CES 2023: 3 key trends that reveal how tech is getting smaller and smarter

As CES 2023 draws to a close, here are the biggest takeaways from the event that demonstrate how the industry is changing.
Mike Brown

At CES 2023, electrification came alive.

The annual Consumer Electronics Show, held in Las Vegas this week, showed some of the biggest advancements in consumer technology. While onlookers may have been impressed by wireless kettles and folding motorbikes, the broader convention painted a picture of an industry moving in a critical new direction.

As the world looks toward solutions for sustainability, batteries took on a life of their own on the show floor. Standards helped to clear up the technologies of today, while spaceflight hinted at the world of tomorrow.

Here are three of the major trends from the show that demonstrate where the technology industry is moving next.

1. Batteries are the future

Whether it was electric cars or portable power backs, batteries look set to electrify more of our daily lives.

A plethora of electric vehicle brands demonstrate the rush to dominate the growing space. Vietnam's Vinfast and Turkey's Togg showed new countries emerging into the automaker race, Italdesign and Peugeot's outlandish concepts showed imagination is far from dead, and Lightyear's solar car showed how the space remains ripe for innovation. Factorial's solid state battery cell showed how EV makers could see big disruption in the years to come.

CES 2023: 3 key trends that reveal how tech is getting smaller and smarter
Peugeot's Inception concept.

On the charging side, bidirectional chargers showed how manufacturers are looking to put those big batteries to use. We saw products like Blink's EQ 200 demonstrate why vehicle-to-grid and home charging could be beneficial to end users, showing how they can support their home's power with their car battery.

Most Popular

But it wasn't just cars packing big batteries. We also saw home power packs like the Zendure SuperBase V semi-solid state setup. Portable packs also enable consumers to charge up products on the go.

It all fits into broader themes around sustainability and reaching net-zero — but as perhaps expected from CES, the focus was very much on the consumer experience rather than the broader ramifications.

2. Standards are going to simplify

Standardization was a common refrain from industry leaders and company representatives. It's perhaps a sign that some of the largest pain points for consumers come from siloed ecosystems and incompatibility.

Take the Wireless Power Consortium, for example, which counts Apple among its members. Its Qi2 standard brings a MagSafe-like common design to the existing wireless charging standard, bringing the iPhone's magnet-powered innovation to more devices. Consumers will be able to use the magnets to align the charging pads and charge up to 15 watts.

Elsewhere at the same booth, the WPC was demonstrating the Ki wireless charging standard. This will enable consumers to place household appliances on designated pads to deliver up to 2,200 watts of power to high-powered devices like kettles.

Matter was also a feature of the show floor. This smart home standard aims to untangle the existing, messy arrangement with an easier-to-understand communication system.

In other parts of the conference, the absence of standards was felt. Electric cars have gradually converged toward a common charger standard, but industry experts claimed more needs to be done around public charging and communicating between entities.

The message was similar for drone deliveries, autonomous cars, and satellite communication: clear, shared rules and standards can help technologies take off much more effectively.

3. Space is bubbling away

Space is predicted to be a $1 trillion industry by 2040 according to Citi estimates, and signs of that emerging area were present on the show floor.

Qualcomm showed off its Snapdragon Satellite, aimed at providing satellite communication for Android phones similarly to the iPhone. Industry experts predicted further use cases for these technologies, like in aviation and supply chain tracking.

It's early days, but as access to space increases and more companies are able to place their creations into orbit, CES could play host to a much wider array of ideas for the new landscape.