Artificial intelligence (AI) will take centre stage when the CES, formerly Consumer Electronics Show, kicks off in Las Vegas next week.
That’s according to market analyst firm CCS Insight, which expects AI to feature prominently in mature product categories at the show.
Held in January at the Las Vegas Convention Centre, the event typically hosts presentations of new products and technologies in the consumer electronics industry.
CES 2024, scheduled from 9 to 12 January, is usually a chance to get a glimpse of the technology that will define the calendar year ahead from agenda-setting companies.
“Exhibitors at CES typically jump on the latest hot topic in tech, and for that reason we expect artificial intelligence to feature heavily across the show floor, with generative AI likely to be the main flavour,” says Leo Gebbie, principal analyst for connected devices at CCS Insight.
“Some of the major agenda setters will use the event as a chance to demonstrate broad thought leadership in the exciting area, but we also expect on-device AI to figure prominently, especially as CES has historically been a gadget-centric show.”
Gebbie notes that given the buzz generated by Humane's AI Pin in 2023, it would be no surprise to see a host of new AI-centric devices of all shapes and sizes displayed across the show floor.
This week, South Korean electronics giant Samsung announced that it will showcase how enhanced AI and connectivity enable expansive kitchen experiences at CES 2024.
LG has also just unveiled an AI-powered line-up of OLED TVs.
Nvdia is also planning to roll out its latest advancements in AI – including generative AI – and a spectrum of other cutting-edge technologies at the event.
Gebbie notes that in 2023, there was a surge in interest around the AI capabilities of everything from smartphones to laptops, and it’s becoming increasingly clear that hybrid approaches to AI – where the workload is split between devices and the cloud – have a major role to play.
“Hardware, software and ecosystem players are all scrambling to wrap intelligent features into their offerings, and we expect to see updates from leading tech players including Google, Qualcomm and Samsung. Striking a balance between AI in the cloud and on-device is set to be a crucial dynamic in 2024, so CES would be a natural jumping-off point,” he says.
Beyond AI, CCS Insight expects the automotive sector will have a strong showing.
The firm points out that the automotive sector has become a central pillar of CES in recent years, with established car-makers and tech companies using the event to reveal ground-breaking innovations.
It points out that at CES 2023, Sony announced its entry into the car market in partnership with Honda, and BMW unveiled a concept car wrapped with an e-ink display to allow it to change colour. There were also plenty of developments in electric vehicles from automakers, it adds.
Gebbie states that Hyundai, Kia and Mercedes-Benz are listed as featured exhibitors for this year's event, alongside companies like Nvidia and Qualcomm, which are focused on powering the connected car experiences of the future.
“Of course, AI has a role to play here as well, with a continued focus on intelligent and self-driving vehicles. A large share of the Las Vegas Convention Centre is now dedicated to exhibitors focused on connected vehicles at CES, so it should prove fruitful ground.”
Beyond this, says Gebbie, CES is a fairly reliable hotbed for device news. “The wearables category usually performs well at the show, and we wouldn't be surprised to see some breakthroughs in health- and fitness-related tech.
“Similarly, virtual and augmented reality has benefited from time in the spotlight at previous CES events, and given the excitement about forthcoming devices in the segment, we’ll be keeping a close eye on further developments.
“We predict that we’ll see some new devices from established players in this space, as well as continued progress in components such as display technology.”
According to CCS Insight, home appliances also consistently perform well at CES.
“We expect to see everything from TVs and dishwashers to fridges making a splash from household names like LG, Panasonic and Sony, but arguably the real interest will be whether the concept of the smart home sees any further progression. We’ve seen smart home devices take up vast amounts of trade show floor space in the past, but it's become harder to tell an exciting new story, meaning it's struggled for oxygen,” Gebbie concludes.