After New Year's eve, the most anticipated January event is certainly the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada, this year scheduled for next week, from Tuesday, January 8-11. Smith will have some of our leading commodity managers and professionals on the floor and we will be reporting daily all week, with pre-show news starting Monday, January 7th, and provide numerous blogs in this space as well as regular tweets (follow us @smithweb) daily during the show.
In anticipation of the show, there is, of course, much hype around the trending market sectors that have and that are hoped to garner the greatest consumer interest during 2013+. Notably, automotive infotainment has in the past couple of years been increasing in presence with fully tech-loaded cars on display, choosing to launch these innovations at CES rather than waiting for the major auto shows. This year is set to continue this trend both as it has proven positive for the auto industry but also because of the consistent and important increases in semiconductor and electronics content growth in vehicles. Perhaps the most highlighted tech-auto innovation recently has been the "driverless cars" that truly debuted last year and underscore the extent to which electronics is improving driving experiences on multiple levels (e.g., assisted driving for special needs, safety, navigation, etc.).
This year at CES, the automotive representation will certainly be showcasing the important safety, fuel-efficiency, accessories, and infotainment options. Many of these advances come directly out of the growth of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), which will also be represented by the MEMS Industry Group (MIG), presenting a dynamic mini-conference program and a Tech-Zone.
Health & fitness prominent
Alongside of automotive, one of the other quickly growing market sectors is the electronic health and fitness industry, and so expectations are high for exciting, innovative products, services, and new designs. 280 exhibitors will represent this sector at CES next week, which underscores the importance and dynamic nature of what is happening in electronic health & fitness. Beyond digital patient records, the advances in wearable and implantable health solutions are exciting and promise to extend the reach of patient care to both rural and in-home locations, improving preventative care, patient monitoring, and reducing hospitalization and recurrent events. As this field continues to grow, and devices, services and various solutions expand for those interested in fitness and importantly for patients and healthcare providers, we expect to see a positive cycle in 2013 as this market gains momentum. What we will see at CES will certainly point towards the specifics of these growth projections.
The field is wide and deep but wireless reigns
While over 3,000 exhibitors will present their latest products, content, and innovations, the market sectors can be whittled down to a more manageable set that bespeaks the weighted importance of those sectors in today's CE market: wireless devices, audio, computer hardware & software, video, electronic gaming, and automotive, in decreasing order of representation. Not surprisingly, wireless is the reigning sector in terms of square feet of show space as well as number of exhibitors. This representation, of course, reflects the intense market demand and success experienced by this sector during 2012, especially, and forecasted continued strong and expanding growth in 2013.
Stay tuned for next week's posts live from CES; starting on Monday, with pre-show discussions followed by live, multiple tweets and blogs each day from the floor.