Innovation and connectedness at CES

Danny Jacobs//January 7, 2015

Innovation and connectedness at CES

By Danny Jacobs

//January 7, 2015

As he’s done for The Daily Record in years’ past, Frank Gorman of Gorman & Williams is guest blogging from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

The Tuesday edition of CES Daily at the 2015 Consumer Electronic Show announced “Innovation Reigns as Tech World Converges.” The key word from the major exhibitors, however, is “connected.” Panasonic’s slogan at CES, for example, is “Your Life. Your World. Connected.” This year, consumer electronics manufacturers are showing they realize electronic devices and gadgets need to have integrated connectedness; without it, accessing and operating so many different devices becomes overwhelming.

CES 2015 has three new venue names: Tech East (the Las Vegas Convention Center and adjacent hotels) has the major exhibitor displays; Tech West (Sands Expo, The Venetian and other adjacent resort properties) has an upscale feel, attracting larger exhibitors looking for one-on-one business meetings; and C Space at ARIA that focuses on advertising, branding, and entertainment content. Shuttles run frequently among all three locations. There are more than 3,000 exhibitors occupying these venues and displaying their products to thousands of registered attendees through Friday.

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba also has a booth at CES 2015. (Photo: Frank Gorman)

There is an increase this year in the number of keynote panels, special programs, and “SuperSessions” on a variety of particular topics such as robotics, policies and developments at the Federal Communications Commission, technology and entertainment, and mobile. This allows attendees to gravitate to specific events and locations to see and hear the latest developments in specific consumer electronic areas (and walk around less at the spread-out expo).

Who’s here? Nine major auto makers, including Chrysler, Ford, GM, Audi, and Volkswagen, featuring factory-installed vehicle technologies. All of the leading consumer electronics manufacturers, including Samsung, Sharp, LG, and Sony — but not Apple and Google, which have stayed away in recent years. (Although Apple products, as you’ll see below, are still being displayed here.) Microsoft is back with a subtle presence at The Venetian, and computer makers Dell and Lenovo are also present. Under Armour is a new exhibitor with a display at the Sands Expo and a suite at The Venetian.

The Samsung-Apple rivalry lies beneath the surface of CES. Consistent with the expo’s interconnected theme, Samsung is promoting an “Internet of Everything” concept that would connect devices from competitors and different developers with open technology standards. Not surprisingly, Apple has a connectedness concept called “HomeKit” designed to attract “do it yourself” home owners with compliant products and AC outlets that will allow managing your home from an “iDevices Connected” app. The HomeKit platform and products are being displayed by exhibitors at the Sands Expo, making Apple a virtual exhibitor at CES 2015.

The keynote address Tuesday night by Brian Krzanich, CEO of Intel, was very enlightening. You would be mistaken thinking that Intel just turns out chips for computers. Krzanich demonstrated a wide range of new products using Intel’s RealSense technology that empowers computers and programs to react to “sensory input” from users, who can also log on with facial recognition. RealSense also allows robots to move and multiple drones to fly around without colliding and vision-impaired people to sense movements not visually detectable by them. Krzanich also said the company would commit $300 million to increasing hiring, retention, and progression of women and under-represented minorities in the electronics industry.

All in all, lots to see and do.

My next dispatch will address some of the market trends at CES 2015.


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