Watch CTA VP of research Steve Koenig’s full presentation here.
- The Consumer Technology Association thinks enterprise technology will drive innovation forward and help pull the US, if not the world, out of a recession. We’ll turn to robotics, AI, and the metaverse to deal with shortages of skilled workers and other things that have become scarce in the post-pandemic world.
- The CTA foresees both a “metaverse as a service” and a “metaverse of things.”
- US technology retail revenues will fall 2.4% to $485 billion in 2023 but remain $50 billion above pre-pandemic levels, despite a looming recession.
The Consumer Technology Association says the world is headed toward a metaverse of things — a combination of sensors in the real world internet of things (IoT) and the virtual world of the 3D internet.
“The metaverse is closer than you think,” said CTA VP of research Steve Koenig, opening the Consumer Electronics Show.
“Metaverse is still a speculative term,” he conceded. “But make no mistake, this is a real trend, just as the internet was a real trend in the early 1990s.”
Keonig said he expects businesses of all types to move beyond digital transformation into a new phase of automation and virtualization, where connected intelligence, quantum computing, autonomous systems and 5G industrial IoT applications will counter the shortage of skilled human workers.
“Twenty years ago, technology was the nice-to-have when it comes to business or the commercial enterprise. Today humans are the nice-to-have,” he said.
“The simple truth is, we can’t hire enough workers if we’re talking about skilled labor and knowledge workers. …Across the global economy, across every economic sector, businesses are struggling to find workers.”
The latest data from the CTA forecasts US technology retail revenues to fall 2.4% to $485 billion this year from $497 billion in 2022 and a peak of $512 billion in 2021. Despite an anticipated recession in the US and inflationary pressures, revenues will remain roughly $50 billion above pre-pandemic levels.
Consumer spending on gaming, video, audio and apps is a high spot and set to grow for the fifth straight year to generate $151 billion in consumer spending.
However, the CTA lowered expectations for sales of related hardware: laptops, LCD TVs, tablets, smartphones and gaming consoles. Despite flat overall TV sales, OLED TV is projected to add $2.3 billion in 2023 revenues as the industry focuses on premium products. As home gaming console sales slow, portable gaming models gain traction with consumers who are spending less time at home since the pandemic began. Portable gaming consoles will generate $1.5 billion in 2023, up 41% over 2022.
Koenig noted that shipping costs are coming down and shortages from the pandemic-induced supply chain maybe be abating.
“The bad news is we are moving from a chip shortage to potentially an oversupply,” Koenig said. “The downside risk of oversupply is we might see chip architectures deferred as we work through this inventory.”
Another growth spot is automotive technology where revenues are projected to rise 4% to $15.5 billion in 2023. Advances in battery technology have allowed producers of electric vehicles to offer increasingly consumer-friendly options, with companies including Panasonic, LG and other companies building infrastructure to support more battery production, the CTA said.
As reported by Lisa Johnston at Consumer Goods Technology, the CTA expect displays to take over vehicle dashboards, with the vehicle cabin serving as the convergence of entertainment and commerce thanks to the layering of 5G, vehicle wireless information exchange, and voice control.