CES 2023: Virtual World to be Consumer, Community Driven

This year will bring increased “frictionless technology,” which will reduce consumer confusions surrounding new tech, CES heard.

CES 2023: Virtual World to be Consumer, Community Driven
Photo of Mary Hamilton, managing director of Accenture

LAS VEGAS, January 4, 2023 – Developers of extended reality – “XR” – media should prioritize accessibility and community building, panelists told an audience at the Consumer Electronics Show 2023 on Wednesday.

The year 2023 will bring increased “frictionless technology,” which will reduce consumers’ confusions surrounding new tech, said Brian Weiner, CEO of the advertising and marketing firm the Illusion Factory, echoing a recurring sentiment in the panel discussion. Ever more people are participating in the virtual world, which, according to panelists, is an outlet for entertainment, commerce, health care, and community building.

The industry should “think about the human part of the experience in all of this,” said Mary Hamilton, managing director of tech company Accenture. “Thinking about the human at the core…is what’s really key,” Hamilton added. Speaking at a Broadband Breakfast Live Online event Wednesday, Bryan Reimer, a research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, advocated innovation that makes sense to consumers and compliments natural human behavioral patterns.

“If you’re a brand, start by being a consumer, think about brands that you really like to engage with,” Weiner said, adding that brands should “keep looking for every opportunity you can to make impressions on a consumer that have value – to build long-term loyalty, to build a relationship – that is what’s going to carry you long term.”

Jon Vlassopulos, CEO of music streaming service Napster, predicted an imminent uptick in communal – rather than isolated – virtual experiences.

“The last 20 years have been fairly solo and individualistic,” he said. “So I think the next 20 years [are going to be] more community driven.”