CES: Steve Koenig Reveals This Year’s Tech Trends to Watch

There are people here in Las Vegas and it’s beginning to look a lot like CES again. A little sticker that says “I was at CES 2022” reminds us that only a hearty few made last year’s trip. As anticipation builds for the Thursday, January 5 opening of the CES exhibits, CTA’s vice president of research Steve Koenig kicked off the pre-show media briefings with his take on “Tech Trends to Watch.” Artificial intelligence, Web 3.0, digital health and augmented reality predictively top his list with a distinctive side note: Watch how enterprise — business at scale — innovates on top of recent tech innovations.

Koenig pointed to four key enterprise tech areas to watch: connected intelligence, quantum computing, autonomous systems and 5G industrial IoT applications.

Lean, nimble startups may be the birthplace of innovation, something that made Eureka Park, the CES startup arena, the must-see exhibit hall. But, said Koenig, we are now in an era where major companies recognize the value of these innovations and will apply them in innovative ways.

Scarcity is partly responsible for this corporate epiphany, he noted. Supply chain issues are part of it but human resources, or more accurately, the scarcity of people to perform a variety of jobs is leading companies to turn to tech to get tasks done. Perhaps this point was made to set up the keynote by John Deere, which is leading the way in autonomous driving and applied artificial intelligence.

Advances in augmented and virtual reality, especially in retail, are not only creating new shopping experiences but increasing demand to ship purchases. This, he suggests, will lead to self-driving trucks. If you think this is only imagination, cart-sized self delivery is already a thing in cities, including Los Angeles.

In the virtual shopping experience Koenig described (and we’ll watch for related tech when the show opens), a real salesperson and a real shopper meet in a virtual store. In this hybrid environment, human interaction is key. Technology is an enhancement, not a replacement.

This led Koenig to the final chapter of his presentation: a riff on games. An update on Sony’s next- gen VR headset was teased, but Koenig’s main point was to say that in a future of hybrid experiences, where human interaction is facilitated in an immersive, virtual world, look at games and gamers. Gamers have been the pioneers of online communities, showing how technology can bring people together and build communities.

The ETC team will report regularly from Las Vegas over the course of the next several days. We’ll be covering the trends outlined by Koenig and much more.

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