Great annual mass of new technologies, the CES show will take place in Las Vegas from January 5 to 8, 2023. A show which is also the subject of a world tour in the preamble. On the occasion of CES Unveiled in Paris which is taking place this week, CNEWS interviewed Lesley Rohrbaugh, research director at the Consumer technology association, which is organizing this event. The American highlights in particular the challenges that the metaverse represents for our future.
The next CES will notably highlight the metaverse. Can you tell us what the show will offer around this subject?
Lesley Rohrbaugh: Indeed, the metaverse will be a really big topic. We will also have a specific event, with a corner where content creators will show their projects. Several conferences will deal with experiences, infrastructures, and accessibility to this technology. These three pillars will be highlighted throughout CES, both in terms of hardware and software. In the metaverse, we’ll show examples of how it can be used in the future.
The idea is clearly to have a second virtual home where you can change activities as you go from one room to another at home. What lifestyle will the metaverse bring?
There really are different use cases. We will first be able to digitally replicate cities and houses. In particular, we will be able to create a digital twin of our workspace, in order to collaborate with our colleagues in this environment. This will support the different means of communication in companies and make it possible to work remotely in a much more collaborative way than through videoconferences or e-mails.
We also talk more about metaverses in the plural rather than metaverse. Will we see a fragmentation of services related to this technology?
I think so. When it comes to the market for video, movies, and streaming TV, we have seen a fragmentation of the market. And we are already noticing an evolution in this market. For example, Disney+ owns the rights to Marvel superhero movies. I think there will definitely be more opportunities for this company to develop all of that and bring all of these brands into the metaverse. We can therefore imagine that you could go to Disney world to meet the Marvel characters there
Will the arrival of metaverses and the uses that will be linked to them mark the end of the classic Internet, the one we use with our computers and our smartphones?
There is currently a transition to Web 3 and hybrid cloud usage. These technologies make it possible in particular to reduce latency when collaborating online and to significantly improve performance. This will therefore improve infrastructures, in particular for what are called smart cities, the use of autonomous cars, and above all make it possible to switch more easily between private use of the Net and that of public infrastructures. For example, within hospitals, it will be possible to share private health information in real-time and in a secure manner with the hospital that is going to treat you. The future of the Internet will be less decentralized than in the past.
There is also the question of the environmental impact of this technology…
It is a vision to be understood. The metaverse is a technology that will allow us to interact even more between us, without having to travel for certain appointments which until now required long journeys. I am thinking in particular of certain business trips which will no longer be necessary. The idea is to connect virtually with its collaborators. We can consider that there will be an impact on the number of roads, rail and air journeys that will be reduced. Of course, this is not the only factor to consider. We can add the fact that we could alternate more easily with work in the office, which will make it possible to review the needs in terms of infrastructure which could again generate energy savings.
Other subjects will animate the next CES, which ones should you watch closely?
Personally, I will be very attentive to what will be shown in the field of health. In recent years, we have witnessed the emergence of many technologies in this field, and the share given to CES in this sector has continued to grow in previous editions. For the 2023 edition, we will notably highlight the Home Health Hub, a stand dedicated to home health. The idea is to explain how people can take control of their health at home, especially people with chronic diseases, who can send their data to their doctor in real time. We may also see innovations around home fitness.
In addition, we will also highlight virtual reality during the show. With in particular cases of applications around mental health, where VR is used to face and overcome one’s fears, with professionals. The CES will also be an opportunity to highlight advances in transport and autonomous vehicles and their new entertainment systems, which will accompany us during our trips where we will no longer have to drive.