3 Mind-Blowing Trends that Stole the Spotlight on the CES Show Floor

Red Door’s VP of Cross Channel Marketing, John Faris, and Business Manager, Allison Escott, had the good fortune to attend CES this year. John shares some fascinating tech takeaways. With more than 3,000 exhibitors and 150,000+ attendees from around the world, Consumer Electronics Show International (CES) is the largest tradeshow covering the latest technologies in consumer electronics. Ironically, the show, which runs January 7-10 in 2014, isn’t open to consumers, at least not to those in the general public. But, with several clients in the consumer electronics space, Red Door had the privilege of attending. After hours of waiting in various lines for our flight, taxi, hotel check-in, and convention center monorail; we made it to the show floor.

It was worth the effort! We got a sneak peek into the technology that will excite consumers in 2014 and beyond. We’ve picked three of the most interesting areas of the show to highlight here. Internet of Everything Networking giant, Cisco Systems had a big presence at CES, including a keynote by CEO John Chambers. Both the keynote, and their booth, focused on “The Internet of Everything” (IoE). Other companies, including RDI clients Bosch and Qualcomm, also referenced IoE in their booths. The Internet of Everything is a phrase used to describe that the Internet is not only connecting people to each other, but also creating connections between people and machines, and between machines themselves. The result is a greater level of automation, efficiency, and ease for consumers, governments, and businesses

  Photo: - http://blogs.cisco.com/wp-content/uploads/IOE_Mini_Infographic.jpg

For instance, a big-box retailer could kick-off the consumer experience in their parking lot by transmitting the location of an empty spot to a consumer’s car. With help from parking spot sensors and a smart car (machine-to-machine), the consumer could park with ease, or even let the car park itself. Once the consumer makes it in the door, he or she could be greeted with personalized digital signage (machine-to-person).  And, with smart beacons placed throughout the store, the consumer could summon a tablet-carrying customer service representative with specialized expertise to their exact in-store location using just a phone (person-to-person). Home Automation A particularly consumer-friendly subset of IoE is home automation. Wireless Internet in the home, and technologies like Z-Wave, make it possible for consumers to control all sorts of devices and appliances from a smartphone or tablet. For instance, RDI client, Zodiac, has developed a pool/spa system that can be controlled via mobile. Thermostats, light fixtures, wireless speakers, door locks, security systems, and even window shades can be controlled via apps as well. And with a controller from Revolv or ADT, who both had a presence at CES, consumers can control all of these devices from one app, even automating functions based on the user’s proximity to home (e.g., unlock door, turn on the lights, and turn up the heat when you get one mile from home).

Photo: http://revolv.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/geosense_slide_1.jpg

3D Printing

Another technology that will increasingly make its way into consumers’ homes is 3D printing. Conceptually, it is an interesting idea – a printer that can create objects based on custom designed blueprints or standard templates downloaded from the Web. But to see a 3D printer do its thing in person really is amazing.  http://youtu.be/xEhDs_g8Qh8 Demo objects on display at CES ranged from simple plastic screws to ceramic tea sets to pieces of modern art. Once the technology progresses to provider quicker print times, the potential for this utility is virtually limitless. And, to eat an object created by 3D System’s ChefJet 3d printer is Star Trek level stuff. This sour apple sugar candy wasn’t half bad!

  Honorable Mention While the trends above excited us the most, two others that deserve mention are Robots and Wearable Tech. We saw some really cool examples of both at the show. Parrot had a fun demo of their AR. Drone 2.0 Quadricopter, which makes aerial videography accessible to consumers at $299. And Qulacomm showed off their Toq smartwatch, which allows you to accept calls and control your music player from your wrist. The show was great, and we thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to check out all of this great technology. Unfortunately, it wasn’t possible for us to cover all 1.6 Million square feet of the Las Vegas Convention Center, so we probably missed even more cool stuff. Did you see or read about anything at CES that piqued your interest? Drop us a comment!

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