Fitness trackers, mobile payments, drones and electronic gadgets for every conceivable use are being pitched to the media and soon to those who would sell them to consumers.
We just finished the first of the two-day, pre-CES show before the mega convention opens later this week and based on what we’ve seen so far, this is another year of, at the very least, technological innovations hoping to resonate with a large enough number of consumers in solving problems to drive a viable business.
Just as at last year’s International CES (AKA the Consumer Electronics Show), Shawn DuBravac, chief economist and senior director of research of the Consumer Electronics Association, which runs CES, opened the official pre-show with a presentation on the state of tech trends.
In a big nod to IoT (the Internet of Things), DuBravac detailed the current evolution of transferring analog activity to digital and back to the physical world. He cited as one example drones that are digitizing physical air space, noting that 100 types of drones may be seen at this year’s CES, which officially opens on Tuesday.
“We’re moving the internet from 2 billion smartphones to 50 billion objects,” DuBravac said to a standing-room-only crowd of journalists.
But the always-awaited event of the first pre-show day is CES Unveiled, where a large number of startups and established players stand at tables in a cavernous room and show to more than 1,000 media members from around the world what they’ve got.
On Sunday, there were high-tech hearing aids (Bluetooth enabled, of course) that run in the $5,000 to $7,000 range, as a starting point.
As last year, several vendors showed various versions of keyless home entry devices (formerly called door locks), some working via the cloud and others just by Bluetooth, from smartphone to door lock.
Wrist wearables were shown that did everything from monitoring detailed aspects of exercise to measuring sleep patterns and cameras that could automatically record your children’s soccer moves, as long as they wore the “wrist tag.”
From a mobile commerce standpoint, the hottest spot in the hall was at the table of LoopPay, where journalists and bloggers waited in line to see the payment technology at work and grab a word with the founders.