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The backstory: CES, the yearly global tech event organized by the Consumer Technology Association, has kicked off in Las Vegas for its 58th year. Originally known as the Consumer Electronics Show, it's a major tech conference drawing industry leaders and startups to showcase their newest innovations. Famous for cutting-edge tech, it features all the newest gadgetry with big presentations and attention-grabbing product launches – like last year's pricey self-driving stroller. Running from January 9 to January 12, this year is aiming for a turnout of some 130,000 attendees.
The development: So, what can we expect this year? At CES 2024, more than 4,000 exhibitors, including over 1,200 startups, are coming together for a hub of innovation. Big players like Samsung and Microsoft are in the mix. Apple is expected to be absent again this year, although the company typically skips the event. Notably, nearly 60% of Fortune 500 companies are partaking. Also, beauty is now an official category, with L'Oreal CEO Nicolas Hieronimus giving the first keynote from a beauty company.
The main theme this year is the future of technology, especially in terms of sustainability. UN-defined human security aspects, like clean air, water, food and health care, are in the spotlight, highlighting technology's crucial role in addressing these needs. Post-COVID, exhibitors are introducing solutions that align with artificial intelligence (AI), especially in mobility and healthcare.
So far, some interesting things have happened. Sony used a PlayStation 5 controller to drive its Afeela electric car onto the exhibition stage. Samsung demoed some transparent TVs, and Baracoda introduced a mirror that analyzes your mood and helps improve your mental health. Then there was Sennheiser’s fitness-focused earbuds that help monitor the wearer’s heart rate. A lot more cool stuff is expected this week, so stay tuned.
“People are pumped for this. They’re pumped because it’s post-COVID (and) they’re coming back,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Technology Association. “And the CEO level support from around the world has been amazing.”
"Sustainability is going to be a huge trend at CES 2024," said Brian Comiskey, director of thematic programs at the Consumer Technology Association. “For example, one sustainable technology on display is fully customizable solar cells that can be integrated into any consumer electronics, such as headphones, or even GPS-enabled dog trackers.”
“Perhaps the question to ask is what AI will not touch this year,” said Dipanjan Chatterjee, a principal analyst at Forrester. “ChatGPT has fueled such a frenzy over the last year that companies feel the AI train is one they must scramble onto, even if they have no idea where it’s going.”