I’ve gone a few years in a row to Las Vegas CES and found it VERY interesting for trends in everything “smart,” digital and embedded, and not so interesting in terms of robotics. The auto companies have GINORMOUS displays of their in-car infotainment and embedded systems for the future and that is worth the time and effort to go. The keynotes are okay and the press “events” for all the companies are barely worth the fight to get in (and it is a fight).
Often CES is a resource for funding – with companies showing concepts and prototypes. This is particularly the case with robotics and quality of life devices. The most poignant showings will be in the area of quality of life products – from devices that work with autistic kids to smart devices that monitor your vital signs and text or email your doctor when alarms are sounded. All are seeking funding and/or orders; none really ready for prime time as a consumer health product.
Overall CES is predictable: serious competition is on the horizon for Apple on many fronts and iRobot on all their home cleaning products; in-car smart systems are where the crowds will be; robotic toys and gimmicks will appear and then later in the year will disappear; “smart” systems will be the buzzword from appliances to phones, tablets and PCs; and the vision systems people will be showing thinner and smarter TVs and monitors.
But this year I’m taking a break and leaving the reporting to others.
Here’s what I wrote in January about CES 2012. Check the story and see how many companies are still in the running. Click on the image to link to the article.
PS: To exorcise the gambler in me during CES this year I’ll be in the sun and warmth (and casinos) of Atlantis in the Bahamas.