I’ve been going to the CES show for over 25 years now, and it never disappoints. This industry is just plain fun! There is always a lot of innovation, evolution of existing products, and just plain weird stuff to see. We DON’T go to this show to find specific new products to carry. We go because it helps us put our finger on the pulse of the consumer electronics industry. We can see what the major trends will be for the next year, and this helps us adapt and evolve our business to stay on the leading edge. Did I mention it’s FUN and in Las Vegas?
The 2014 CES showcased lots of cool cars. Some were just there to get your attention, but others were there because they represented true innovation in automotive electronics. Of note, this year, were Electric Vehicles, especially the BMW i3, which was everywhere. The Toyota iRoad was an eye-catcher, along with Driverless cars, Connected Cars and a new Audi with Dr. Evil-like “Laser” headlights.
It seems like just about everyone who has some claim to fame, is either endorsing, or has come out with their own line of headphones. In attendance this year were, 50 Cent, Tim Tebow, & Nick Cannon. This category continues to explode, riding on the coattails of smart phone growth. My favorites were the Star Wars themed headphones.
We also saw lots of cool toys including Quad Copters, Electric Skateboards, and Cubelets. (Little square robotic elements that attach together magnetically to create more complex robots.)
Another huge category was 3D printing. This technology made a big splash last year, but showed explosive growth at this year’s show. There were many more companies making the printers. The printers have also become more sophisticated, able to print larger objects, and continue to come down in price.
The category called “Wearables” was also out in force. Leading products were Smart Watches, all kinds of Glasses and Goggles, and Digital Fitness devices.
Bots, Bots were everywhere! They had robots that cleaned your floors, your windows, your Bar –B-Que, and even your gutters! Telepresence robots were also well represented.
This year, the big TV companies have decided to throw you a curve. There were lots of large, curved, 4K OLED TV’s. Everyone, of course, claiming to be the “World’s First” Blah…Blah…Blah version. LG, Samsung and Panasonic all had impressive 4K OLED TV displays. Images were stunning! Curiously, we saw a number of TV’s that did not really conform to any particular standard, including a Toshiba 5K TV, a Sharp 8K, and sets with strange aspect ratios like 21:9.
It’s going to be an interesting 2014, electronically speaking!