This year again, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas (Nevada) is caught up in the Covid-19 epidemic. At the last minute, the organizers of what is considered to be the world’s largest consumer electronics fair, which takes place from Thursday 5 to Sunday 8 January, decided to impose the presentation of a negative test to visitors arriving from China, Hong Kong and Macau, while the pandemic has started again in the Middle Kingdom. This could alter the attendance figures for the event.

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While the CES had attracted around 175,000 exhibitors and visitors in 2020, it was only held remotely the following year and had only 45,000 participants in 2022. This year, the event hopes to mobilize a hundred thousand people. Not yet a return to normal, but confirmation of a recovery.

Same observation on the side of the exhibitors – they should be nearly 3,000, against 2,200 in 2022 – or the extent of this great rout which will mobilize an area of ​​195,000 square meters in Sin City (“city of sin”), against only 130,000 last year.

The theme of “human security”

To reassure visitors against the risk of coronavirus contamination, various measures have been taken: widening of aisles, management of entrances and exits so that visitors do not have to touch door handles, distribution of self-test kits, etc.

The Big Techs, such as Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Meta (formerly Facebook) or Intel, will therefore be back in Las Vegas, they who had been called pale during the previous edition.

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For the first time, the CES has set itself a theme for this edition, that of “human security for all”. A way to move away from gadgets, which have made its reputation, to demonstrate now that technology can be at the service of humanity’s major challenges: ecology, access to food, health. “This is the big change in this edition”claims Kinsey Fabrizio, vice-president of the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), the organizer of the show.

An exhibitor demonstrates the OneThird Avocado Maturity Checker, prior to the start of the consumer electronics show, Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023, in Las Vegas, Nevada.  The device is designed to give the best moment when the avocado is ready to be eaten, without damaging it.

200 French start-ups

A finding shared, in part, by Thomas Husson, an analyst at Forrester. “It is a pivot that the CES has been trying to achieve for several years now: to become the high mass of innovation in the broad sense, including in terms of artificial intelligence or robotics. Laws passed in the United States, such as the Inflation Reduction Act [qui visent à accroître la souveraineté du pays dans des secteurs stratégiques], should generate, among other things, growing interest in “sustainable” innovation, batteries or carbon capture and storage technologies. »

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