It’s that time of year again, when many of us in tech migrate to that massive gathering of 200,000 to experience the newest, shiniest, and most bleeding-edge [and sometimes wacky] consumer gear ever thought up.
We've been seduced by this show for years, and by every measure, the size, scope, length of taxi lines—and our sore feet—prove it. It's morphed from a pure consumer-product show to more of a statement on what's possible, as crowd-funded startups compete with the "big boys."
The big CES players have also swerved from traditional consumer electronics (CE) manufacturers; now including the major automakers, as our wheels become a tech tour de force, integrated with our wearables and home networks.
Thousands of displaying companies, showing tens-of-thousands of products, across nearly 3 million square feet of actual booth space. It was all there: the latest in 8K resolution video, and just about everything else consumer electronics related, from conversational voice control to diamond encrusted iPhone X cases (really!). It doesn't stop there: drones by the hundreds, self-driving concept cars (even a personal helicopter), including video displays that roll out like wrapping paper.
Artificial intelligence (AI)? Yup.
One trend we’re not so fond of on the AI front: saying anything that runs an algorithm has AI. Thanks for nothing, marketers! Real AI actually learns, refining its processes to do better the next time.
Most consumer electronics products may be smart, like your voice assistant, or “smart” TV, but true AI? The term is getting thrown around pretty liberally these days. As industry analyst Simon Bryant put it, “devices may well be smart and/or intelligent, but that doesn’t mean they are AI.”
Other Futuristic Trends
- Internet of Things or IoT? Tons to see and talk about.
- Virtual reality?
- Augmented reality (VR/AR)?
CES 2018 officially wrapped earlier this month, after dazzling the world with a glimpse into the future.
More than 3,900 exhibitors showcased world-changing technologies that spanned more than 2.75 million net square feet of exhibit space across Las Vegas - the largest show floor in CES' 51 year history.
There were 860,732 tweets about CES 2018 and 450,554 uses of the #CES2018 hashtag.
From major international brands to the more than 900 startups participating, CES 2018 truly reflected the vibrant global tech industry. We encourage massive doses of skepticism. Of the start-ups from the 2017 show, only about 35% are still with us. Start-ups are not for the timid.
Water faucets that talked to refrigerators, which keep track of train schedules—the size and breadth of what is shown at this geekly burlesque is just jaw-droppingly dumbfounding.
We know many of you have seen or heard about a product or two, perhaps a technology that piqued some interest, know that we are your technology sentinels, and can patiently explain or even source what you desire (if available).
Caught during the show: We're all used to having our projector screens roll up. If LG has its way, we'll soon be rolling up TVs too, and from the bottom up!