CES 2023: Highlights So Far

This week marks the return of the tech industry’s annual pilgrimage to Las Vegas. CES is recovering after the disruption of the pandemic, and although it won’t reach the heady days of 200,000 visitors, its organizers estimate that about half that number will attend. CCS Insight’s team of analysts is on the ground hoping to find the latest technology that will set the agenda for 2023.

Although the doors only officially open today, there have already been two days of media events and briefings. So far, the standout areas are audiovisual technology and automotive developments, but there are other items of interest such as smart home technology, digital health, virtual reality and augmented reality (VR and AR), satellite communications using mobile phones and more.

Based on the announcements to date, here’s our initial pick of highlights from CES 2023.

Flexible display technology is bound to be a strong theme throughout 2023 after numerous mobile phone brands announced foldable smartphones last year. At CES, Samsung had its usual showcase of emerging display technology; the demonstration that caught our eye was the Flex Hybrid display. This combines a folding screen with a slide-out extension and is expected to be used in future laptops (more on how it works here). Although we’ve seen this approach before from Xiaomi and TCL, Samsung’s strong position in display technology is likely to reignite interest.

Samsung Flex Hybrid display

VR and AR are also set to have a strong presence at CES. So far, we’ve seen two major announcements and further news is expected including a new HTC Vive device.

TCL has unveiled its RayNeo X2 AR glasses, with binocular microLED waveguide displays. Promised features include smart navigation with simultaneous localization and mapping, and real-time translation. They’ll be available to developers in the first quarter of 2023, with a commercial model coming later.

TCL also announced the Nxtwear V, a VR headset based on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon XR2 platform. Few details were revealed beyond having a 108-degree field of view with a display offering 1,512 pixels per inch. Right now, this looks more like a concept product than a commercially ready device, but it’s interesting to see TCL keeping a close eye on VR as well as AR.

The biggest VR story, however, was confirmation that Sony’s PlayStation VR2 headset will arrive in February 2023 with more than 30 games on track for the launch window including Gran Turismo and Beat Saber, which is coming to the platform for the first time. We hope to try the new headset at the event.

An omnipresent theme at all major shows for the past few years has been the environment. In some ways, it feels like CES is out of step on several fronts, appearing more like a showcase to consumerism and the negative impact that has on the environment. However, companies should be applauded for their efforts to reduce their impact; the most eye-catching showcase in this vein has come from Samsung with its exhibit promoting Everyday Sustainability.

One final trend is satellite communications on smartphones. UK phone-maker Bullitt is showcasing its two-way satellite messaging service and we expect more news in this area given the growing support from numerous players, including Qualcomm, which already announced at IFA in September 2022 that it will offer a solution for satellite communications.

Of course, the usual array of tech junk is on display too and an early contender for the most bizarre product is Acer’s bike desk, shown below, although it will no doubt be joined by more left-field products as they emerge during the show.

Acer eKinekt BD 3 bike desk

We’ll keep our eyes peeled for more notable developments from Las Vegas, and CCS Insight clients can expect a full report on the main themes of CES 2023, covering all the major highlights.