Previewing CES 2024: Anticipating What’s to Come

It’s all a distant memory for tech companies looking to assert themselves as leading innovators for the coming year. In spite of the aforementioned ongoing health issues, I’m actually kind of looking forward to this CES. Speaking of robotics (as I often am), CES has been dipping its toes in those waters for a few years now. Over the past several years, LG has made the strategic decision to announce its biggest products ahead of CES. Bookmark our CES 2024 page for the latest.

CES, the massive trade show dedicated to consumer electronics, is a platform for companies to showcase their innovations and establish themselves as leaders within the industry at the start of each year. Held strategically within the first week of the year, CES comes after the holiday season when all the latest tech has been purchased, used, or returned, making it the perfect time for companies to make their mark for the upcoming year.

With over 171,000 attendees in 2020, CES has always been a big show, according to the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), the event’s organizer. However, the pandemic led to a decrease in the number of attendees in recent years, with 2023 seeing a respectable 115,000 attendees.

Over time, CES’s influence has fluctuated. Before the pandemic, many of the event’s biggest exhibitors followed in Apple’s footsteps, opting to save their major announcements for their own events. The rise of virtual events also solidified this trend, as companies were able to attract enough attention to their own standalone events without the noise and competition of CES. As a result, CES has become more accessible for startups, providing them with the opportunity to get their products in front of industry leaders, journalists, and distributors in the consumer electronics world.

For many startups, it’s a chance to stand out amidst the hundreds of daily emails and social media messages received by journalists. “It’s hard to stand out amongst the hundreds of emails I receive daily (LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, too – but please don’t do this),” says a TechCrunch staff member.

Being a part of CES also offers hardware startups the ability to present their products in person, making it an invaluable opportunity. Most of these companies are located in the lively, chaotic, and interesting Eureka Park, located in the Venetian Expo (formerly known as Sands). Many of the TechCrunch team members prefer this area and would spend their entire week there if they could, but unfortunately, some have to limit their time due to health issues.

Despite health concerns, there is still a lot to look forward to at this year’s CES. The consumer hardware industry is entering a fascinating moment, with many companies rethinking their manufacturing strategies due to issues with supply chain and international relations. This shift towards a more decentralized manufacturing landscape could bring about exciting changes within the industry. Additionally, TechCrunch has already received an overwhelming response to their call for CES startup pitches, with over 200 startups being considered.

As the event approaches, some interesting trends have already started to emerge. One trend that is already apparent is the use of generative AI in products. For more than a decade, AI has been a buzzword in the industry, but it’s now becoming a key component in many products. The use of language models (LLMs) has captured the public’s imagination, allowing regular people to generate images, videos, short stories, and songs with just a text prompt. Last month, Humane introduced their product, which leverages ChatGPT technology for consumers. While opinions on the company and its product may vary, there’s no denying the hype surrounding it.

In 2024, generative AI is expected to be a major focus in the hardware industry. While some companies will showcase impressive applications of AI, much of it will be considered marketing hype. It will be up to reporters to identify the genuinely innovative products using AI from the rest.

Naturally, robotics also play a significant role at CES. While most of the products showcased are still Roomba derivatives, more companies are now leaning towards automating their processes. Expect many announcements regarding partnerships and piloting of robotics systems, such as Agility’s Digit and Boston Dynamics’ Stretch. Who wouldn’t want to have a robot in their booth?

TVs continue to be a major focus at CES, with LG announcing its biggest products ahead of the event in previous years. Given the slow time of year, it makes sense for companies to take this approach. Some notable releases from LG include a 98-inch QNED LED and a gaming monitor with a 480Hz refresh rate.

As TechCrunch staff member Kirsten can attest, CES has also evolved into a major automotive show in recent years. The intertwining of tech and the automotive industry has made it a natural progression for the event. Last year, the entire shiny new West Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center was dedicated to mobility. Many carmakers make big announcements at CES, such as Toyota and Hyundai, which own TRI and Boston Dynamics, respectively. Honda has also revealed that they will be showcasing new EVs at this year’s event.

In previous years, major smartphone announcements were a common occurrence at CES. However, as big players shifted to their own events or saved their announcements for Mobile World Congress in late February/early March, CES has become less of a platform for these releases.

Health tech remains a significant part of CES, with a focus on products such as sleep tracking, blood glucose monitoring, and blood pressure monitoring. These technologies allow individuals to access healthcare equipment traditionally reserved for professionals. The absence of Apple, a major player in the health tech industry, will have a significant impact on CES, as their ongoing patent dispute with Masimo looms over the event. Depending on the outcome, the market for wearables could see significant changes in the upcoming year.

AR/VR took center stage at last year’s CES, with new headsets being showcased by Meta, HTC, Sony, and Magic Leap. With the expected release of the Vision Pro in the next few months, all eyes will be on the mixed reality world this year.

Nvidia, never one to shy away from the spotlight, is gearing up for some major releases. AI is expected to be the centerpiece of their announcements, with rumors of the launch of the RTX 4070 Super and RTX 4080 Super GPUs at the event.

CES runs from January 9-12 in Las Vegas, with press days kicking off on January 7. Bookmark TechCrunch’s CES 2024 page for the latest updates and coverage of the event.

Avatar photo
Max Chen

Max Chen is an AI expert and journalist with a focus on the ethical and societal implications of emerging technologies. He has a background in computer science and is known for his clear and concise writing on complex technical topics. He has also written extensively on the potential risks and benefits of AI, and is a frequent speaker on the subject at industry conferences and events.

Articles: 865

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *