees could travel through different areas of a home and learn how the company's products can reduce a home's environmental impact. Samsung is referring to this idea as “everyday sustainability.”

Why this matters
Consumers are becoming increasingly savvy and will prioritize some brands over others depending on their sustainability efforts. Brands should not only pull together a sustainability plan, but weave their practices into play with the products they sell.

The in-car technology revolution
The car cabin is evolving to include more digital, immersive and connected experiences. Traditional car brands are working closely with tech companies to incorporate advancements such as augmented reality, telematics, driver assistance and premium entertainment.

  • Mercedes-Benz showcased the first car to include Dolby Atmos audio, displaying over 30 speakers for a directional audio experience.
  • Sony and Honda showcased AFEELA, their co-branded EV that includes 45 sensors. This will integrate Epic Games’ computer graphics for entertainment and safety visualization.
  • Samsung and HARMAN developed Ready Care, a solution that recognizes a driver's condition and provides tailored solutions such as stress-free routing. This also includes updated audio system technology for an enhanced entertainment experience.

Why this matters
The new players entering technology spaces will cause market disruption as they steal consumers from traditional brands. Brands should be considering how their organization uses technology to chase new business models outside their status quo.

The buzzworthy AI personalization
CES shared how brands are adapting AI into their technology offerings to infuse personalization into their consumers daily lives.

  • Google’s CES showcase emphasized daily routines that can be personalized based on habits, such as an user’s favorite music triggering them to wake up.
  • LG and Samsung highlighted their customizable MoodUP and Bespoke refrigerators that can change color based on various mood and decor preferences.
  • Neutrogena introduced their Skinstacks vitamin gummies that can be personalized with different nutrients based on a skin test using their skin diagnostic app.

Why this matters
Consumers are getting personalized experiences at home, online and even with their food. Brands should leverage AI to provide relevant experiences, such as chatbots for customized product education and help.

The world of XR and virtual commerce
Virtual reality devices infiltrated the CES show floor. A common theme was how extended reality will drive advancements in commerce, health, social connection and more — and this technology is not going away anytime soon.

  • OVR Technologies showcased a wearable headset that emitted 8 different aromas. Combined with a VR headset, this aimed to provide a relaxing environment for the consumer.
  • Magic Leap headset achieved certification to be used in clinical settings and provides 3D organ maps. The company also announced they are creating hologram technology with Cisco for an AR office meeting solution.
  • Sony worked with Manchester City to enter the metaverse and provide fans the experience of being at the stadium while in their own living room.

Why this matters
XR technology will continue to find practical uses in areas outside of gaming and consumer entertainment. As 3D graphics advance and headsets become more mainstream, virtual stores will be a key retail strategy in 2023. Brands should keep a pulse on XR advancements and explore the feasibility of creating virtual shopping experiences.

Though these displays might not feel like an immediate representation within the retail environment, these are topics that consumers will expect to see moving forward — especially if brands find a way to make all these innovations affordable.

Understanding trends like these, even in the conceptual and prototype stage, is incredibly important to brands future business strategies. It’s also central to what the experts on our emerging technology team think about every day here at MERGE.

To learn more about MERGE’s experiential and emerging technologies capabilities, drop us a line.