At CES 2023, several key trends will be front and center including the metaverse, software-defined vehicles and sustainability.

Kathleen O’Reilly, Accenture’s Communications, Media and Technology Industry Practices Chair

January 3, 2023

4 Min Read
road leading to progress
wajan via Adobe Stock

As the world gets ready to attend one of tech’s most influential events of the year, there are several trends we expect to be front and center at CES 2023.

  1. The metaverse conversation will be very different that last year. We have moved from evaluating the technology’s potential to talking about its growing adoption both by enterprises and consumers.

  2. The automotive industry will showcase more software-enabled features in cars to improve the driver experience.

  3. Sustainability is a critical frontier for innovation; and there will be a dedicated section on the show floor to explore how the tech industry can continue to make progress in this area.

Let’s examine challenges and opportunities underpinning these trends.

The Metaverse Matures

We’ve seen what metaverse-like spaces feel like, and it’s clear this is not about games. It’s a new kind of social engagement and operating -- from connected homes, enabling people to consume content together or attend virtual concerts and sporting events, all the way to virtual museum tours and city tourism. Virtual healthcare and fitness use cases are also emerging -- including mental health services, physical therapy, remote elderly care, personal fitness coaching, and workout classes. When integrated into consumers lives, the metaverse can transform how they complete tasks and increase productivity.

As metaverse continues to expand -- particularly as consumers start building their own spaces -- it will be important to identify and solve the challenges this new world brings. This will include technical constraints, health, safety and security considerations, product and policy issues, interoperability standards, development tools, new business models, and much more.

Software-Defined Vehicles

CES always shows off the latest in automotive. This year, software-enabled vehicles will be garnering the attention. While consumers previously ranked performance, reliability, and safety as top priorities, they now regard cars as an additional digital device that should provide personalized features and services and real-time responses across channels.

Software-defined vehicles offer the promise of cars behaving like smartphones, either by converging cars with smartphones, as with the “digital key” feature enabling drivers to open and run the vehicle, or through connected features of the car itself, such as paying at charging spots automatically or streaming games on a screen. This shift will provide the auto industry with a new source of premium services and profitable growth.

To take advantage of these opportunities, car manufacturers must develop target profit pools and business models and ensure they have the financial resources for long-term investment. If external solutions are not ready yet, they will need to consider developing their own proprietary solutions.

The Sustainability Imperative

While technology such as 5G, IoT and blockchain fuel the demand for smart connected devices, the associated manufacturing processes (e.g., chips) needed for these products increase energy consumption, water usage and carbon emissions.

This presents an issue for the high-tech industry and a call to action for all companies looking toward a sustainable future in 2023. While most of the world’s largest companies have committed to decarbonization goals by 2050, a recent report by Accenture reveals 93% of these companies will miss their targets. Companies will need to set multiple targets and integrate innovations, such as carbon intelligent capabilities, to achieve global climate change goals.

There are many sustainability goals in which high-tech companies can make progress, starting with optimizing the energy usage and efficiency of cloud-based solutions. Since 2019, semiconductor design and processing, for example, has doubled the energy used in chip production every three years. Leveraging digital twins and IoT provides carbon-specific data and information that will help minimize waste and energy consumption.

Rising consumer interest in sustainable products shouldn’t be left unnoticed by the tech industry as they gear up to develop the next generation of consumer electronics. Not only is this shift to sustainable products and design good for the world, it’s also good for business.

Ready for CES

These trends and innovations will set the stage for some interesting developments — such as partnerships that build value for companies while strengthening their customer relationships, approaches to security in the metaverse, and transformative growth opportunities for businesses that are powered by emerging technologies. Accenture is participating in several ways at the show so we can engage in these conversations. I look forward to seeing many of you there.

About the Author(s)

Kathleen O’Reilly

Accenture’s Communications, Media and Technology Industry Practices Chair

Kathleen O’Reilly is Accenture’s global Communications, Media and Technology industry practices chair and is a member of Accenture’s Global Management Committee. Kathleen also leads Accenture’s work with the World Economic Forum around transformation of industries, digital economy and new value creation, and defining and building the metaverse, and she supports causes related to childhood cancer, education and environmental sustainability.

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