Inside CES: What to Expect

Now in its 47th year, the Consumer Electronics Show is an international tradeshow showcasing consumer electronics and technology. Every year, over 150,000 eager tech geeks descend on Las Vegas to experience the latest in technology for four days. Tech companies of all sizes and from all over the world use the show as a stage to release and showcase their latest products. In fact, there are over 3,200 exhibitors at CES, including manufacturers, suppliers, and developers of consumer tech products.

I’ve attended CES for the past 16 years and am always excited to go back. The technology I see at this annual show is always impressive. There are always a few surprises and some whacky tech. Above all the show serves as a preview of the upcoming trends in technology over the coming year. Basically, it’s like Christmas 2.0 for a tech geek like me!

Before I head to Las Vegas, I have a little ritual. I like to predict the trends that are going to be big at this years show. So what do I predict for this year?

Connected Home

Everything in our lives is becoming connected and smarter. Our homes, of course, are no exception. Manufacturers and developers are working to make it possible for us to control technology within our homes remotely using our homes’ Wi-Fi networks. For example, Belkin has released a series of products, called WeMo, that allow consumers to control their Wi-Fi connected home electronics using their smartphones.

I expect to see more of these types of devices at CES in 2014, as manufacturers strive to make our lives more convenient and our homes more connected.

Wearable Tech

We’ve seen quite a few pieces of wearable technology hit the market recently. Devices such as FitBit, Runtastic, and Google Glass put technology right on our bodies making it unnecessary to carry our phones and tracking our habits.

I anticipate that this trend will continue to grow in 2014 and expect to see new devices of this nature at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show. In fact, I predict that we’ll see some competitors to Google Glass emerge from this year’s show.

Car Technology

Car technology is poised to for a huge breakthrough. Driverless vehicles will eventually be a reality, but in the meantime, I anticipate that technologies that will help drives perform specific tasks will continue to hit the market. Like our homes, our cars will also continue to become more connected.

This year, CES will have a record number of automotive exhibitors present. A total of nine manufacturers will attend, including Audi, BMW, Ford, GM, Kia, Mazda, Chrysler, Mercedes, and Toyota. I, for one, can’t wait to see what these manufacturers have in store for us.

Over the next 4 days, I’ll be posting about some of the cool and whacky things I see at the show. In the face of the enormity that is CES, I will probably only manage to talk about a tiny fraction of the technology at the show. So, if you’re interested in keeping your finger on the pulse a bit more, you can find out more by monitoring the official CES hashtag on Twitter: #CES2014.

By Mike Agerbo

January 07, 2014