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Redefining Reality: A Glimpse into AR, VR and XR's Future at CES 2024

Updated: Nov 16, 2023

A Great CES, Is A Prepared CES

CES 2024, the most powerful tech event in the world, is scheduled to take place from January 9-12 in Las Vegas. This event is a proving ground for breakthrough technologies and global innovators, where brands get business.

The event is expected to surpass the CES 2023 footprint and number of attendees, exhibitors, and global media. The anticipated numbers for CES 2024 include over 130,000 attendees, more than 1,000 startups within Eureka Park, and over 3,500 exhibitors.

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) has long provided a glimpse into the future of technology. CES 2024 is set to unveil exciting new innovations in augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and other immersive technologies that will redefine how we engage with the digital landscape. From major product unveilings to experimental concepts, here are the top AR, VR, and immersive tech trends to anticipate at CES 2024.

Sleek, Lightweight AR Smart Glasses

One highly expected category at CES 2024 will be AR smart glasses. Leading companies like Apple, Google, Facebook, Snap, and more are poised to reveal slimmer, lighter, and more stylish AR glasses.

Apple's next-generation AR glasses are rumored to take cues from standard prescription frames with a lightweight build and lenses. Built-in micro-LED displays will permit bright, vivid visuals. The glasses will likely connect to iPhones to deliver notifications, maps, and other key smartphone utilities through AR overlays. Note: Apple will not be present at CES!

Facebook's partnership with Ray-Ban spawned the first wave of smart AR glasses in 2023. At CES 2024, Facebook will likely preview more refined versions aimed at mass appeal. Expect capabilities like viewing social media feeds and capturing AR photos and videos.

With AR glasses replacing smartphones as our portal to the digital environment, companies are racing to develop the optimal form factor balancing portability, battery life, and capabilities. CES 2024 promises major strides toward mainstream viability.

AR Glasses becoming more mainstream
AR Glasses becoming more mainstream

Cutting-Edge VR Headsets

VR headsets have progressed tremendously since the bulky early prototypes. CES 2024 will likely see companies stretch the boundaries of comfort, visual clarity, and processing capacity.

Sony's PlayStation VR 2, and possible successors and/or upgrades, will demonstrate the future of consumer VR with 4K HDR displays, advanced eye tracking and haptic feedback. This will be the new gold standard for immersive VR gaming.

Microsoft's HoloLens exemplifies the company's focus on AR applications for business and consumer uses, showcasing the potential of AR in enhancing real-world interactions.

Facebook (Meta) will be showcasing its lighter, higher-resolution VR headset MetaQuest Pro. It incorporates cameras that pass real-world video into the VR experience for mixed reality applications.

Magic Leap will likely present the most immersive enterprise AR device. Magic Leap 2 maintains its users’ actual view of their working environment while seamlessly integrating intelligent, behaviorally realistic digital content within their field of view.

VR headset capabilities will help expand VR and AR experiences
VR headset capabilities will help expand VR and AR experiences

Holographic Communication Comes To Life

CES has always showcased conceptual technologies that feel ahead of their time. In recent years, several firms have exhibited holographic communication – reminiscent of Princess Leia's iconic hologram in Star Wars.

2024 may finally be the year these concepts materialize into real products. Imagine having a face-to-face conversation with someone across the world, with their holographic likeness transmitted right into your living room. Motion capture technology has now improved to the point where holograms can accurately mimic facial expressions and body language.

5G networks can now support the massive bandwidth required for streaming these holographic calls. Expect CES demonstrations of holographic communication apps that make this sci-fi staple a reality. The potential for remote collaboration and staying connected with faraway loved ones is tremendous.

Immersive Concert and Event Experiences

The COVID-19 pandemic underscored the unparalleled excitement of attending concerts and events in-person. Concurrently, virtual shared experiences represent the future of digital bonding.

CES 2024 will likely showcase how hybrid experiences can integrate physical and digital domains. Companies are building AR/VR technology to simulate everything from music festivals to conferences as a shared virtual arena.

Envision attending a real concert, then donning AR glasses to see the same show from different angles or access VIP viewing areas. Perhaps the headliner does an acoustic VR-only encore performance.

The ultimate vision is removing divides between in-person and virtual attendees. Technology to seamlessly merge physical and digital could reinvent live events altogether.

Since pandemic Virtual Concerts are more and more a reality
Since pandemic Virtual Concerts are more and more a reality

VR Goes Beyond Gaming

Gaming remains the highest-profile application for VR technology. However, at CES 2024, companies will likely demonstrate how VR can reshape other aspects of life.

A major emphasis will be enterprise applications, like training. Virtual simulations already prime pilots and surgeons; soon they may prepare everyone from retail employees to equipment operators. VR training reduces costs and mistakes compared to real-world practice.

In fitness, VR apps are arising to make workouts more engaging and immersive. Imagine taking a cycling class through exotic locales without leaving your living room.

VR meditation apps are also gaining traction to promote relaxation and mitigate stress. VR may soon empower homebuyers to tour prospective houses remotely. The possibilities abound.

VR use for meditation - one of many applications
VR use for meditation - one of many applications

Upgraded Motion Control

Hand tracking and gesture control have long shown potential to revolutionize interfaces. Current solutions mostly employ cameras to track hands and can sometimes lack precision.

