CES 2024 Recap: Five Industry-Setting Highlights from ABI Research’s Analysts

Several ABI Research analysts made the trip to Las Vegas in January for the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2024. Although geopolitical and macroeconomic conditions continue to cast a shadow over the technology world, CES 2024 had no shortage of excitement and optimism. Our analysts heard plenty of talks from vendors and enterprise end users about investments, partnerships, new technology adoption, and applications. If you missed CES 2024, we would like to share intriguing highlights from five of our analysts who attended the show, each covering a different technology area.

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Agriculture Tech Takes Center Stage

Dan Shey is one of ABI Research’s most senior research experts, overseeing our coverage of the Machine-to-Machine (M2M)/Internet of Things (IoT), digital security, and wearables research services. Here is what Dan had to say about the emergence of Agriculture Technology (Agtech), a prominent theme at CES 2024.

With responsibilities to find the emerging tech markets, agriculture was on the agenda in my short visit to CES 2024. The application of tech to agriculture is getting lots of attention for the most salient worldwide challenges: labor shortages requiring more automation and technology solutions; climate change driving a need for better monitoring to control input costs, food quality, and yield; and energy conservation/management both for profitability and sustainability. At the same time, the traditional notion of agriculture is changing with the growth in vertical farming—the notion of moving the farm and not the food by enabling food production near the point of consumption. Tech for traditional agriculture and vertical farming was present at the show primarily through the lens of small startups. John Deere, the largest agriculture firm at CES 2024, rightly received accolades for its tech innovation in its products and across its operations.”

XREAL Innovating Smart Glasses Hardware

Eric Abbruzzese is a Research Director at ABI Research, managing the Augmented Reality (AR), Mixed Reality (MR), and Virtual Reality (VR) domains, encompassing devices, content, platforms, and use cases. While Eric feels like CES comes off as more of an automotive show than a consumer electronics show, he was dazzled by a new Extended Reality (XR) headset unveiled by XREAL.

XREAL’s latest Extended Reality (XR) headset, the Air 2 Ultra, was quite impres­sive. XREAL has recently started ramping up its messaging, positioning it as a leader in the smart glasses space. Value to consumers still needs to be proven with content and use cases, but the hardware itself seems mature enough to support potential applica­tions, which is a first. Smart glasses as a technology have never been a gimmick in my opinion, rather better suited to some applications (e.g., enterprise) than others. As smart glasses hardware improves, you can understand applications expanding beyond the enterprise space more easily. Virtual screen use cases with smart glasses, for instance, require a certain hardware capability to be feasible at scale, which glasses had not really achieved. XREAL may be the first smart glasses vendor to reach that minimum hardware capability.”

Autonomous Driving Gaining Momentum

James Hodgson, another Research Director at ABI Research, noted some autonomous driving announcements at the CES 2024, notably from NVIDIA.

Semi-autonomous driving continued its momentum at CES 2024, even as unsupervised autonomous driving and robotaxis became less visible, although by no means absent.

At the beginning of CES week, NVIDIA announced a series of Electric Vehicle (EV) customers for its NVIDIA DRIVE Thor and Orin Autonomous Vehicle (AV) compute platform Systems-on- Chip (SoCs), including Li Auto, GWM, ZEEKR, and Xiaomi. During the event itself, Mobileye announced a growing pipeline for its Supervision and Chauffeur products, including Mahindra, numerous Geely brands, and Western Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) that will equip 17 models with Mobileye’s Level 2+ products.

These announcements from NVIDIA and Mobileye at CES 2024 point toward a growing momentum behind the semi-auton­omous driving trend. Further evidence of the maturity of this trend can be seen in the competitive differentiators referenced by suppliers of technologies such as Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) and Long-Wave Infrared (LWIR) sensors, which tend to have less to do with system perfor­mance metrics like range and resolution, and more to do with manufacturing capacity, supply chain integrity, system integration experience, and cost-down potential.”

Camera-Based Vehicle Safety Solutions

Adhish Luitel, Senior Analyst, provides global supply chain management research coverage, including warehousing, logistics, retail technologies, and multi-modal service models. He made his first trip to CES this year and was pleasantly surprised by the quantity of supply chain-related coverage at a consumer-oriented show. The following quote was his take on Valeo’s plans for improved driving safety for any vehicle, whether a commercial fleet truck or a consumer two-wheeler.

Valeo’s intention to bring Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS) to the masses was very eye-catching at CES 2024. It announced the “democratization” of ADAS, through partnerships with Renault, Stellantis, and General Motors (GM). It showcased a new “AI-enabled smart front camera as central computer” product that connects with multiple ultrasonic sensors, LiDAR units, and radar, pairing it with a Driver Monitoring System (DMS) to deliver high-level performance. The company’s presenters went on to talk about how their system can reduce costs and help democratize the safety ben­efits of Level 2 (L2) safety and possibly autonomy.

Valeo claimed to be working on a system of connected components that would enable ADAS-like safety systems on any vehicle, including two-wheelers. Valeo also announced its digital twin testing environ­ment that uses a virtual world to test several scenarios in an accelerated time frame and then uses the results of those tests to develop thermal management solutions for EV batteries that can dramatically improve real-world range and battery longevity.”

Energy Efficient Smart Homes

Rithika Thomas, Industry An­alyst at ABI Research, focuses most of her research on sustainability and circularity across industries. At CES 2024, Rithika followed the smart home and smart buildings companies facilitating sustainable housing.

This was my first time at CES, and I was pleased that sustainability, circular­ity, and energy efficiency were key overarching themes for 2024. In the smart home space specifically, energy efficiency, automation, and connectivity were top trends for increasing adoption, while demonstrating the use case of devices through visualization and control.

On the show floor, there was a clear shift in the definition of smart homes from novelty to mass adoption, targeting the middle market. Consumers are purchasing products that enhance security, save time and money, and enhance overall wellbeing. Connect­ed solutions targeted residential functionalities such as monitoring for energy management, water sensors for leak detection, as well as security to increase value for the customer and adoption.”

If you would like to hear about the other key highlights from CES 2024, download ABI Research’s whitepaper, Key Takeaways From CES 2024. The technology areas covered in this article—IoT, AR/VR, smart mobility and automotive, supply chain, and smart homes/building—are greatly expanded upon in the whitepaper. Our analysts’ findings serve as your organization’s eyes and ears from the show, helping you identify new market opportunities, potential partnerships, and strategic ideas.

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