While most of us are still easing into Fall, movers and shakers in-the-know are already prepared for the mega event that is the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada that will kick of the new year. Yesterday the Show presented its annual “CES Unveiled” to give just a taste of what is to come January 9-12, 2018. Anticipation is building about the must-attend conference for all-things-tech. Here’s a quick peek.
The event was held at the Metropolitan Pavilion in New York City and featured dozens of start ups and and exhibitors who showed off their take on the future of tech. There were also a few news conferences and panel discussions around hot tech trends to expect. Some exhibitors included HP and simplehuman.
But the real ticket is obtaining inside scoop from the elusive Jeff Joseph who is SVP of Strategic Relations at the Consumer Technology Association which produces CES which consistently attracts 80,000+ people who descend on Las Vegas from around the world. Some of behind-the-scenes information which was not revealed to attendees at yesterday’s “Unveiled” event is a techie’s dream.
It’s all about new sections and hot spots for this year’s CES. Says Joseph, “There are going to be so many cool things, it's hard to even name them all. The exhibit area will feature sections focused on Connected Cars, of course. But this year for the first time, CES will include an AI Marketplace. This is brand new for us and will focus on various aspects of machine learning, voice activation, AI applications to business decisions, health & medical, and more. We're very excited about this new section because it's one of the hottest areas right now in tech. “
He adds that there will also be a Smart City Zone which that will focus on tech's intersection with the impact of community and urban planning and public service. Other stand-outs include a Sports Zone which is all about tech for the athlete, from enhancing performance to promoting better health.
“We'll also feature a High Tech & Retail area that is all about AI, VR, Beacons, and cutting-edge tech that will drive brick-and-mortar, “ says Joseph. The Show will also include an area called Eureka Park which is where the start-ups will be showcased. It has now risen to 800 registered companies and over the years, has created an environment that has raised approximately $1B dollars for start-ups, according to CTA.
Panels are also a very big draw at CES each year. “Key trends in tech will be discussed such as AI future impact on jobs and infrastructure,” Joseph continues, “Another hot topic will be policy issues as they pertain to immigration and patent litigation reform.”
However, CES is also known for spotting and acknowledging hot, new players in the technology space and featuring them at the show. For example, the organization just announced its “Innovation Awards Honorees” which includes such companies as Catalyst, a manufacturer of the world’s most protective waterproof cases and accessories for electronic devices. The Catalyst case for AirPods was selected as an honoree in the Portable Media Players and Accessories product category and was featured at CES Unveiled. The case is made of premium silicon and drop-proof up to to four feet. “We’re excited the judges recognized the unique design and practical application of the case, and we’re looking forward to showcasing [the product] at.... CES 2018.”
Showcasing such products is not an inexpensive proposition, however. Space is approximately $5 per foot, and of course, there are prime locations within the overall Las Vegas Convention and Sands Expo Centers. Who nabs what choice space first? Reveals Joseph, “There are ‘priority points’ if a company has exhibited before, but essentially it's a lottery. Space can become very expensive so a company has to plan well.” Indeed, yet most seem undaunted. The Show will feature 620 brand new exhibitors as well as a large percentage of legacy exhibitors as well, according to the CTA head.
CES seems to continue to attract interest due to a few main elements. Tech powerati can meet in person to do deals and network while also seeing nearly everything there is to see in tech all gathered in just one spot. So many are making their plans to attend now for fear-of-missing-out. “It's just huge so all I can say is,” suggests Joseph, ” is if you come, wear comfortable shoes, drink water, and plan out what you want to see in advance through the app.”