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CES 2013: Pre-show Notes, Thoughts and Predictions


With the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show kicking off tomorrow, what should we expect to see this year from the giants in technology? A few words come to mind: Bigger. Faster. Stronger. Smarter. In this pre-CES post, I’ll expand on what we should expect to see from different industries and companies, as well as which products will be making waves this year.

TVs, TVs, TVs. Bigger, better, faster, clearer, and surprise – more expensive.  Samsung has already teased their new super-smart TV, and someone always brings out the new “biggest” and new “thinnest.” OLED and 4K are the buzz terms I have been hearing, but price is going to be restrictive. 3D technology (with and without glasses) is awesome, but content is still lacking.

Apps and companion apps. Gadgets now come with a supporting app, or interface to your bigger device to track your usage, results, or information from your new gadget, peripheral, toy, tool, etc.  Home devices, tablets, audio, video, cameras, printers, phones, appliances … whatever it is, it may have a supporting app that does something to enhance the overall user experience.

Streaming and wireless. Expect to see more wireless everything. Cameras, tablets, printers, streaming media players, set-top boxes, toys – gadgets that traditionally have wires now might not in the future…

Batteries and chargers. If the streaming and wireless predictions are correct, then the battery and charger segment of business will have to be in the mix one way or another…

Lightning accessories. Apple’s new standard connector should lead to an influx of new devices and peripheral products for the iPhone 5 and latest generations of the iPad. Chargers, docking stations, gadgets, and other devices need to be able to connect seamlessly, so even without Apple participating at CES, you can count on rows and rows of iPhone cases, Apple peripherals, Mac add-ons, and new Lightning connector accessories from companies big and small. The major players like Mophie and Griffin will be in full force, as will numerous start-ups.

Android tablets and phones. Expect even more devices to run the Android platform. Outside of Apple and Windows devices, it is currently the go-to operating system for a multitude of manufacturers. There is competition coming from the Linux based Ubuntu operating system, but continued Android gains may be a bigger threat to Microsoft and Apple than any of the chasing competition is to them…

Intel and Ultrabooks. Expect Intel to release a new version of the Ivy Bridge processor that leads to new Ultrabook designs and tablets. It will be a low-wattage, high-performance chip, and Intel will already have the major players lined up to build with it. Intel pushed the Ultrabook in 2012 non-stop, and though they won’t abandon that effort, they will try to expand it to more tablets and phones. With no official participation from Microsoft, Intel will take the majority of the foot-traffic in the Central Hall entryway.

Automotive. Audi will again be the leader in terms of technology driven interaction. Their recent agreements with STMicro and NXP show a dedication to the development of total technology solutions for their automobiles, just as their NVIDIA collaboration solidified their dashboard advancements a few years ago. There are 35 exhibitors claiming “electric car technology,” but less than a handful actually produce cars. However, there are over 350 exhibitors in the “automotive accessory” category, so I expect to see even more speakers, radios, lights and car gadgets fill the North Hall than actual cars. Then again, this is the Consumer Electronics Show, and not the Auto Show, so that actually does make sense. Expect other companies like Ford and Lexus to highlight their green initiatives and technology advancements, but look for Audi to once again command the automotive customers’ attention at CES 2013.

Biggest presence. Samsung, LG and Sony seem to have the most square footage, and their myriad products warrant all the floor space they consume. You can count on heavy foot traffic for these exhibitors just based on the raw size of their exhibits – throw in terrific products, and they are always near the top in terms of presence at CES. Intel again has the Central Hall prime entry location staked out, but expect the fun personal HD video company Go-Pro to enjoy their recent success and proximity to the Intel booth to garner plenty of attention as well.

Todd Traylor, Vice President, Global Trading
Written on Monday, 07 January 2013 09:23 by Todd Traylor, Vice President, Global Trading

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