2015 International CES: ETC Anticipates ‘Year of the Product’

CES 2014 introduced a compelling array of new concepts and prototypes for next generation electronics, technology and consumer entertainment devices. This year, as the ETC@USC gears up for the January 6-9 confab in Las Vegas, our reporters anticipate delivery on many of the promises made last winter and expect to see a collection of innovative products and services — from UHD and VR to the Internet of Everything — on display across the show’s more than 2 million square feet of exhibit space.

CES now bills itself as “the global stage for innovation,” a transformation that reflects the transition from the show’s roots in hardware to embrace the enabling power of software, technology, and services. While established companies fill the main halls with extensive exhibits, hundreds of startups tucked in the CES Tech West’s Eureka Park area suggest the future.

Disruptive technology impacts virtually every industry and CES is one place where both disruptors and the disrupted gather.

In the broad sense, the Consumer Electronics Association regards the digitization of our physical space, relative and contextual computing, a hyper-personalized “Internet of Me,” and fragmented innovation as major trends in this year’s CES.

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ETC@USC will look at these themes and others that emerge once the show gets underway, within the context of products and their relative impact on the entertainment industry. Among the areas of focus for ETC coverage are UHD and smarter televisions, the Internet of Everything, virtual and augmented reality, wearables, and Big Data, applications and implications.

One thing that is clear across all of CES is an expanding definition of entertainment and an increasing, even if increasingly fragmented, demand for entertainment.

Certainly Central Hall at the Las Vegas Convention Center will still be the place to see the newest products from the major consumer electronics companies. Here is where Ultra High Definition and “smarter” televisions will dominate the floor along with the latest in cameras, computers, tablets, phablets and phones.

However, the continuing expansion of CES in both size and substance is most evident in the new exhibit and conference areas Tech East, Tech West and C Space.

Content, creativity, technology, brand marketing, influencers and the consumer are subject of the newest area at CES, C Space located at the Aria. CEA describes C Space as “the official CES destination for creative communicators, brand marketers, advertising agencies, digital publishers and social networks.”

Tech West occupies the Sands Convention Center, The Venetian, Palazzo, Wynn Las Vegas and Encore. Here is the place to see this year’s winners of the Innovation Awards and more than 300 startups in Eureka Park.

The booming Digital Health & Fitness segment, the most active market for wearable technology, sensors and the “Internet of Things,” will be found largely on Sands exhibit floor. Throughout the Venetian and the Palazzo there will be areas devoted to Family Tech, Kids and Tech, EduTech, Smart Homes, Robotics and Biotech.

Tech East, housed in the Las Vegas Convention and World Trade Center, the Westgate and the Renaissance Las Vegas, houses the latest in consumer audio, automotive electronics, gaming, video, wireless services, digital imaging and photography.

ETC preview coverage continues in the days ahead with theme specific reports, keynote & conference session highlights and breaking news. We’ll be reporting live from Las Vegas the week of January 5-9.