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CES 2023 Metaverse Rundown

The Consumer Electronics Show, or CES, got us off to an early start to 2023. The annual trade show, organized by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), held at the Las Vegas Convention Center, ran from the 5th to the 8th of January and presided over the unveiling of a host of new Metaverse products and technologies.

There were a number of exciting announcements at this year’s show, including from the major players releasing their newest virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (XR) headsets and smartglasses.

Magic Leap CEO Peggy Johnson used AMD’s keynote to announce that its Magic Leap 2 smartglasses had obtained IEC 60601-1 certification, allowing it to be used by doctors during surgery With a $3,000+ price tag, Magic Leap 2 is aimed squarely at industry. The new smartglasses are 50% lighter and smaller than the original, and, like the original, allow for prolonged periods of use by separating the processor and battery to a separate unit intended be worn at the waist.

HTC unveiled its consumer-focused virtual reality and augmented reality headset, the HTC’s Vive XR Elite. This powerful and lightweight mixed reality headset that seeks to go head-to head with Meta’s Quest Pro headset, retailing at around $1,000, which is significantly cheaper than the Quest Pro’s $1,500 price tag. Like the Quest Pro, the Vive XR Elite utilises thinner pancake lenses and comes with full colour passthrough, but lacks the Quest Pro’s built-in eye and facial movement tracking and runs on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon XR2 chipset – the Quest Pro uses Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon XR2+ processor.

There was significant focus on the Metaverse at this year’s show including various Metaverse technology demonstrations and presentations. The Hollywood Streaming and the Metaverse track explored the visual and communication experience and how data has exploded inside the XR universe in Web3, XR, Metaverse & the Entertainment Consumer with AMD, Nokia and Microsoft, how XR/AR is being used in the retail and advertising industries in XR/AR/Metaverse - Revolutionizing Retail - Consumer Experience with Niantic Labs and VNTANA, and how and the Sports industry and Hollywood are at the forefront of XR, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and Immersive new platforms in XR, Sports, NFTs, Hollywood & Metaverse: The Platform for Commerce.

In one panel, Warner Bros executive Renard Jenkins talked about several high-profile companies jumping into the Metaverse, stating: "one of the things that we have to keep in mind is that it's not going to be a single place. It's going to be a multiverse. Because you have so many players in this space right now, and so many different groups are trying to create an experience for their particular customer base”.

The Metaverse and Gaming track included VentureBeat’s Dean Takahashi and Upland’s Dirk Lueth betting on the world’s three billion active gamers and for Gaming to Lead us into the Metaverse, and The Metaverse is Here to Stay covered how the Metaverse will impact various businesses.

Last but not least, connected health company Withings used CES 2023 to launch its new connected health product for the bathroom. The Withings U-Scan device lives in your toilet and tests your urine without requiring you to capture a sample via more messy, traditional means. The company plans to introduce two consumer health cartridges that help monitor your metabolism and menstrual cycle. Withings describes the product as a “miniaturized health lab that will change the way people monitor their health from the comfort and privacy of their own bathroom”. We’re mentioning this because we expect Withings to take the logical leap from connecting these devices to your phone, to connecting these devices to the Metaverse, similar our June post “The doctor will see you now … in the Metaverse”, which predicted clinical urine analysis in the Metaverse.

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