CES Preview: Bulging At The Seams With New Ideas

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(By Buzz Knight) The Consumer Electronics Show has come a long way since its inception in June of 1967. The first show had roughly 200 exhibitors and 17,500 attendees spread over  two hotel ballrooms (the Hilton and the Americana). Exhibitors included LG, Motorola, and Philips featured in 100,000 square feet of exhibit space.

The show was a spinoff of the Chicago Music Show, which until then had been the largest exhibition of consumer electronics in the world. The first CES was notable for the growth of solid state electronics and an influx of Japanese manufacturers.

This year, more than 180,000 of our closest friends will converge on Vegas with more than 4,000 exhibiting companies and 7,000 media members covering the show.

Last year one of the big headlines was how the Internet of Things brought everything together with the explosive growth of the connected home.

Home automation took a major leap with the connectivity of the home and car as Amazon Alexa and Google Home shot to the top of awareness and usage.

Automotive combined with media, commerce and personal assistant to change the way we live.

This major boom turned into a major opportunity for the radio business as we suddenly found a new opportunity to put radio back in the home. Wearable technology last year made refinements and improvements but the category was still searching for a new niche.

Along the way, all of this data from these many sources continued to raise the red flag regarding privacy. Last year also showcased the race to relevance and excellence that automotive companies continue to search for. Ford put emphasis on getting Amazon Alexa in the car, creating a cohesive unit of voice control for the home and the car. Autonomous vehicles were all highlighted in development with early stage market usage just beginning.

Carlos Ghosn of Nissan said it best: “We will see more change in the next 10 years than we did in the last 50.” That sums up in a nutshell why I am accompanying our Beasley Media Group team to CES 2018. What sort of crazy concepts and real world technology will we see? We know Ford will be making a much-anticipated announcement at the show, but they are tight lipped for now.

Mercedes Benz will debut an infotainment system for its compact stars.

We expect to see companies building new driver safety system with Artificial Intelligence.

My head is spinning and I haven’t even left for the show! I can’t wait to tell you more.

Buzz Knight is the Vice President of Programming for Beasley Media Group. He can be reached at buzz@bbgi.com

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