CES 2023 — the biggest trends to watch

CES logo on outdoor sign
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

This January, CES returns to Las Vegas, and while the Consumer Technology Association, the organization that runs CES 2023, doesn’t expect the show to hit its pre-pandemic levels, it’s hopeful that the trade show will be much better attended than last year. 

In fact, the CTA says it's optimistic that it will reach its goal of more than 100,000 attendees, a third of whom will be from outside the U.S. That would be more than double last year’s show, which had around 45,000 attendees, and still well off the high-water mark of the 2020 show, which had upwards of 170,000 visitors.

CES 2023 will occupy upwards of 2 million square feet, an increase of 50% over last year’s show — and due in no small part to the relatively new West Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center, which has 600,000 square feet of exhibition space. 

CES has traditionally been known as the venue where companies highlight new TV technology, laptops, and more. (In fact, we've got a CES 2023 TV preview that goes into what you can expect on that front as well as a look at what the likes of AMD, Nvidia and Intel have planned for CES.) However, there are some emerging trends to look forward to at this year’s show. 

CES 2023: The next big car show

Is CES the new Detroit Auto show? It’s increasingly looking like some of the biggest innovations for cars are being revealed in Las Vegas, rather than the Motor City. Indeed, Carlos Tavares, the CEO of Stellantis, will be giving a keynote address, where he will unveil the Ram 1500 Revolution Battery Electric Vehicle Concept, the company’s electric pickup truck set to debut in 2024. Another keynote will be delivered by Oliver Zipse, the chairman of BMW AG.

The West Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center — which only opened last year — is sold out and will have upwards of 300 exhibitors, according to the CTA. Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, and Volkswagen are also registered to attend, but apart from major carmakers, a number of automotive suppliers will have a presence, as will the Indy Autonomous Challenge, an autonomous racecar competition that will be held at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on January 7.

The future of healthcare

Pandemic notwithstanding, healthcare figures to have a more prominent role at CES. “We have two days of conference programming centered around digital health,” said John Kelley, the VP OF CES and the Acting Show Director, during a virtual press conference on Nov. 30. One area in particular, he said, is the increase in women-focused health technology. 

A recent rule change by the FDA, which now allows for the sale of over-the-counter hearing aids for those with slight to moderate hearing loss means that we should see a number of startups showing their new products. In fact, there’s a conference session just on this topic.

Another growing trend is the focus on using technology to care for the elderly; there are four panels on this topic alone as part of the AARP-sponsored AgeTech Summit. One conference in particular — AI, Digital Health and the Future of Patient Care — will feature Dr. Jesse M. Ehrenfeld, the president-elect of the American Medical Association.

Food tech goes mainstream?

Highlighting its increasing prominence — last year was its first as a new category at the show —  Food tech will have its own space this year at CES. Michael Wolf, the founder of The Spoon, a food tech blog, will host a panel on January 5 on how to reinvent the food system for the planet. 

Tom Adams, the CEO of Pairwise, a genome-editing company, will host a panel on the future of farming, which will look at how farmers use IoT, biotech, and other technologies.

Shayri RoyChoudhury, the Global Head of Operations at Perfect Day, and Dr. Uma Valeti the CEO and Founder of UPSIDE Foods — companies which are developing more sustainable ways of making proteins (such as milk and meat) through fermentation and lab-grown meats — will sit on a panel exploring how to scale their nascent industry.

During a CES Media preview, Kinsey Fabrizio, the Senior Vice President of Membership and CES Sales at the CTA, highlighted SavorEat, a company that’s developing a robotic chef that can create customized 3D-printed plant-based meat-like products in less than five minutes.

The Metaverse is — or will be — everywhere

“Metaverse was a big theme at CES 2022,” said Fabrizio. “We are launching a new product category at CES for Web3. This will encompass technologies from the metaverse, digital assets, and blockchain.”

“You can see it show up in other areas: like healthcare, with VR medical training; in beauty, to demo products and reduce waste; and automotive, for virtual factory planning and research and development.” 

A number of conference tracks during CES involve Web3 as it relates to digital entertainment, be it streaming content or AR/VR technology. 

In addition, the CTA is partnering with Coindesk to create a Web3 studio, where they’ll host prominent Web3 executives for conversations about how the technology is being used. 

Tom's Guide will be at CES 2023, so be sure to stay tuned when we hit the show floor in January. In the meantime, we're still accepting submissions for the Tom's Guide CES Awards, so be sure to enter your product for consideration. 

Mike Prospero
U.S. Editor-in-Chief, Tom's Guide

Michael A. Prospero is the U.S. Editor-in-Chief for Tom’s Guide. He oversees all evergreen content and oversees the Homes, Smart Home, and Fitness/Wearables categories for the site. In his spare time, he also tests out the latest drones, electric scooters, and smart home gadgets, such as video doorbells. Before his tenure at Tom's Guide, he was the Reviews Editor for Laptop Magazine, a reporter at Fast Company, the Times of Trenton, and, many eons back, an intern at George magazine. He received his undergraduate degree from Boston College, where he worked on the campus newspaper The Heights, and then attended the Columbia University school of Journalism. When he’s not testing out the latest running watch, electric scooter, or skiing or training for a marathon, he’s probably using the latest sous vide machine, smoker, or pizza oven, to the delight — or chagrin — of his family.