Author: Ed Valdez
Published: January 14, 2013 at 4:35 pm
After the International CES shattered records of attendance (150,000+) and area (nearly 37 football fields of exhibits) last week, all of the companies and inventors hoped that “what happens in Vegas does not stay in Vegas.” A number of publications (e.g., CNET, NPR etc.) and bloggers were writing so much about the demise of CES that few highlighted the real reasons why CES is here to stay. Here are five reasons why CES still matters:
1) New Product Launches: With the earliest venue of any global consumer electronics conference or mobile tradeshow, CES always delivers the glitz and glamor of some of the biggest product announcements of the year. It doesn’t matter that Amazon, Apple, Google and Microsoft are noticeably missing because the goliaths of the international world (Samsung, LG, Hyundai etc.) show that bigger is better with OLED TVs, gesture-controlled cars, and smart appliances. Sometimes “me too” is better: Ferrari debuted their smartphone accessories and speakers with eye-catching designs. As each company vies to outdo the other, price pressures will only benefit consumers.
2) Mobile Life: When we buy new gadgets, we expect anywhere, anytime usage. Thus, the Internet of Things is expanding as fast as the Big Bang. This year CES expanded Tech Zones in all areas of mobile tech such as Digital Health, Fitness Tech, Kids@Play, MommyTech, Silvers Summit and Gaming. You’ll read more about these new areas through Technorati in the days ahead.
3) Startups: Eureka Park returned for the 2nd consecutive year as a result of the Startup America and National Science Foundation sponsors. Featuring new technologies, apps, services and products, Tactus Tactile Touchscreen was the grand prize winner of the Eureka Park Challenge. The new haptic UI allows screens to change from flat to curved (bumped buttons) to create a textured keyboard for smartphones and tablets. I tried it and liked it. The other top finishers included 2nd place: Interbots, animatronic toys for kids and Fan Favorite: Novusport, an App that lets you create your own sports stats/graphs, allows fans to follow you and/or you to follow other sport enthusiasts.
4) Innovation: CEA rebranded CES to focus on innovation. It relaunched Vision magazine with I3 (It Is Innovation); Gary Shapiro, President and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association, debuted his book: Ninja Innovation (The 10 Killer Strategies of the Most Successful Businesses) at the 2013 CES. And CES was summarized in one word (Innovation) at the finale. Additionally, the annual Innovation Awards continue to dazzle consumers with what’s next in ingenuity with 3D personalized iPhone cases (Sculpteo), Scanadoo mobile health diagnostics, Moneual Touchtable PC, Vuzix Smart glasses and other winners (see the CEA website for a full list).
5) Gateway to the USA: With over 3250 exhibitors showing more than 20,000 products, the main purpose of CES has been to present the Gateway to the USA. The Top 100 Retail Buyers scout the floors (Apple Buyers included) to review which new and exciting products should be included in the 2013 summer catalogs and Holiday shopping season. Dealers, Distributors, service providers, consultants and brokers also scan the floors with the mindset of “Let’s Make a Deal.” With the world’s biggest consumer electronics market in the USA, international corporations and entrepreneurs will continue to gravitate to Las Vegas and strive to “wow” consumers here. The wisdom from Frank Sinatra’s song applies to CES: “If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.”
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