Trends to watch at CES 2023

From the tech bonanza’s show director himself.
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· 3 min read

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In 1967, the first CES (fka Consumer Electronics Show) debuted in New York City, with pocket radios as a star of the show.

Fast-forward more than 50 years, and when it kicks off later this week, CES 2023 is expected to draw more than 100,000 attendees—more than 5x its original count. The tech itself has seen significant upgrades, too, with advancements ranging from AI-equipped tractors and whole-bean coffee capsules to tactile displays for the visually impaired and pipe-exploring robots.

Emerging Tech Brew spoke with John Kelley, VP and acting show director of CES, for the inside scoop on this year’s tech trends.


More than 1,000 startups from 20+ countries will exhibit, including the event’s first-ever pavilion from Africa: the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The theme of this year’s event, in partnership with the World Academy of Art and Science, will be tech’s role in supporting the pillars of what the UN calls “human security,” like “food, access to healthcare, personal income, environmental protection, personal safety, community security, and political freedom.”

This year, key categories will include healthcare tech, Web3, the metaverse, digital payments, security, food tech, and transportation and mobility. As for AI? Kelley called it “more of an ingredient technology” that is “baked into” many other categories at CES.

Here’s a quick snapshot of a few headline tech trends.

Healthcare tech: Digital health and wearables are poised to make waves at CES this year. Abbott, the global healthcare and medical device company behind BinaxNOW Covid-19 tests, will display its spinal-cord stimulation system, which is designed to help address chronic pain, as well as what the company has billed as the world’s “only” leadless pacemaker.

Metaverse: Kelley said he’s seeing an increase in business use cases for Web3 and metaverse tech—from employee training sessions to advances in gaming—and said that he thinks that will continue in 2023. Related hardware and software will be on display at CES, including Razer’s VR headsets as well as Fiat’s metaverse store, which was developed by Microsoft and Touchcast.

Food tech: John Deere’s agricultural AI will be in the spotlight this year, as part of CES’s theme related to food insecurity, Kelley said. The company’s fully autonomous tractor, which uses sensors, cameras, GPU processors, and AI to navigate sans driver, was named an Innovation Award honoree, and the company claims it can help “address the growing labor shortage” in the agriculture industry.

Mobility: Nearly 300 exhibitors will display their tech in the dedicated automotive and mobility area, including advancements in battery tech, chips, and radar systems for autonomous vehicles. Oliver Zipse, chairman of the management board at BMW, will deliver a keynote speech and unveil the company’s concept car, showing off a new design style for the company’s electric vehicles.

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