CES 2013: CEA Chief Economist Presents Trends to Watch

In the first press conference of the 2013 International CES, CEA’s Chief Economist and Senior Director of Research Shawn DuBravac outlined trends anticipated for this year’s confab, including mobile devices moving away from their primary role as a communication tool, and mobiles transitioning from serving as a second screen to potentially a primary screen. He also estimated that 50 Ultra HDTV models could be unveiled this week.

Dubravac’s 2013 CES Trends to Watch prezi is accessible via the CEA site.

Among his main points:

  • “Post smartphone era.” Pointing out that when the iPhone was launched in 2007, a mobile phone was effectively sold as a telephone. DuBravac said that today, 65 percent of time spent on mobile devices involves non-communication activities. We are effectively moving away from the primary purpose of a mobile device being a communication tool. Today, smartphones and tablets are becoming devices for peripheral services.
  • DuBravac noted that while we currently use “smart” as a synonym for connectivity, we are in fact moving toward building intelligence.
  • Changes to the idea of second screens? “Hollywood is talking about second screen primarily as a smartphone and tablet, and pushing secondary content (to these devices) from the primary screen, the television,” he said. “We could start to see consumers begin their engagement on the second screen, so they are not second screen at all. At CES you’ll start to see smartphones and tablets that will start to tell this second screen story.”
  • “Dozens of companies” are working on gesture and voice recognition.
  • At least 10 companies are launching Ultra HDTVs at CES. There might be roughly 50 different models from manufacturers such as Haier, Toshiba, Hisense, Sony and Westinghouse.