2013 International CES Preview Looks At Tech Trends
January 7, 2013 at 2:58 PM (PT)
The annual INTERNATIONAL CES welcomed the media for its pre-show press events starting SUNDAY (1/6) at the MANDALAY BAY resort and casino in LAS VEGAS, and CONSUMER ELECTRONICS ASSOCIATION Chief Economist and Senior Dir. of Research SHAWN DUBRAVAC started the proceedings with his annual State of the Consumer Tech Industry and CES Trends to Watch speech, telling the assembled reporters about trends to follow in 2013, part of what he called the "second digital decade."
DUBRAVAC said that the industry is entering a "post-smartphone era" in which telephony is becoming secondary to data services and smartphones and tablets becoming hubs and interfaces for other technology, an "age of algorithms" with more information becoming digitized and "sensorized" through technologies that track everything from payments to posture ("data is the new currency," DUBRAVAC asserted), "contextual connectivity" aided by the increased use of the "second screen" to enhance entertainment and information options, and the introduction of "Ultra HD" (which he noted won't be common for consumers for some time) as well as a "digital-to-analog transition," with digitized information being re-converted to "analog" form with such innovations as 3-D printers.
CEA Director of Industry Analysis STEVE KOENIG and GfK's STEVE BAMBRIDGE followed DUBRAVAC's talk with an overview of global consumer electronics trends for 2013, and while KOENING asserted that the global market is "bigger than ever," he and BAMBRIDGE nevertheless noted that provisional 2012 figures show overall sales down 1% after a few years of strong growth spurred by sales in developing markets.
"We're no longer talking about double-digit growth," KOENIG said, adding that the trend towards developing markets continues and that INDONESIA and THE PHILIPPINES are among growth areas to watch.
SUNDAY's proceedings included the "CES Unveiled" press event, once again a crowded and noisy bazaar of items being demonstrated and finger food and drink being dispensed to the media in attendance.
Amidst fitness gadgets, new LENOVO laptops, a "talking stylus" combining a Bluetooth speaker and mic with a stylus, "smart utensils" tracking your eating habits and offering haptic feedback -- vibration -- when you eat too fast, and flying toys, GENERAL MOTORS showed off the latest version of its MyLink dashboard system with new apps allowing iPhone users to access Siri (and hear and send text messages) through the radio and a Bluetooth button on the steering wheel, as well as adding TUNEIN; FELT AUDIO demonstrated a new Bluetooth speaker that clips onto the back of iPhone, iPod, and iPad; LA CROSSE had a model (but not a working version) of an emergency weather radio with the capability to sound an alarm and turn on when natural disasters strike, and 3M offered an 84-inch touch-screen tabletop display in Ultra HD.
ALL ACCESS VP/News-Talk-Sports Editor PERRY MICHAEL SIMON, a veteran CES attendee, is in LAS VEGAS for the show and will be offering reports from selected events and the floor in NET NEWS, including MONDAY's Press Day event.