Hundreds of journalists, thousands of exhibitors and tens of thousands of visitors will descend on Las Vegas this week to witness the 50th CES, all expecting to see the latest and greatest in innovation and technology. But what are we expecting to see during the four-day tech-fest that opens to the public on Thursday?
Two of the keywords that we are going to hear repeatedly this week are "innovation" and "connectivity", often in the same sentence.
CES will display innovations from most of the world’s major technology brands but perhaps equally exciting are the innovations on display from the small startups in Eureka Park, where more than 500 small companies will bring new products to market and most of the people on the booths will not be marketeers or sales people but founders and CEOs, sharing their own ideas and vision. This is one of the most vibrant elements of CES.
Connectivity seems to have become ubiquitous to every innovation. Be it IoT, IoM, Smart Factory, Smart Home, Smart City, Connected Health, Autonomous and Assisted Driving, just about every product has an element of connectivity and with that some level of intelligence.
The host of CES, the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), predicts 57% growth in the Smart Home market alone, which equates to 30 million units or $3.6 billion in sales. It is likely that 2017 will be a significant year for the adoption of this kind of technology, so expect to see a number of product releases as well as smarter ways of using the data they collect through analytics and artificial intelligence.
One such device that seems to be gaining traction in the home is the digital assistant. CTA predicts 36% growth in this sector, pushing it up to over 4 million units and around $600 million in sales. This is likely to be another area of innovation this year with major technology brands participating in this space.
Automotive has been growing in importance to CES and to the electronics sector over recent year and it is expected to continue to do so. This year’s growth prediction is 12% to an impressive $17 billion with technologies like autonomous and assisted driving providing exciting opportunities for the car industry. Again connectivity is key with the need to create smart environments for these smart vehicles to function in, but the value is obvious with significant safety benefits expected.
As well as additional technology in their existing models, carmakers will be sharing their latest developments in electric powered cars with some major releases expected not just in the type of cars but in the way cars are used and owned. Car share and ride share companies will be at CES debating the future of urban transportation.
The fitness and activity tracker market is another where growth of more than 20% is expected, and continuous development in this market has seen it push into the fashion industry. Last year at CES we saw the acquisition of Misfit by Fossil and it seems likely that closer collaboration between these two sectors will continue.
Virtual Reality is an interesting sector and has some potential applications in the manufacturing world as well as the entertainment industry. CTA expects it to grow by more than 40% this year to $660 million.
The drone market to continues to grow, with a healthy 46% increase predicted to take this sector well over one billion dollars.
The leader in predicted sales is, of course, smartphones, with modest 2% growth projected, but still with sales of around $55 billion. The next two largest markets are also screen-based technologies with tablets running at around $16 billion and TVs at around $19 billion, most of which will be 4k Ultra HD displays.
On top of all of these areas, expect to see some developments in the robotics sector as well as 3D printing, as these technologies develop their application base in both consumer and industrial markets.
There is plenty to get excited about this week at CES, where connectivity and innovations are central to the future of the technology industry.
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