It’s hard to believe that CES is approaching its 50 year anniversary and to say its changed is an understatement. Let’s do a quick comparison to the first CES and now. In 1967, the show had just 14 exhibitors across a show floor not much larger than the DCL warehouses. Today, the show has drawn the attention of more than 170,000 industry professionals and 3,600 exhibitors making it the largest CES in show history.
It’s not only the size of the show that’s changed remarkably but the products have also evolved significantly. Even just over the past decade, you can see the difference. Smartphones have replaced just about everything from MP3 players to pocket cameras. The desktop computer has gone the way of the Dodo bird and the 200-pound, 32-inch CRT TVs have up and vanished.
Today’s CES products more closely resemble those found in Sci-Fi films. DCL got to see first-hand the latest technology and innovation from all over the world. Here are just a few highlights:
The kings of CES are still the ridiculously large, impossibly thin TVs that dominate the show floor. 4K, OLED and curved screens are now ubiquitous. But this year we also saw a revival of LCD TVs boosted by quantum dot technology which provides brighter images and a wider color gamut than conventional LED-backlight technology. It seems like as soon as you buy the biggest and best TV on the market, a larger and thinner one is just around the corner.
Internet TV Service
Fewer people, especially young people, don’t want to pay for cable or satellite TV service. They want something more affordable and don’t want to be roped into a lengthy contract. So, Dish Network announced that in the coming weeks, they will be launching a new video streaming app starting at only $20/month, with no contract. That means that customers have the flexibility to come and go as they please. Dish’s Sling TV will allow subscribers to stream live news, sports and other programming from channels like ESPN, CNN and the Food Network on a wide variety of devices including Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Xbox One, Android devices and select smart TVs to start.
3D printing might not have hit the mainstream yet, but the technology is definitely advancing. This year we saw printers that can work with materials such as metal, wood, stone, nylon and even chocolate.
While Oculus Rift is still leading the pack in the VR world, there are quite a few companies hot on their tail with competing products that look well, virtually the same.
Drones of all shapes and sizes (some as small as your hand) swarmed the show this year. There were so many manufacturers, CES dedicated a space called the Unmanned Systems Marketplace just for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) technology companies. According to Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) research, the global market for consumer drones will approach $130 million in revenue in 2015, up 55% from 2014. The revenue from drone sales is expected to easily exceed $1 billion in just five years.
Smart Home Devices
It seems as if we are moving towards a future where everything in your house is getting a chip or a sensor to help you lead a smarter, more efficient lifestyle. Take LG for example, which introduced its LC Twin Wash. This system has one main wash basin, with a second, smaller compartment beneath it, allowing users to do a simultaneous but separate second load. Soon enough, your home appliances will be cleaning your house and cooking you dinner.
Now we’ve seen a lot of Google self-driving cars in the Bay Area but nothing like what we saw in Vegas. Several car manufacturers showed off cars with autonomous features: from futuristic self-driving concept cars to cars with self-parking and collision-avoidance capabilities. Audi made the biggest entrance after sending a self-driven car all the way from San Francisco to Las Vegas.
Fitness Trackers and Health Sensors
While we did see quite a few smart watches, the more interesting developments in wearables were the fitness trackers, medical gadgets and health sensors that monitor just about anything you can imagine. These products help you work out smarter, sleep better and eat healthier just to name a few benefits. It’s like having a personal trainer and doctor 24/7, right at your fingertips.
After a week of walking the 2.2 million net square feet of exhibit space, DCL closed the show by hosting a fun cocktail party with partners, customers and industry friends. It was a great way to relax and celebrate another successful show. Over the course of a week, we saw some amazing and innovative products and look forward to what we know will be an exciting 2015!