Held at the Las Vegas Convention Center from 7-10 of January 2020 the CES is known as the biggest trade show focusing on consumer technologies. At the event companies like Sony, LG and Samsung typically present their newest products and technologies regarding consumer electronics. VP & Principal Analyst Thomas Husson shared his initial take ahead of the event. 

“Given the massive number of start-ups and large consumer electronic brands announcing new products at the show, it is difficult to stand out from the crowd at CES. That said, this annual tech bonanza gathering is always a key opportunity to put technology-led innovation in context of broader key trends impacting businesses.

Most discussions are likely to be centred on how companies in automotive, health, and smart home industries plan to leverage AI, automation and robotics to launch new offerings and experiences. Whether robot vacuum cleaners with security cameras or new brain-sensing wearable devices generate the most hype remains to be seen, what’s for sure is that privacy and security questions will be front and centre. Consumers are increasingly in search of deeper meaning and look at technology not just as a way to improve their daily lifestyle but also to minimise climate change. Expect a lot more innovation this year both around individual wellness and collective tech for good initiatives.

While not new, the focus on new products powered by advanced audio technologies, augmented reality and computer vision will accelerate. Adding sensors to computing machines and peripherals will humanise technology and enable consumers to scan and interact with the world around them. While early days, these technologies will make contextual marketing more powerful.

8K displays, OLED/QLED TVs, foldable or roll-able screens, new line of smart appliances and connected products from the likes of Samsung, LG, or Sony won’t really get noticed because what matters is how they truly morph into total consumer experiences powered by content and personalised services. The likely focus on 5G connectivity will fail CMOs and business executives too. To consumers, 5G in 2020 will feel like 3G in 2004 or 4G in 2010. It won’t enable new business or marketing use cases due to a lack of critical mass – and will primarily remain a hot debate between telcos, network equipment vendors and industrial firms.”

VP & Principal Analyst Frank Gillett shared his initial take ahead of the event. 

Notable things Frank be watching amid the tech cacophony at CES 2020:

  • Hearables and computational audio technology are growing trends. The new crop of wireless ear buds from Amazon, Apple, Bose, and Microsoft are all part of a an emerging audio trend.  These products and technologies put virtual assistants and tiny computers in our headphones to improve what we hear or don’t hear, improve how we are heard, and let us talk to our phones and cloud services, in addition to tapping and clicking.
  • Smart displays, which are smart speakers with a phone or tablet size display, will be big sellers in 2020. Amazon and others have driven the price for cheap models below $100. Amazon, Google’s Nest, Facebook, and Baidu all launched products in 2019. The combination of virtual assistant with a display will enable new multi-modal interactions for brands, and better experiences for consumers. Plus greater concerns about privacy!
  • Mobility tech and services. CES is now a digital transportation show. But the real innovation will be in software the coordinates all the mobility options, so that consumers can use one app to find the right option at the right moment, whether it is their own car, ride hailing, bike sharing, or escooters.
  • Smart home innovations to get the various products to work together better, including with virtual assistants. It’s still a mess today for consumers.