CES Is More....

09/01/2015

The Consumer Electronics Show takes place in January each year, with the world's biggest names in tech from all over the world heading to Las Vegas.

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This is my first experience of CES and of Las Vegas and they seem like a Little Chapel of Love marriage made in heaven. Both CES and Vegas are excessive to the extreme.

Both are ENORMOUS… I mean, not only is there New York New York, which boasts it’s own rollercoaster that runs through and around the hotel… the Venetian that hosts it’s own canal system and well Caesars Palace, which is well… palatial… CES also has it’s own impressive stats.

The first CES launched back in 1967, in New York as a spinoff from the Chicago Music Show, which from 1978 – 1994 the event was held twice a year; winter in Vegas and summer in Chicago. From 1995 onwards, Vegas won out and became the main event. Some truly groundbreaking products have been launched at CES including: the Videocassette recorder in 1970, the CD player in 1981, HDTV in 1998, Xbox in 2001 and IPTV in 2005…to name but a few.

To comprehend the sheer size of CES, in 2014, the event attracted over 160,000 attendees covering 2.06 MILLION net square feet of exhibition space! 2015 has seen the addition of a new area in addition to Tech East and Tech West called C Space, so as you can imagine… that’s even more square footage to cover! The exhibition space is spread amongst the Las Vegas Convention Centre, as well as a number of the big hotels on the strip.

So what’s the big deal about CES? Well, it really does showcase the latest and greatest in consumer facing technology. From products that are JUST launched or on the release slate from the biggest names in tech, such as Samsung, Sony, Panasonic, Sharp, Intel, the incredibly long list continues. Alongside these big names, products that are at the bleeding edge of innovation, from companies who might still be looking for funding to continue development such as ‘Ring’ (a wearable that allows you to interact with your devices through gesture control) , ‘AmpStrip’ (an affordable, waterproof wearable that tracks your physical activity and recommends a personalized program depending on your goals) or ‘The Dash’ (a wireless headphone that is an accelerometer,  heart rate monitor, oxygen saturation sensor as well as training aid).  All these new products that are getting a LOT of attention from the tech press in the last few days and have the potential to become more mainstream.

The reason CES is so important is that these products will be available at scale to consumers at some stage. True, not everything that is shown on the Vegas exhibition floor will make it to the big leagues, however; the consistent development themes across manufacturers do give us, as brands and marketers, a big heads up at how consumer behavior will change in the short and long term.

In my second blog post from CES, I shall run through these overarching themes that we are seeing in market, and even though many are not new concepts to us, we are one step closer to these becoming a day-to-day reality for consumers.

Sarah Stringer is the Group Innovations Director at Carat Australia…to follow her live coverage of CES follow her on twitter @string_a_ling

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