Trends & Takeaways from CES 2013

15 Jan,2013

 

By Atul Phadnis

 

The Consumer Electronic Show 2013 or CES as its popularly called was held this year in Las Vegas at the Convention Center, Las Vegas Hilton (LVH) and the Venetian Hotel last week. Held across four days (January 8-11), the event had a host of parallel tracks including :-

 

  • the CES conference
  • the CES exhibition
  • After Hours Parties at Casinos and Clubs
  • Networking Luncheons/ Dinners
  • Product Launches, Networking, Showcases in private enclosures

 

Trends @ CES 2013!

  • Ultra HD (UHD) :- UHD is a new standard of TVs launched during CES 2013 by all major TV manufacturers including Samsung, Sony, LG, etc. With 2160 pixels, UHD is twice as sharp with breathtaking clarity than HD that has 1080 pixels. UHDs were also announced with mindboggling and door-breaking sizes including Samsung’s 110-inch TV!

 

 

  • Second Screen TV Apps, OTT Boxes:- With connected devices on one side (including a lot of boxes that run on Android) and streaming content providers on the other end (such as Hulu, Netflix), a lot of players like Roku are trying to replace the set-top box (STB) with their OTT offerings. The promise is to make your dumb TV smarter and enabling a lot of content streaming into your TV in a bid to replace the STB.

 

 

  • Phablets – This was clearly a popular buzzword across various manufacturers. With a home-run success of Samsung Galaxy Note Series and specifically Note II, a number of OEMs including Lenovo, Huwaei, Sony announced their products in this category. An intermediate between a tablet and traditional smartphone,  the ‘Phablet’ received appreciable recognition and response @ CES 2013. Huawei Acend Mate, a 6.1-inch is currently the largest-sized Phablet of the lot.
  • Wireless Video Streaming within Home Devices: DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) allows for seamless wireless streaming across various devices. A lot of hardware is now coming in enabled for DLNA which means videos, music, pictures can be played on say a mobile phone but will be wirelessly mirrored and displayed on a large screen TV or any other DLNA compatible device. Manufacturers such as Samsung provide ALLShare which is a variant of such a technology. Using ALLShare, a Samsung Galaxy phone turns into a player for a Samsung Smart TV or a remote for a Washing Machine, Microwave or even a Refrigerator! In another scenario, a YouTube Video being played on a Galaxy Phone can be wirelessly streamed to a TV or a Tablet.
  • Windows8 and Convertible UltraBooks – a flood of devices using Windows8 and a host of OEMs announcing their versions of the Intel Ultrabook again signaled the comeback of the PC ecosystem that had been challenged by Apple’s Mac in recent times. What seems to be a big shot-in-the-arm for this ecosystem is the gorgeous interface and successful launch of Windows8 by Microsoft as well as the lowering of power consumption within the latest Intel processors.

 

 

Worthy Mentions!

  • LG UHD 3D TV – LG had an absolutely stunning display for its Ultra HD 3D, the clearest and deepest 3D I have ever seen! Just breathtakingly astonishing!
  • Samsung Interactive Bike : A Samsung Exer-Cycle that syncs with Samsung Smart TV! The moment you sit on it and pedal, the Samsung Smart TV comes alive with a right window on the TV that shows Duration of Cycling, Calories Burnt, Speed of Cycle, etc. Exercise bhi, TV bhi!!

  • HAPIFork – Smart Fork that docks with your computer and downloads data around your eating habits including serving sizes per bite, number of bites, duration of eating!Post this, the Fork also recommends eating portions and eating speed to control your diet intakes! (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-20932073)

 

Phantoms of CES 2013!

The CES this year saw companies that did not officially participate but were heavily present across their respective ecosystems. The three Ghosts or Phantoms of CES 2013 were Microsoft, Apple and Google!

 

India Implications

CES 2013 defined the direction of consumer devices and appliances. It showcased the technological innovations through billions of dollars of Research & Development by both – the world’s leading manufacturing companies as well as tiny and niche players.

 

The commercial success of these would clearly depend on consumer adoption and interest. And while consumers might not rush in to buy the Smart Refrigerator or the UHD-3D, further re-engineering and product sharpening will eventually create standards that the market would adopt.

 

While some of these technologies such as HD TV, Smartphones, Tablets, Phablets have been freely embraced by India, other solutions have seen our consumer markets leapfrog to their next levels.

 

The biggest shock to our market perhaps would be reserved for the TV business. As Smart TVs and other Smart devices penetrate into the TV ecosystem in India, the industry will need to restructure/ restate its solutioning. And here is where one is not sure on the maturity or understanding within the Indian TV sector to deliver a multi-screen, multi-device consumer experience.

 

Atul Phadnis is Chief Executive, What’s-On-India.

 

Visuals from publicity material and product websites

 

 

 

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One response to “Trends & Takeaways from CES 2013”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Terrific first hand account. A meeting is warranted soon to hear all about everything you saw.

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