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CES 2023 Reports: If you really want to see the future, come to CES

woman exploring and exhibit at CES
Consumer Technology Association

WBFO's Nacy Hammond sat down with Fred and Paul Jacobs from Jacobs Media to discuss the highlights and trends from CES 2023.

NANCY HAMMOND: For WBFO News I'm Nancy Hammond speaking to you from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas Nevada. I'm here with Fred and Paul Jacobs from Jacobs Media. They've been attending CES for about 14 years. They have a lot of industry knowledge and we're going to ask a few questions to them today.

So I'd like to ask you Fred and Paul what is the biggest thing that you've seen, the newest technology that you've seen here from CES? And I think Fred, you'll answer this one.

FRED JACOBS: Yeah, thank you Nancy. Clearly, there are a lot of gadgets here. And I'm sure a lot of your listeners have even seen some pictures or some video from CES, and they always focus on the gadgets. But I think one of the hidden things that is going on here is how the gadgets make you feel, the experience that you go through when you use that gadgetry, whether it's in your car or your home or at work. And the word feel seems to almost be a keyword here at CES. So, it is about experience answers to a great degree this year.

NANCY HAMMOND: Yeah definitely, I have seen a lot on the customer experience side. Almost every Booth we've attended have is really honed in on customer experience.

So, Paul one other thing that has been really prevalent here is to focus on health and consumers' health. What have you seen in the health tech industry this year?

PAUL JACOBS: The investment in health tech is insane. It was big and growing pre-COVID, but since COVID there's been a shift from--as Fred said, it's less gadgetry and now it's more giving the consumer control over their health. And we think that with COVID all of a sudden people were doing home tests and taking more control of managing their health and tracking their health and we're now seeing that manifest in so many different ways, you know. And some might find this funny, but we’re seeing these toilets that are able to test the urine and provide a printout on a mobile app with your complete health report. So, you think about the act of going to the doctor and all that, and now you can have an ongoing monitor in your home and have much more control over how you're eating and how you're living and everything else.

NANCY HAMMOND: Wow that's amazing. It takes telemedicine to a whole new level.

PAUL JACOBS: Absolutely puts it right in your toilet.

NANCY HAMMOND: Yeah, oh my gosh. Well, one of the things that is near and dear to my heart is the automotive section of CES. So, why don't we talk a little bit about the trends that we've been seeing in the automotive industry, Fred.

FRED JACOBS: Well, so Paul and I are actually from Detroit so cars are in our DNA. The big thing I think is that the screens are getting bigger and there's more of them in the car. So, it's not just the screen in the dashboard--the passengers and the whole idea of the passenger experience has become elevated too. So, everybody in the car has their own screen but again, the size of the screen and the fact that to a great degree, a lot of these big screens are artificial intelligence-driven--which really means that the car begins to learn your preferences, and what you enjoy listening to and using when you're in the car. And it begins to start serving that up to you as it goes. So, the in-vehicle experience has just become so much more complicated. And that's the downside of it, you know, there's just a lot of people who get in the car and want to listen to WBFO and struggle to find the right button. How do I do that? So, on the one hand, they're putting in a lot of new features. But on the other hand, they're trying to work on how to simplify them. So, it's a bit of a balancing act.

NANCY HAMMOND: I loved hearing that pretty soon I won't have to pull out my app to order my Starbucks cappuccino. I can just do voice recognition, and it will be waiting for me when I reach my Starbucks location.

PAUL JACOBS: Well, and that opens the door to another trend, you know many of your listeners might have heard about the metaverse. And the image people have with metaverses--you put on these wacky goggles, and your hands start grabbing at things that nobody else can see. They haven't figured out the metaverse yet, it's almost technology in search of a purpose.

But we're all of a sudden beginning to see it also becoming more accessible. So, we've seen some displays from companies where you can take metaverse technology and put it on a computer screen as opposed to the goggle thing. We visited yesterday, Microsoft is funding a company that is creating a metaverse-based virtual retail experience. And the example they showed us was a car dealership. And so you know, the comparison they had was with a website which is really like a brochure. And with metaverse you can really amplify not only the selection process but the driving experience--you can actually talk to a technically non-human, but a human experience.

And then there was one of my favorites yesterday--was being able to ask questions of a metaverse-driven artificially intelligent William Shatner and uh yeah there you go. He looked a lot younger. So the metaverse worked for him.

NANCY HAMMOND: It certainly did. So, one last question, is there anything that you expected to see here that you haven't seen here? Fred, I'll ask you first.

FRED JACOBS: Well we expected to see Meta which is the corporate name for Facebook. And they're not here, and we're not sure exactly what's going on with that, but this would have been the first appearance for Facebook in some time. But really it is all here. I guess the other missing ingredient would be Apple, but they never show up for this. They do all of their product unveilings at their own events. I mean they're everywhere at CES because just about every innovation requires an app. So, they're right there, but they don't come to CES but you know what, everybody else does. And one of the weirdest things about this is, is just some of the companies and organizations that are here who you just wouldn't expect. I mean, including the post office and the FBI, and John Deere--John Deere, Caterpillar.

PAUL JACOBS: We saw this unbelievable technology that John Deere is using that it isn't tech for tech's sake. It is tech for sustainability of our planet.

NANCY HAMMOND: Yes, it was amazing.

PAUL JACOBS: To me, the things the biggest thing that was missing, generally speaking, were the domestic car companies. Ford used to be a major partner here and they're not here at all. Stallantis, which is you know Dodge Chrysler, they were here. General Motors we didn't see, but we saw huge displays from the international car companies. That bothers me as a Detroiter.

NANCY HAMMOND: Yeah, I can imagine. Well, thank you Fred and Paul from Jacobs Media for your time today any last words that you want to share with our viewers at WBFO?

Explore more news and product coverage from the CES show with the Day 3 Issue of the CES Daily

There have already been lots of new products launched including laptops, smartphones, wearables, headphones, electric cars and much more. CES runs from Thursday, January 5 through Sunday, January 8. Look for more WBFO CES 2023 Reports on air and online.

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