Created on: January 09, 2013
Waterproof phones; smart forks to help limit overeating; translucent televisions; plant sensors with their own app that can tell you when they need fertilizer; devices that are half-tablet, half-phone; games for children with ADHD; digital golf coaches…these are just a fraction of the new devices on offer at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas right now. Some technology aficionados question whether the show is relevant. (Where’s Amazon? Microsoft? Google? Apple?) Yet, for the smaller, more innovative technology upstarts, the CES is where the future lies.
Even without the giants of technology present, some claim the show is too big. According to “Wired” magazine, there will be some “3,000 companies [that] will fill more than 1.9 million square feet of exhibit space. Then there’s all the action behind the scenes, the countless numbers of meetings, roundtables, and mini-expos in hotel suites and banquet rooms throughout the city.” More than 150,000 participants will be there, taking it all in.
What’s the attraction of CES?
With so much noise, so many announcements, so many new products vying for attention, just what is the attraction? In short, what CES offers is a place for innovative technology companies to display new ideas that aren’t already on the consumer’s radar screen.
It’s a place for innovation from emerging tech companies in the fields of fitness and healthcare, automotives, and those on the cutting-edge of areas like “gesture” technology to have a place to showcase the ideas of the future. In the words of “Wired,” “What used to be a show highlighting the stuff you’d see in Best Buy six months from now has become a place to glimpse the future and how it will shape our lives.”
Even more critical, it allows these creative forces to meet in one place for plenty of behind-doors meetings (saving executives the time and cost of flying around the globe by allowing them to congregate all in a single setting). Unlike any other venue, the CES offers insiders and journalists alike, “a sweeping view of the industry,” all in a very condensed period of time.
Themes and trends in 2013
Just what are the broad themes rocking the CES floor in 2013? According to Silicon Valley’s leading newspaper, five broad trends have emerged, including “cars that are becoming rolling computers,” higher hi-definition in both phones and TVs, more innovation in the field of video on demand, “more intuitive ways for consumers to interact with their gadgets,” and competition for digital advertising. The presumed front-runner this year in the digital advertising sector appears to be Yahoo, whose new CEO is attracting a lot of positive buzz for the company.
There is also a strong presence by Hollywood, with innovations such as “parrot drones” that shoot movies, drawing them in. Celebrities in attendance range from Snookie to Tebow, while more serious interest can be found from participants like Russell Simmons, who is talking up an all-digital Def Jam. Entertainers for the event include Maroon 5 and Will.i.am, among others.
Scheduled to run from January 8 to 11, with an estimated 20,000 new products on view, the 2013 CES is likely to continue its reign as one of the biggest and longest-lasting technology trade shows. There is sure to be something to delight everyone.
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