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Quantum Computing Lives Behind the Scene at CES 2024

While not high on the agenda, expect technology and use case announcements

Berenice Baker

December 15, 2023

3 Min Read
Steve Koenig, Consumer Technology Association vice president of research.
Steve Koenig named quantum computing a tech trend to watch at CES. Consumer Technology Association

Quantum computing is everywhere, with the mainstream press reporting technical and use-case breakthroughs weekly. Quantum has even permeated popular culture, featuring in both the Marvel and DC Universes, as well as Black Mirror and even Meg 2.

However, one place where it is hard to track down is on the agenda of CES 2024, taking place in Las Vegas Jan. 9-12. Despite quantum computing being one of its featured product categories, searching for it on the event site returns the electronic equivalent of tumbleweed.

On the face of it, the reason would seem obvious – the C in CES stands for consumer. One of the largest shows of its kind – last year it boasted more than 115,000 attendees – CES sets the agenda for the technology the public will talk about and the industry hopes to sell to them in the year ahead.

Most experts see quantum computers being years away from being commercial, let alone for consumer consumption. No one will be pushing a shopping cart around the event with a golden quantum chandelier and cryogenics unit. Quantum computing has made huge strides in hardware capabilities and use cases in 2023, but to call it a consumer technology would challenge even the most optimistic technophile.

Nevertheless, quantum computing featured high on the agenda at CES in previous years. IBM chose CES 2019 to unveil its breakthrough System One device at the 2019 event, which at the time was hailed as the first commercial quantum computer.

Related:Bosch Goes All-In on Sensors at CES 2023

Last year, Bosch announced how it is exploring quantum sensing and announced its partnership with IBM to use quantum computing to find alternatives to the rare earth metals it uses in its carbon-neutral powertrains. Quantum computing was also one of the four enterprise technologies named as a tech trend for 2023 by Steve Koenig, Consumer Technology Association vice president of research.

While the industry has begun to deliver practical use cases and the timeline for achieving true quantum advantage has come down by a decade, the limits of current noisy, intermediate-scale quantum (NISQ) devices are well recognized.

However, while not getting top billing at CES 2024, quantum computing will inevitably be an important topic at the event, most likely its transformative capabilities for other technologies. One of the most important of these is AI, specifically 2023’s media darling, generative AI.

Many of the technology giants attending – IBM, Google, AWS, Microsoft and Intel to name a few – are investing heavily in quantum. It would be an unwise gambler who would bet money against these heavy hitters showcasing their quantum breakthroughs. Many of the end-user companies delivering keynotes are exploring quantum computing now or are likely to make announcements soon – Walmart, Hyundai and Qualcomm, for example.

That’s not to say wider quantum technology won’t feature on the show floor. Quantum dots are behind a new generation of super-high-resolution televisions, especially those optimized for the rigorous demands of gaming. One of the CES 2024 innovation award honorees is SQK’s Super Quantum Simulator. And concern about quantum computers being able to break public key encryption means quantum-resilient cybersecurity products are likely to feature.

While technology companies are holding their cards close to their chests about any quantum computing announcements they plan to make at CES 2024, it is very likely some big stories will break. Check back in January for Enter Quantum’s coverage.  

About the Author(s)

Berenice Baker

Editor, Enter Quantum

Berenice is the editor of Enter Quantum, the companion website and exclusive content outlet for The Quantum Computing Summit. Enter Quantum informs quantum computing decision-makers and solutions creators with timely information, business applications and best practice to enable them to adopt the most effective quantum computing solution for their businesses. Berenice has a background in IT and 16 years’ experience as a technology journalist.

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