CES 2015 – The Annual Technology Extravaganza hits Las Vegas on January 6th
There are two things you can always count on the 1st week in January; New Year’s resolutions to lose weight and CES International. CES 2015, the annual consumer technology event held in Las Vegas, runs from Jan. 6 to 9 and is expected to attract over 160,000 attendees. There will be over 3500 firms exhibiting their latest products and new technologies along with numerous keynotes and presentations “showcasing the future” of consumer technology.
Exhibitors have been hinting at their planned CES announcements for weeks and it would be impossible to highlight them all in a short blog post. To help you plan your time at the show, we can take a quick look at some of the technologies and products segments that should make headlines this year.
Personal Computing Technology
While in the past, the personal computing technology focus was on laptop hardware and software, today it’s all about smartphones, tablets and wearables. Of course, smartphones and tablets have been big CES topics for several years, but according to a recent Berg Insight report, about 19 million wearable devices shipped in 2014 and you can expect this area to explode at CES this year. Wearables will have their own CES Marketplace (previously called TechZones) at this year’s show.
Several smartphone companies, including established vendors such as Samsung, LG and Sony plus new companies (at least to the smartphone market) such as Xiaomi (China’s hot smartphone manufacturer) and Kodak (yes, that Kodak), have indicated that they will make major smartphone announcements and the keynote address by Samsung CEO Boo-Keun Yoon on Monday should be on your personal show agenda.
With the launch of the Apple Watch last October causing a huge increase in consumer interest, other smartwatch vendors can be expected to make numerous announcements in an attempt to counter Apple’s momentum. One trend to be on the lookout for is watches that look like, well, watches – not small, square computers that sit like a lump on your wrist. Another keynote to attend is the one by Intel’s new CEO, Brian Krzanich. In addition to the familiar comments on chip technology, expect Mr. Krzanich to comment on the Internet of Things and Intel’s recent partnership with watchmaker Fossil and the rumored announcement of an Intel-powered watch by Swiss watchmaker TAG Heuer.
Cars made their first appearance (Audi, Ford, Toyota and Mercedes-Benz have been early exhibitors) at CES several years ago. In 2013, Audi demonstrated a self-driving, self-parking car that impressed everyone. This year there will be more vendors in the automotive electronics area (including Volkswagen and BMW) and you can expect “connected car” technology to be very visible at this year’s CES. BMW plans to show self-parking technology that uses a smartwatch app!
There is also a Vehicle Intelligence Marketplace where vendors (Bosch, Delphi, HERE, Movimento, Veleo) will be featuring technologies that support the future of autonomous driving, including functions such as parking assist, collision avoidance and emergency braking.
If you are interested in this area, there are several keynote addresses you will want to attend (speakers from Mercedes-Benz, FORD and General Motors) and 4 panel sessions (Tuesday: Beyond the Connected Car, Wednesday: 4G and the Connected Car and Eye on Automotive Technology, Thursday: Drive Safely with the CE Industry). These sessions may require an additional payment in order to attend.
You can expect drones to be buzzing around all over CES 2015. And we’re not just talking about drones that deliver Amazon packages. Unmanned systems are being used in sports, travel, real estate, search and rescue, law enforcement and disaster relief. There’s an all new Unmanned Systems Marketplace at CES 2015 with 15 vendors to inform and WOW you.
…And Much More
As I said, CES is much too big to describe in a short blog. Perennial topics (such as TVs, Cameras, Personal Computers, Accessories, Gaming, Virtual Reality, Internet of Things, Sensors, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.) will all be there. The one thing that is key to surviving CES is (drum roll please) – a little preparation. Spend some time (preferably with your show program and an internet connection) to research what’s going on at this year’s show and plan your time. A Google search for “CES 2015 what to expect” will turn up lots of items (like this blog post) for you to review. And don’t forget some of the fun stuff. Here’s the link to the CES Party List!