CES 2023: Major Themes in Technology

Mark is a Partner at ReSource Pro Consulting.

The CES event in Las Vegas always provides a good window into technological advancements and innovation. The over 3,200 exhibitors and hundreds of sessions once again provided all-encompassing views of the current state of tech and the future possibilities. As usual, it was also a bit overwhelming—but I have distilled the event into five major themes with a lens on what is most relevant to insurance.

This blog does not focus on traditional consumer electronics, such as TVs, mobile devices, and cameras although there were certainly interesting developments in those spaces as well. Here, I highlight the themes from #CES2023 that insurance companies should watch, including some new trends and ongoing themes from years past.

Ongoing Themes

  • The evolution of mobility: CES is an important venue for announcing new autonomous and electric vehicles (AV/EV) and new features. Increasing options for mobility—to move people and goods from one place to another—has been a theme for some time. At the 2023 event, there was an incredible number of announcements on electronic bikes, scooters, wheelchairs, and people movers for land-based mobility.

Additionally, there were many announcements for innovative AV/EV solutions for air and water travel, and even space travel. There is so much in the mobility space that is important for insurance that we will publish two more blogs on the evolution of mobility.

  • Proliferation of health/wellness/fitness tech: The wearables market is mature but continues to expand and add new innovations. A wide variety of biometrics can be tracked and analyzed. Other trends include the availability of personal health diagnostic tools that were once only available through healthcare providers (for example, at-home urinalysis tests). Another trend is increasing tech capabilities for rehab and for monitoring and assisting elderly and homebound individuals.
  • Apps everywhere: One of the big trends in CES 2023 is the prominence of the app. Vendors have certainly exhibited apps at CES in the past, and their presence has been growing. But this year, there was an incredible range of apps, with some being device-or function-specific and others being very broad, all-encompassing apps. There are also a number of apps that are software only—not tied to any underlying hardware sensor or device.

New Themes

  • Metaverse as the uber Internet future: The Metaverse began to emerge as a theme at last year’s CES. Now, the future vision of the Metaverse is starting to take shape, and the virtual reality capabilities it requires continue to advance. Those capabilities fall into two categories.

First are the technologies that enable human senses to become a natural part of the virtual worlds that people inhabit in the Metaverse. Technology related to smell, touch/physical sensation, vision, hearing, and taste were all exhibited. Second is the tech platforms for content creation. These are increasing in number and sophistication, providing developers with new tools to create virtual environments. Look for a separate blog on the Metaverse and its implications for insurance.

  • Cybersecurity: This is not a new topic for the insurance industry, and there has been some awareness of cybersecurity at CES in the past. However, it was called out from day one as a major theme this year. There are more and more hardware and AI-based software solutions to address this issue. But as insurers already know, the issues and challenges are much broader than tech solutions to protect assets and thwart cyber theft.

It may seem odd that artificial intelligence was not mentioned as a big theme in tech. The reality is that AI is now so pervasive that it is an assumed theme across the board, with nearly every product exhibited at CES relying on AI in one way or another.

The importance of 5G is another theme I’ve called out in previous years that remains relevant today. Although not a new theme, it is accepted that the evolution of the connected world and the enablement of many of the more advanced tech is dependent on 5G. The volumes of digital generated and the needs of many applications for ultra-low latency make 5G indispensable.

Lastly, sustainability was also a prominent theme throughout the event, given its importance across society and business. It really is an exciting time to be alive as technology transforms our world.

Stay tuned for more blogs in this series on CES2023 that will explore some of these major themes and the implications for P&C insurance.

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