I am just back from attending the 2013 Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas where I was meeting with customers and visiting the massive show floor. CES is an intriguing blend of extremes and contrasts: biggest and the smallest; connected and unconnected; wired and wireless; high tech – low tech. As personal and business technologies converge through the “consumerization of technology,” CES provides an exciting window into the current and future world of technology.
The following are my personal observations and extrapolations from the show based on my conversations with customers, colleagues and walking the floor.
New Next Generation TV Again – You could be mistaken for thinking that CES is really the TV show. Televisions are everywhere and every company seems to produce one. Manufacturers are still selling 3D television, but it has taken a back seat to the next big thing -- bigger and thinner new OLED sets and specular ultra-high definition screens.
Connected Home – CE companies continue to try to connect all of our home devices. But now appliances are getting in on the act. There were lots of examples of connected refrigerators and washing machines. Now you can even control how your clothes are washed from the comfort of your couch with your smartphone or even on your TV.
The annual Consumer Electronics Show, held last week in Las Vegas, has been called the “Super Bowl of Technology.” This year’s event was no exception. The largest in the 45-year history of CES, it featured 3,250 exhibitors, 150,000 attendees, and more than 20,000 new products unveiled. But while it may have been impossible to nail down every trend, breakthrough, and future implication, some key themes emerged as I wandered the sea of vendors and engaged in many customer discussions.
Particularly from a service provider perspective, here are a few of the most important trends that seemed top of mind throughout the show:
An Explosion of Endpoints. In recent years at CES, particular devices, such as the iPad, or new technologies, such as 3D, proved dominant. This year, however, the show was characterized by the sheer, massive breadth of innovative new devices. This vast permutation of media-rich gadgets is the result of accelerated innovation that is bringing ubiquitous, mobile access to all endpoints. Even the TV is “becoming mobile” as it gains the ability to access content wirelessly. At the same time, these devices are getting “touchy-feely,” if you will, as touchscreen technology grows equally ubiquitous.
Guest Blog by Sarah Evans, Social Media Correspondent
Sarah Evans (@prsarahevans) is the chief evangelist at Tracky and owner of Sevans Strategy, a public relations and new media consultancy. She’s the author of new book, [RE]FRAME: Little Inspirations For A Larger Purpose (published by SlimBooks). It’s her personal mission to engage and employ the use of emerging technologies in all communication that connects her with a rapidly growing base of more than 120,000 people. A “for good” advocate, Sarah worked with a local crisis center to raise more than $161K in three weeks via social media and is a team member of the Guinness Book World Record holding #beatcancer. Sarah can be seen in Vanity Fair’s Americas Tweethearts, Forbes’ 14 Power Women to Follow on Twitter and Entrepreneur’s Top 10 Hot Startups of 2010.
For the past few days I’ve had the privilege of serving as entertainment services provider Cox Communications social correspondent at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and working very closely with the Cisco team promoting the personal TV experience. TV is everywhere at CES. And it’s right on par. Nielsen says that Americans are actually watching more TV than ever – about 34 hours per week, in fact.
Cox and Cisco have been working very closely this week with joint announcements on the personalized television experience. Working with Cisco, Cox evolved their video services platform to deliver more personalized video experiences, offering their customers more of what they enjoy. While Cox customers have been able to watch 90 channels of live, linear TV on an iPad for more than a year now, this new app – powered by Cisco’s Videoscape Unity software and technology – expands the service to iPhones and iPods, adding significant improvements in navigation. Learn more about the announcement here.
It’s hard to miss the focus on hardware at CES, specifically on size and sharpness. However, I think the real story about TV at CES is what’s happening on the backend. And what’s the big innovation? The personalization, synchronization and socialization of video, with personal on the forefront.
To keep the buzz around TV going I moderated a #CoxCiscoTV Twitter chat to talk more about the idea of #PersonalTV with Cox Communications and Cisco executives. Our Twitter lineup was made up of:
Len Barlik, EVP of Product Development, Cox Communications (@Cox_PR)
Martin De Beer, SVP of Video and Collaboration Group, Cisco, (@MartinDeBeer)
Nick Thexton, CTO, Service Provider Video Technology Group, Cisco, (@CiscoSPVideo)
Padmasree Warrior, our Chief Technology Officer and Senior Vice President of Engineering, shared some thoughts earlier this month on women in technology at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Padma joined Google’s Marissa Mayer, Hunch’s Caterina Fake and CNET’s Lindsey Turrentine on this CNET sponsored panel. The takeaways are for both men and women:
Padma said that liberation from guilt is an important choice to make. Earlier in her career, she felt guilty at work about not being with her child but she also felt guilty when she had to miss customer meetings to be home with her child. Regardless of the decision, she learned not to be guilty about the decision.
In this day and age, you can be yourself at work. Caterina Fake commented that in the 80s, businesswomen adopted the “Sigourney Weaver” uniform of heels, suits with shoulder pads and speaking in a low voice. Now, you no longer need to conform to a single image to be taken seriously. Marissa had a great line: “you can wear ruffles… or you can be a jock”
Burnout was a meaty topic that Marissa Mayer introduced by saying that working long hours is not what causes burnout. Read More »
On my flight home Friday after a full week at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), I was reflecting on how mobility is more important than ever before. This comes as no surprise considering the success of consumer devices and our need to be mobile in our day-to-day lives. Now, the real opportunity is how we bring mobility, video and cloud together to create the next generation internet.
At CES, Cisco showed up strong, sharing with customers, the analyst community and the media how we’re making the internet more visual by leveraging the power of Read More »