CES: New Trends to Watch
By Kurt Scherf, Contributor
Although I covered the major trends that I read about at CES, there are far too many subjects to cover in one blog. Other themes that were present at CES included:
- The continuing evolution of personal storage devices (flash drives and network-attached storage).
- Autonomous (self-driving) cars on display from major manufacturers.
- 3D printers may not today be positioned as must-have devices for every consumer, but they are becoming more affordable and certainly positioned for growth for manufacturing, engineering, and other businesses where their renderings will be useful.
- There were interesting thoughts about the future of “crowdsourcing” startups. Although ventures such as Pebble Technology and GameStick seemed to have successfully used Kickstarter to successfully fund themselves, there are many questions about the future of how this type of funding will work going forward;
- Gaming at CES focused on ultra-cheap and portable alternatives to the game console (GameStick and OUYA), the extension of PC gaming to the mobile environment via NVIDIA’s Project Shield, and a tablet specifically designed for high-end gaming (the Razer Edge Pro).
- Wi-Fi technology to watch in 2013 includes 802.11ac (5 GHz, 1 Gbps), 802.11ad (60 GHz, 7 Gbps), and Miracast. Just before CES, the Wi-Fi Alliance announced that it was unifying with the Wireless Gigabit Alliance. This will certainly move 60 GHz products faster into the market.
- The many different types of robots on display at CES (from so-called “Telepresence Robots” such as Beam from Suitable Technologies, VGo, and Double Robotics shows that we’ve come a long way since the Sony AIBO! There is a good article here comparing the different robots.
- Finally, I had seen some clumsy demonstrations of brain-controlled games at the 2012 CES. This year, it seemed like the solutions have become more refined and functional, although there is still some silliness associated with this technology. The Puzzlebox Orbit Brain-controlled helicopter and the Necomimi Brainwave Cat Ears from NeuroSky received a good deal of press attention.
CES showcased a consumer electronics industry that is constantly on the move. Either through incremental or revolutionary improvements, the industry continues to develop solutions to meet the demands of consumers as they embrace the digital lifestyle.
Kurt Scherf, Contributor, has attended 13 out of the last 14 Consumer Electronics Shows in Las Vegas and tracked the news and developments remotely this year. According to the Consumer Electronics Association, the 2013 CES was the largest in terms of physical space (1.92 million square feet), with attendance of more than 150,000, with 35,000 people from 170 countries outside the U.S. While plenty of column space was dedicated to the companies that weren’t in attendance in an official capacity (Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, and Research In Motion, to name a few), there is always enough excitement in the new year about consumer electronics developments to cover.
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