CES 2023: Capturing attention with experiential technology

As it always has over the past 56 years, CES 2023 brought together the biggest names in the tech industry to showcase the latest innovations and offer a glimpse into the future of technology. Here’s a look at some of our favorite finds in the consumer and B2B spaces, and how to use these innovations in healthcare marketing.  

Using new tech to capture attention 

A new TV now wirelessly streams content from your cable box or game console directly to your screen. Displace TV even managed to ditch the power cable entirely and run-on batteries that only need recharging monthly.  

CES also featured exciting developments in Transparent Screens, a technology that allows images to be displayed on clear surfaces. LG OLED T (T for transparent) made quite a showing, as did extremely large-scale transparent displays from Muxwave capable of displaying life-size people.  

A new generation of 3D Screens, also known as autostereoscopic displays, was showcased. Rather than 3D glasses, these screens use eye-tracking technology to create the illusion of depth, allowing for a more immersive viewing experience for gaming, design, and other applications. Our favorite was the 3D tablet from Leia because it’s user-friendly, plug-n-play with no extra setup.  

Other new technologies will help us interact with devices in brand new ways. Ultraleap created advanced hand-tracking technology for virtual reality, gaming, and industrial automation that uses cameras and sensors to track hand movements with high precision and low latency. Ultraleap demonstrated its haptic technology using ultrasonic waves to generate touch sensations in midair. Your hand hovers over the device and you literally feel the feedback. The groundbreaking OVR Ion2 showcased a “virtual smell” device, which adds scents to virtual interactions such as “virtual flower.”  

The arrival of augmented reality 

Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and the Metaverse were prominent again this year (although not nearly as much as the metaverse dominated last year). Highlights included the new HTC Vive XR Elite – a high-end standalone VR headset that features full-color video pass-through, allowing it to function as both an AR and a VR device.  

The Magic Leap 2 is a lightweight wearable computer with advanced mixed-reality technology that recently pivoted from a consumer to a B2B strategy. The Magic Leap 2 is IEC 60601 certified, which clears it for use "in an operating room and other clinical settings." It offers a wide field of view, high-resolution display, and blends digital content seamlessly into the user's environment. 

A truly great Metaverse use case was Sony’s Manchester City Metaverse World – a virtual recreation of Etihad Stadium and its players. This is not a videogame, but a real re-creation of the actual game based on players’ movements scanned by Sony’s Hawkeye System. Users experience the game from anywhere, including stands, sidelines or from the perspective of the players themselves.  

One of the most eye-catching activations was the UnReal Ride at the Nikon booth. It features a virtual production setup similar to that used to create TV shows like the Mandalorian. A robotically controlled camera, LED video wall, and real-time computer graphics all work together to create the most killer photobooth ever seen. The tech was provided by VU Studios

With the growing capabilities of AR devices, as well as the rumored upcoming release of an Apple AR headset, mass adoption of augmented reality could be closer than we think. 

How to use these innovations 

These new technologies offer experiential opportunities that your customers likely haven’t seen before. Transparent screens, robots, virtual production and photobooths may certainly help capture interest at your next conference. However, we urge you to use them in a way that delivers incremental value rather than simply capitalizing on their novelty.  

Questions to consider in maximizing the impact of these technologies: 

  • Can VR drive empathy by placing physicians in patients’ shoes?  

  • Can a 3D display better communicate a visual through the addition of depth? Can it help your sales rep better tell a story? 

  • Can haptics be used to provide feedback that enhances the navigation of an experience, better guiding the user or influencing their decisions? 

  • Can AR devices provide more information about the physical world to drive behavior change among physicians or patients? 


By Desiree Barreras, Director, Media Strategy at SOLVE(D); Matt Hall, Director, Content Creation at StudioRx; Franklin Williams, Director, Experience Design at AREA 23; and Ben Zanghi, Director, Experience Design at McCann Health New Jersey