The annual CES consumer electronics gala kicks off Thursday in Las Vegas, where the industry looks to the latest innovations to help heal the pain from the ailing global economy.
High inflation, lingering supply chain troubles and tech layoffs all set a dark backdrop for tech’s premier trade fair, which is expected to attract more than 100,000 attendees from around the world through Sunday.
Steve Koenig, director of research for the Consumer Technology Association, reminded CES attendees of previous innovations from smartphones to high-speed internet that thrived after the “last major economic recession” more than a decade ago. rice field.
“This time around, I think there will be a strong new wave of technological innovation coming from the corporate side that will ameliorate inflation and restore global GDP growth,” Koenig said at a presentation by the CTA, which runs CES.
According to Koenig, these include robotics to make workplaces more efficient, on-the-job virtual reality, and automated vehicles such as tractors that tend to plow fields without a driver.
CTA President and CEO Gary Shapiro stresses that technology is “a deflationary force in the global economy” thanks to increased productivity.
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Stretching from the convention center in Las Vegas to the ballrooms of a series of hotels on the famous Sin City Strip, CES has things like televisions, motorized roller skates and self-piloting strollers meant to wow visitors.
According to Forrester principal analyst Thomas Husson, major TV makers like LG, Samsung and TCL all have stunning displays, but CES was first and foremost about TVs, laptops and gadgets. The era is over.”
“We expect more brands to showcase innovations around electric vehicles, robotics and embedded artificial intelligence at a time when technological innovation and software are embedded everywhere,” said Husson.
“Don’t get me wrong, there’s no doubt that we’ll continue to see lots of robotic toys and gadgets.”
But CES has increasingly become a showcase for electric vehicles (EVs), which analysts argue are becoming Internet-connected computers on wheels.
“Beyond EVs, recent US legislation such as the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) will increase interest in sustainability innovation,” said Husson.
This was a reference to the IRA recently passed by the US government. The IRA is expected to pump hundreds of billions of dollars into green technology and other climate-friendly projects.
“I’m afraid there will be too little announced[at CES]but it’s definitely the area where we can expect the most disruptive innovation.”
CES organizers say show attendees are taking “another step toward returning to normal pre-pandemic levels,” but the impact of COVID is lingering.
CES, like so many other trade shows, will go fully virtual in 2021, with a mix of real-world and online events last year with a small crowd in Las Vegas.
TV and appliance makers, as well as upstarts at the forefront of artificial intelligence, are back at CES. Meta let people try out their latest virtual reality gear, and Google showed off its own smart his home product.
South Korean giant Samsung has unveiled a new line of TVs and artificial intelligence-infused kitchen appliances that work with other connected devices and online platforms.
LG Electronics unveiled an OLED TV touted as the first wireless and voice command TV for the consumer market.
“The M3 comes with a separate Zero Connect box that wirelessly transmits video and audio signals to LG’s cinematic 97-inch screen,” the company said.
With the economy in the doldrums, companies looking to win over consumers at CES have made sure their prices can appeal to those struggling with inflation and perhaps a little tired of living online during the pandemic. need to do it.
The CTA forecasts that U.S. consumer electronics and services spending will fall to $485 billion this year, down from 2021’s record $512 billion.
Still, tech industry earnings are expected to remain higher than pre-pandemic figures, while “looming recession and inflation weigh heavily on household budgets,” according to the association.
Many tech companies have thrived during the pandemic, hiring large numbers of people. As lifestyles began to return to normal, these companies began laying off employees and tightening budgets.
On Wednesday, online retail giant Amazon announced more than 18,000 job cuts. This is the largest layoff in the company’s history. It, too, was adopting at a pace during the pandemic.
Mr Koenig said the economic situation was masking a continuing shortage of qualified workers.
© 2023 AFP
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