Strategizing CES 2017

Strategizing CES 2017

The International Consumer Electronics Show is enormous and at times overwhelming with more to see and absorb than anyone of us could manage, no matter how organized the approach.

We are often asked which areas of CES we are targeting for our forthcoming trip to the conference, so following is a summary of our intended approach, notwithstanding that we may detour as circumstances warrant.

The following is presented in alphabetical order:

Artificial intelligence – There is more AI than meets the eye in our lives “today.”  We will be looking for what is on the horizon as AI gains more traction in our lives.

Automotive – Having attended an overview tour of the LA Auto Show recently with a group of PWC alums, my interest in the CES auto section was piqued even more, driven in part, too, by the technology showcased last year.  We expect to see more on autonomous driving, alternative fuels, more fully integrated communications and entertainment technologies and the use of augmented reality and other display technologies to provide the driver (and to a lesser extent the passengers) with pertinent operating information.

Broadband/wireless connectivity – While we are still a few years away from the next generation of wireless, generally assumed to be 5G, I am expecting to see many more organizations from tech providers to telcos and device manufacturers, among many others, laying the groundwork of more powerful ways to connect to the internet and cloud services.  The recent spectrum auctions are just a part of the ongoing evolution of broadband and wireless connectivity and many companies such as DISH have been aggressively acquiring the spectrum.

Displays – In addition to the current or next generation TVs, displays are ubiquitous from our mobile devices/smartphones/tablets to very large devices, i.e. automobiles.  8K displays were a novelty a few years ago at CES, but will be more prevalent this year.  We are expecting to see a major increase in displays with high dynamic range (HDR) capabilities to a point where if not this year, then next, it will dominate

Expecting to see more voice and gesture controlled displays, many a part of the AI revolution that is in process.

Drones – With FAA regulations now being implemented, the entire drone market from enterprise to consumer will take off.  Already, drones are used in movie and TV production and Amazon has demonstrated a successful drone delivery program in the UK.  Safety is still an issue as companies along the value chain continue to aggressively roll out products and services.

Eureka Park – Startups have their own exhibition space at CES and we will visit that area as a priority as it is those companies that represent the future large scale exhibitors.  There are always innovative products and services exhibited at Eureka Park.

Major appliances – Many TV manufacturers have divisions that sell major appliances, all of which include sophisticated electronics . From refrigerators to ovens, stove tops and washers and dryers, these products continue to evolve as a part of the smart home environment

Mobile – Long a factor in commerce, the current holiday season demonstrated the sharp increase in mobile buying.  Smartphones have plateaued in growth in North America, so the growth is in the many services that our devices provide.  The tentacles of mobile will be seen throughout the exhibit halls, not just in the companies that manufacture phones, with increasing competition from Chinese brands.

Robotics – A few years ago, we named the Beam from Suitable Technologies as the CES innovative product of the year.  While the Beam is used for remote meetings/telecommuting, robotics’ impact on our lives is expected to grow exponentially in the coming years.  We will be looking for those new robotics applications, incorporating AI and other smarthome technologies, on the show floor.

Sensors – Sensor-y overload is a factor at CES, not just from the decibel level, but more to the point of the sheer number of sensors that surround us at home and in public places.  Long talked about but not implemented in any meaningful way will be those that are retail/bricks & mortar based, as retailers work to make the shopping experience more relevant in an increasingly online world.  IoE and IoT will dominate the show in many of the venues.

Virtual reality/augmented reality – These two technologies are distinctly different, but seem to always be grouped together.  As noted in Automotive, augmented reality based displays, from windshields to HMDs and next gen eyewear/spectacles will be exhibited throughout the show.  Enterprise AR has real possibilities with inroads already being made.

Wearables – Increasingly, wearables will be standalone products and in due time, not reliant on communicating with a smartphone on one’s person.


Following CES, we’ll report back with a newsletter of our observations.  During the show, check my Facebook and Twitter accounts for on the floor observations.

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