With CES around the corner and all eyes from the consumer tech industry focused on the event, we unpack the CES trends to watch for 2022. Air taxis, a focus on sustainability and space as the final commercial frontier are among the trends expected to feature.
As CES 2022 debuts a Space Tech category and big tech players bet on space as the final commercial frontier, we expect to see significant innovations in space tourism, robotic capabilities, habitation proposals and newfound resources at CES 2022.
Fuelled by private players including US-based companies SpaceX, Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic, Space 2.0 is an industry projected to grow by over $1tn by 2030, with opportunities for space tourism and commercial partnerships breaking new ground.
While space exploration and habitation provide inspiration in product design, manufacturing and connectivity across industries, going to space also gives perspective on how consumers live on Earth and the products we might use to enhance human life, such as autonomous robots, 3D infrastructure and sustainable satellites.
Into the metaverse
Much has been said about the metaverse in recent weeks – a trend that WGSN forecasted back in 2018. Fast forward to 2022 and the metaverse, a collective virtual space that companies and creators are actively building across industries, has become a necessity for brands to consider and strategise for.
Next year is set to be a huge one for digital assets and avatar-first launches, starting at CES, which has launched a new NFT and Digital Assets Program for its 2022 edition. With innovations in AR/VR reshaping consumer experiences, and consumers tapping into digital realms to forge connections and overcome pandemic-induced isolation, technology companies are creating hardware and software that embraces metaverse realities. US-based Magic Leap and Niantic and China-based Huawei are key market players developing virtual worlds at scale, with the aim to grow digital commerce, gamification and 3D avatar economies.
Avatars, or digital twins, will allow consumers to try on new identities that might be truer versions of themselves, explored in software such as Estonia-based Ready Player Me and Wolf3D, and US-based IMVU.
Sustainability in focus
Sustainability in tech is set to be a key topic at CES 2022, with growing awareness of the environmental impact of electronics products increasing the pressure on consumer electronics brands to join the circular economy.
Alongside moonshot climate goals, recycled materials are likely to be a key area of focus for products. There may soon be mandates for recycling: in China, there is a target for 20% recycled content in all new products by 2025 and California has passed a bill mandating 25% PCR in plastic containers by 2025 and 50% by 2030. US brand HP responded to demand with the Elite Dragonfly laptop, the first computer to use ocean-bound plastic for the speakers and bezels. Japanese tech brand Sony uses SORPLAS (sustainable oriented recycled plastic) in products including its Bravia TVs, while Swedish brand Electrolux created a proof-of-concept vacuum cleaner made from 100% recycled and reused materials.
The WGSN team will be on the ground at CES, covering the key industry trends bubbling up as well as the tech developments shaping the future of the industry. WGSN Consumer Tech subscribers can access the full CES Trends to Watch report, as well as unrivalled consumer and lifestyle forecasts and inspiring product design direction.
To download the full report with our CES forecasts for 2022, click here.