Like every year, the CES (Consumer Electronics Show) opens its doors in Las Vegas. A must-see, this show has evolved to be more focused on the integration of technological innovations in the industrial sector, health, mobility… It is no longer just a showcase presenting the latest flat screen or connected speaker! Proof that this development meets the needs of businesses, the 2024 edition could cross the barrier of 130,000 visitors. Company registrations have increased by more than 40% according to Gary Shapiro, president of the Consumer Technology Association which organizes CES each year. Innovation Manager France at Capgemini Engineering, Matthieu Deboeuf-Rouchon explains why this show has become essential for manufacturers.
Engineering Techniques: CES has abandoned its image as a bling-bling showcase of high-tech. The show focuses much more on innovations that can be integrated by manufacturers. Is this change reinforced this year?
Matthieu Deboeuf-Rouchon: Yes. The CES has evolved to become a more B2B show, institutionalized, and driven by major and very present industrial players. It is a sounding board for the last quarter of last year with the stated desire to offer real value for the efficiency of businesses and more broadly, for the good of humanity. For all the researchers and engineers who come to this show, it’s about discovering profound technologies and no longer just the connected speaker that goes “south shoo”! There is a rationalization of square meters. The race for whoever has the biggest stand is over. We still show ourselves, but in a more rational way.
Although this show deals with technologies, it is above all a crossroads promoting exchanges and networking.
So has CES become the essential show?
The CES remains the global benchmark in terms of maturity and integration of technologies. In Europe, we have Vivatech (which can be presented as the “European CES”) and Slush in Helsinki focused on start-up / investor relations. To a lesser extent, there is also the IFA in Berlin. But this show still remains focused on Germany and it is considered as a professional, educational and family event like the Paris Fair. It is important to underline the desire of African actors to develop a “local CES” on this continent, at least an event that would have a similar resonance.
What are the major themes of the 2024 edition?
The central themes are mainly based on AI, connected health and personal or shared modes of transportation. While preparing for my visit to Las Vegas, I realized that the connected home and individual dominate this edition with 798 exhibitors listed in the field withartificial intelligence, mobility and health. The first appearance of AI at CES was in 2016. And since then, it’s been a wild ride of excitement around this technology with many start-ups. Today, we have put AI in its place: an algorithm capable of generating content, but which must be linked to the expected value. We focus on accessibility to AI, its use and the benefits that can be derived from it. Many of the start-ups present are at higher maturity levels of generative AI without having done any research themselves. They benefit from all the science and engineering work that has been carried out to focus on already existing service integration processes.
THE immersive universes are quite present at this show. This is the case of Phamton, with its glove integrating force feedback and analysis of the forearm muscles which would make it possible to predict the movement, to anticipate them in some way. This project is interesting because the materials used are very light. The glove could, for example, be integrated by manufacturers to remotely assist a technician working on a machine that he does not yet master well enough.
Do certain themes leave you doubtful?
I have a few questions, particularly about AWS for Automotive. The giant Amazon aims to sell vehicles like it sells books! I’m waiting to see if it presents disruptive methods for managing manufacturers’ inventory and how it integrates AI. Same questions regarding the Metaverse which appeared at CES 3 or 4 years ago. All the media were talking about it. And those who were absent talked about it to discuss use cases. But at CES, no one mentioned this portmanteau word! We were talking about immersive technologies, but not about the use of the metaverse. Same observation with 5G which is today considered as a prerequisite and not as a separate technology.
Is Europe very present?
There is a predominance of Asia and in particular South Korea with a focus on technology in the service of humanity.
Concerning Europe, there is a strong presence of regional pavilions which integrate really very interesting start-ups. Don’t miss the CEA stand which presents relevant work projects, advanced integrations and very interesting deeptech such as VXP for ultra-fast calculations for the brain and NEUROCORGI with its low-consumption AI chip inspired by the brain. Let us also mention the presence of Dassault which has been talking about the digital twin for several years with a real vision on how we can model the body. The group has a very nice stand, but above all it has very specific “corners” which address very clear use cases. Bling-bling belongs to another era!
Image credit of one: freepik – starline