CES 2020: The Next Decade Brings the Intelligence of Things

At Sunday’s opening CES event, CTA’s VP of research Steve Koenig and director of research Lesley Rohrbaugh revealed trends for CES 2020, as we move “into the data age.” “In the previous decade, we could describe the dynamic in hardware, software, apps and even content as IoT, the Internet of Things,” said Koenig. “In the new decade, we’ll be increasingly confronted with a new IoT: the Intelligence of Things. This new IoT bears testimony to the fact that AI is permeating commerce and culture.”

Koenig noted that there are over 50 5G networks launched worldwide. In 2020, 5G-compatible handsets will begin to roll out in earnest, going from 1.6 million units in 2019 to 20.2 million in 2020. Then, said Rohrbaugh, by 2022, the tipping point between 4G and 5G handsets will shift, with a dominance of 5G handsets for the first time.

She noted that, “5G will be led by enterprise,” which she broke down into Massive IoT (smart buildings, logistics tracking, fleet management, smart agriculture) and Critical IoT, which has “fewer end points but requires massive levels of data, ultra reliability, and very low latency.” That includes remote healthcare, traffic safety/control, remote manufacturing and smart grid automation.

The new IoT (Intelligence of Things) will bring about the “consumerization of AI,” which both CTA execs noted will be prevalent on the CES 2020 show floor, with “machine learning, end devices, services and emerging tech.” They pinpointed upscaling AI chips, facial recognition, object detection and speech recognition as some of the arenas that will benefit.

“In the future the entire home will be connected,” said Koenig, who listed “smart roofs, smart walls” among the smart home’s attributes.

Streaming wars are heating up with new entrants Disney, Apple, NBCUniversal, HBO and Quibi. “This mosaic of content is pretty complicated and about to get more granular,” said Koenig. “New entries in SVOD services spur growth potential. But, for cord cutters, as they tally up all these subscriptions, they might be back to where they were with pay-TV bills.”

TVs will grow to 50-inch 8K by 2022, he suggested. “As screen sizes increase, increased resolution is important to keep up with the images,” he said, adding that not all of these big TVs are headed to living rooms, but uses such as digital signage and B2B.

He noted advances in virtual reality and augmented reality hardware and software, as well as the burgeoning eSports sector. “ESports had $1 billion in revenue [in 2019],” said Koenig. He predicts that the next decade in transportation will be electric. “We’re at an inflexion point where electrification makes sense,” he said.

“Another CES focus is self-driving vehicle fleets and multi-modal transportation, particularly the scooter, due to urbanization.” He predicts we’ll see more electric vertical takeoff and landing crafts (eVTOL), already shown as Uber Elevate and Bell Nexus at CES 2019. “A lot of people are looking into this space,” he said, noting that it is likely to take off in the middle part of the decade.

For specific stats and projections from CTA’s forecast, visit the following online press release:
Consumer Tech U.S. Sales to Reach Record $422 Billion in 2020; Streaming Services Spending Soars, Says CTA