Trends Talk Opens Preliminaries At International CES
January 6, 2014 at 3:47 AM (PT)
Calling the present "the third Industrial Revolution," CONSUMER ELECTRONICS ASSOCIATION Chief Economist and Dir./Research SHAWN G. DUBRAVAC launched this year's INTERNATIONAL CES with his annual talk on consumer electronics trends on SUNDAY afternoon at the MANDALAY BAY casino resort in LAS VEGAS.
The new revolution, he said, is geared towards "mass customization," starting with on-demand T-shirt and novelty companies like CAFE PRESS to customized stamps to customizing clothing and, now, the accelerated growth of the nascent 3D printing market; even features are being customized, he noted, citing AMAZON's live on-screen technical assistance on the Kindle Fire tablet. DUBRAVAC pointed out the transition from desktop to mobile computing to mobile devices to, now, customized wearable devices like fitness monitors and other items that are gaining rapid adoption and are likely to be a major theme of this year's convention.
DUBRAVAC also noted "multidimensional screen expansion," the addition of devices fitting into new screen size and resolution categories, down to smart watches and up to the over-100-inch television screens. He added, however, that technologies shown at CES fall into two categories, the technically feasible and the commercially viable; he pointed out that some of the former eventually become the latter, although it may take time. Among DUBRAVAC's projections are that Ultra HD television shipments will grow to about 485,000 in 2014 and nearly 3 million by 2017; smartwatches to go from almost 600,000 in the U.S. in 2013 to a million by the end of this year and over 2.5 million in 2017.
A third trend cited by DUBRAVAC is an "age of autonomy," with sensors and accelerometers embedded in more consumer devices, automobiles moving closer to self-driving with features like lane-keeping systems and parallel parking assistance, and more devices of all kinds becoming Internet-enabled and moving consumers to a more intuitive Internet experience with constant dynamic interaction. And DUBRAVAC discussed how systems are being buttressed by curation and context services built around them, such as NETFLIX's recommendation system and how it could conceivably use other information from other sources -- including stress sensors and information about everyone in a room -- to make the recommendation results more robust.
CEA Dir./Industry Analysis STEVE KOENIG followed with his overview of the global technologies market, looking at CHINA's flattening GDP growth, INDIA's GDP improvement, and low growth in JAPAN (while the U.S. shows promising signs). He said that the trend is seeing the global tech market slightly falling from 2013's small growth as smartphone and tablet category growth moves towards low-end devices.
MONDAY will be Press Day at CES, with several manufacturers holding their annual press presentations at the MANDALAY BAY convention rooms, while some panels, including sessions on digital music and Internet radio and the SONY press conference, will take place at the LAS VEGAS CONVENTION CENTER.