At CES 2024, expect refinements like gloves with haptic feedback. These will let you feel sensations of touch and grip when interacting with virtual objects. Force feedback adds a new dimension of realism.

Wristbands represent another solution for tracking hands and fingers. Combining inputs like pinch gestures and hand motions enables more intuitive manipulation of both AR and VR settings. It moves beyond stationary controllers.

This technology will blur the boundaries between physical and digital worlds. Precise hand tracking may finally realize the seamless input modality we've long envisioned.

Gesture control adds to VR and AR expriences
Gesture control adds to VR and AR expriences

AR Gets Practical

So far, many AR applications have been centered on entertainment and games. But practical use cases are rising to demonstrate AR's immense value. CES 2024 will highlight advances in interfaces, shopping, navigation, and more.

AR will be increasingly integrated with smartphones to deliver real-time contextual data overlays based on your environment - think location-aware maps and prompts.

Shopping is a killer AR app – imagine evaluating furniture fit at home or virtually trying on clothes. AR could furnish object dimensions and details when you scan any item in a store.

AR navigation directions overlaid in your line of sight can keep drivers' eyes on the road. AR will amplify collaboration by projecting remote participants into a real-world view.

AR enhancing shopping experiences
AR enhancing shopping experiences

Voice Control Meets AR/VR

Voice technology like Alexa and Siri enables hands-free device control. Blending voice commands with AR and VR signifies a natural evolution of these systems’ capabilities – and a more cohesive interface.

CES 2024 demos will likely showcase voice control to boost AR experiences. For instance, simply stating “display map” could summon a route overlay on smart glasses. Voice removes the need to pause and tap a small screen.

In VR, voice control paves the way for more immersive simulations by minimizing distractions. First responders, for example, could access critical data verbally during VR training without breaking focus. Voice streamlines interfaces.

Tactile Haptics

Haptic technology providing tactile feedback has been integral to VR controllers for years. At CES 2024, more advanced and flexible haptics may finally hit the mainstream.

Glove controllers will let users feel solid objects, textures, and forces when engaging with VR settings. Suits will simulate sensations like wind, heat, and being struck by objects.

Haptics can also harness vibrating feedback – imagine a VR tennis game where your racket vibrates when you hit the ball. Or a VR coaster mimicking the rattle of the tracks. The sensory cues heighten realism.

More contact points with the physical environment reinforce VR experiences. Sophisticated haptics may propel total immersion.

AI Enhances AR/VR

Behind the curtain, artificial intelligence and machine learning will enable greater realism and usefulness for AR and VR. CES 2024 exhibitors will likely flaunt how AI can:

  • Generate highly detailed simulated environments, avatars and objects for VR based on massive data sets. Virtual and reality are converging.

  • Allow AR glasses to contextually deliver relevant data tailored to the user based on behaviors and preferences.

  • Rapidly parse visual data from cameras to identify people, objects, and settings and overlay contextual AR information.

  • Comprehend natural language voice instructions, enabling seamless voice control of AR/VR systems.

AI and machine learning will empower AR and VR to adapt on the fly based on user data and context. This unlocks hyper-personalized and intuitive experiences.

XR Delivers the Best of All Worlds

CES 2024 will likely spotlight innovations harnessing the best facets of AR, VR and mixed reality (MR) into extended reality (XR) experiences.

XR headsets incorporate features like outward-facing cameras to blend real-world visuals and audio with virtual UI overlays and settings. Hand and controller tracking enable natural gestures and engagement.

This fuses the real with the virtual for new interactive and social capabilities. Envision workplace tools combining virtual presence with augmented views of physical spaces. Or a theme park ride mixing AR, VR and real motion.

As hardware and software progress, the boundaries between technologies like AR and VR will blur into true XR. CES 2024 offers a sneak preview of these exciting mergers.

XR is becoming a reality
XR is becoming a reality

Conclusion: An Exponential Leap Ahead

CES has continually provided a glimpse into the future. And in the exponentially advancing AR/VR space, CES 2024 represents a quantum leap ahead. The lessons and validation of the 2021 metaverse hype cycle will drive real progress toward hardware, software and experiences that enrich our world in the years to come.

From realistic visuals to intuitive controls to multiplayer connection, these technologies are achieving new heights of sophistication. But the common thread is enhancing how we interact with data and each other. The brilliance of AR, VR and XR is not just the tech alone - but thoughtfully applying technology to reflect and expand our lives and relationships.

CES 2024 will demonstrate the tremendous creative potential of immersive tech. And for early adopters, that future peek is the real magic of CES. For those waiting on the sidelines for AR, VR and XR’s inflection point – well, the future may be here sooner than you think.

In Closing…. Next Steps

This article has hopefully provided a useful highlight overview of the tech trends to watch in AR and VR heading into CES 2024. To dive deeper into these innovations and develop strategies to leverage them, and to tailor your CES presence, book a FREE consultation with our CES specialist, Jan-Luc Blakborn (who will attend for the 26th time!) BOOK HERE:

If expanding your business operations into the US market is one of your goals, our broader team’s expertise can be of assistance. Do not hesitate to schedule a free call to discuss your USA expansion plans and how best to develop an effective market entry strategy, tailored to your business, following a successful CES.


See you at CES 2024 in Las Vegas!

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(USA Entry) Van Holland Group:

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