Thursday, January 16, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Then and Now: The Consumer Electronics Show

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) has been around since 1967. It is a time of the year where companies can show off what new innovations they have created and contributed to the market. Since the CES 2014 has officially come to an end as of January 9th, I thought it would be fun to take a look back at previous CES’s for this week’s Throwback Thursday.

I wanted to find some past Apple announcements from CES (maybe of the iPhone), but then I realized they have not attended a CES since 1992. In 1992, they announced the launch of Apple’s Newton; one of their first designs of a handheld computer (i.e. a tablet). Since then, Apple has not returned to any CES but instead has created their own conferences to announce new Apple products. A decision made due to cost effectiveness. Apple’s absence didn't seem to matter to CES because Apple is still able to dominate the show with companies designing Apple-related products. (E.g. docks, chargers, apps, etc.) (Apple Still Casts a Long Shadow Over CES)

After that, I wanted to go back in time a decade to check out what was trending in the 2004 Consumer Electronics Show. I found that pocket-sized, digital cameras were one of the top new gadgets being presented at CES 2004. It seems silly now since everyone’s phone has a camera with the same capabilities, but it makes me wonder, what will be big at CES 2024?

There was so much to see at CES, the electronics mentioned above are just scratching the surface as to what was there. I did find an article from Forbes Magazine by James McQuivey that sums up CES 2014 into three main points though: “1) Wearables will give birth to a second mainstream subcategory: smartwatches, 2) The TV business remains desperate, and 3) The digital home will finally mean something specific.”

Speaking of CES 2014, there were some really innovative creations this year such as Dell's Steam Machine, which made quite an impression. This machine takes gaming to a whole new level, allowing you to play PC games in any room you want. Another gadget that made headlines was D-Link’s revolutionized baby monitors. Contrary to tradition baby monitors, D-Link created WiFi baby cameras that connect to an app on your smartphone. With this new technology you can do more than just watch your babies every move from your phone, but you can also check the room temperature, sound, motion, and more with these cameras.

Wearable devices were all the rage at CES 2014 as well. From smartwatches to Google Glass, being able to wear your device is becoming more popular. It is estimated that one million wearable devices will be bought by the end of 2014 and 300 million by 2018 (From BYOD to WYOD: How Wearables will Transform Business). The Pebble Steel smartwatch was one of the favorites at CES 2014, but it certainly wasn't the only smartwatch that appeared in Vegas. This new trend is only increasing the number of devices connected to the Internet, meaning the Internet of Everything (IoE) is gaining popularity; also proven by Cisco’s main floor exhibit on the Internet of Everything.

Another main point at CES 2014 that votes in favor of the IoE is that the digital home will finally become a reality. Users will have the ability to control their physical surroundings with an application via their smartphones. Automation is the new big thing; soon everything on the market is going to be automated. And when this happens, these smart machines need to be able to communicate with one another to provide a seamless, more convenient way of living. For example, using one application to control all your smart devices.  

All in all, it seems as though the CES had another successful show year. Were you able to attend? Did you have a favorite gadget this year?