Whether you're looking to CES for "the next big thing," or from curiosity to see what consumers will fall in love with, it's a carnival of tech pageantry. This week's opening press event "CES Unveiled" brought us singing toothbrushes (Gangnam Style, anyone?), 2-week power sources for smartphones, 80-inch TVs, ski goggles that record video, a digital fork to help you keep track of what you eat, gadgets for gamers, and much more.
Pundits are busy discussing the themes and trends that are driving consumer tech innovation this year. These overarching trends include the "sensorization" of devices (adding sensors to analog objects to let them transfer real-time data e.g. a sensor that sends you a text message when your plant needs to be watered), more variety in device types including the more traditional ultrabooks and tablets to less common items like glasses and other wearable objects, and "the age of algorithms," where devices use accelerometers, blood pressure measurement tools, etc. to learn the user in order to do things on their behalf. For example, a program that chooses music to calm you down when you're stressed.
I'll write more about trends later this week, with a special eye to the things digital marketers should be aware of. I'll also cover some of the major shifts like the growth of the tablet market (U.S. households already own, on average, 1.4 tablets), change in desired screen sizes (the average U.S. TV size is 35 inches, with 60+ on the rapid rise), and how consumers are choosing to use their various devices (it might be time to rethink our understanding of "second screen").
For now, here are some of the images from the opening night "CES Unveiled." Send me notes at @bethanysimpson or firstname.lastname@example.org if you're at CES, or if you hear about weird or significant tech you think we should cover this week. And don't miss my bonus pic where I almost hit a royal flush straight on the video poker machine!