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Marketers keep trying to make the metaverse happen and other CES observations

Another Consumer Electronics Show (CES) has come and gone, introducing the world to everything from a self-driving stroller to an accessible PlayStation 5 controller.

It would be impossible to give a rundown of everything announced at the Las Vegas event, but here are a few things we think retailers should keep an eye on.

Metaverse minus the headgear. Metaverse companies have had a hard time getting nongaming consumers to commit to expensive and cumbersome headsets. At CES, a new crop of technologies touted the 3D experience sans headpiece.

  • Brelyon’s Fusion desktop monitor provides users the 3D-visual experience without any glasses. The company says the panoramic screen is the “world’s largest field of view” for an OLED display.
  • 3D Game Market will release its consumer monitor, the 3DGM, in the coming months, per Mashable. The 3DGM is a 32-inch glasses-free 3D desktop monitor that uses eye-tracking technology to optimize the 3D visuals based on where users are standing.
  • Lenovo’s Project Chronos aims to blend the virtual and physical worlds with virtual avatars that replicate users’ real-world actions. An RGB depth camera captures user movements and translates them onto the screen, said The Verge.
  • Neither Brelyon’s Fusion nor Lenovo’s Project Chronos are available for consumers to purchase. But these may be early signs that virtual reality is leaving headgear in 2022.

Electric-city: Though less than 2% of the US population will drive an electric car this year, there were still a couple of significant electric vehicle (EV) announcements at CES.

  • Volkswagen is coming after Tesla’s reign, with a car that can drive over 400 miles on a single charge. Though it won’t be available until 2026, Volkswagen’s test model at CES featured a colorful patchwork of QR codes that act as camouflage and provide “an interface between the physical and digital worlds,” per Mashable.
  • Sony is partnering with Honda on an EV prototype, the Afeela. According to Hypebeast, car features include multiple interior screens powered by Epic Games and a customizable “Media Bar” that can relay information. Who needs a horn?

Getting smarter: This year at CES, the smart home became even more connected.

  • Ring’s latest home security camera is an autonomous drone that can fly around to give users a perspective of any room they want when they aren’t home. It’s Ring’s “most ambitious product yet,” per The Verge.
  • Samsung is reentering the smart home hardware game with its SmartThings Station, a wireless charging pad. Not only does the device charge a wide variety of gadgets, it can also control devices like TVs, thermostats, lighting, and power outlets with the SmartThings app.
  • But one name rose above all others this year: Matter. The open-source smart home technology is compatible with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Home, and Samsung SmartThings, meaning it works with just about any device you may have in your home.

Key takeaways: The metaverse isn’t dead, life is a highway for EVs, and in the smart home of 2023, it’s all about creating connections with ease.


This was originally featured in the Retail Daily newsletter. For more retail insights, statistics, and trends, subscribe here.