CES NY Preview Event
Reviewed by: ClayMeow
Reviewed on: November 24, 2009
On Tuesday, November 10, 2009, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) held its annual CES NY Preview Event. Unlike CES, this event was not open to the public and obviously much smaller in scale, with only some thirty odd companies in attendance – most of whom were not computer related.
The event started off with a “Holiday Sales and End-of-Year Trend Analysis by CEA’s market research experts.” I won’t bore you with all the details, but obviously the state of today’s economy will once again have a big impact on holiday spending. Although total holiday spending is expected to decline by 3% from last year (which was 15% less than 2007), purchases as gifts (as opposed to food, home purchases, greeting cards, decorations, etc.) are actually expected to increase by 4% - the only purchasing category expected to see an increase. The reason why this was important for the CEA to highlight is because the percentage of gift spending on consumer electronics is expected to encompass 29% of all gift spending this holiday, up from 28% last year and 22% in 2007.
In national surveys, 80% of adults and 77% of teens have some sort of consumer electronic device on their gift wish list, which includes such things as notebooks, TVs and some strong newcomers to the top ten list, the Amazon Kindle/e-book readers, iPhones, Blu-Ray players and netbooks. When it comes to the top consumer electronic gifts this holiday season, however, it is expected that portable MP3 players and video game consoles will top the hardware side of things, while memory cards and video game accessories will not only top the accessories side of things, but overall as well.
But enough about the holidays! I’m sure what you really want to know is what we can expect at the 2010 CES. There are four key trends that the CEA highlighted; Beyond HD: Tomorrow’s TV Experience; Content: Connecting and Corralling; New Screens Find the Sweet Spot; and Customization & Personalization Empower the Individual. So what does that all mean? I’m glad you asked!
Trend 1 – Beyond HD: Tomorrow’s TV Experience
TV programming has moved well beyond merely what you watch on the screen. 56% of viewers have visited a program website, while 42% are watching episodes online. Today’s era of television is an interactive one. The CEA believes that managing content across screens, partnerships, intuitive menus, widgets and TV sizes are all things to watch this year. The main thing to watch for, which we saw pop up last year, is 3D TV. 17% of adults have seen at least one 3D movie in a theater within the last year, which amounts to 41 million people. Now it’s up to companies to bring that experience to the small screen.
Trend 2 – Content: Connecting and Corralling
Content options are ever increasing, from cloud-based to mobile TV to streaming. The CEA believes that management solutions aren’t only needed, but wanted. In addition, it’ll be important to see how DRM solutions evolve in the process. Curiously, it seems that many people have an interest in having the Internet in the car, and the CEA certainly believes that will be shown thoroughly at CES. 50% of men and 37% of women are very interested or somewhat interested in listening to Internet radio, which seems reasonable enough. Other activities people are interested in are checking email, accessing websites, watching Internet content such as YouTube, and even accessing social networking sites. As if there weren’t enough distractions on the road as it is?
Trend 3 – New Screens Find the Sweet Spot
Up until recently, there seemed to be a void in the screen spectrum. On the low-end you had mobile devices and GPS systems between 1-5 inches, in the middle of the road you had notebooks at 15-17 inches and then on the upper-end you had monitors and TVs. With e-readers and netbooks becoming all the rage, the gap between 5 and 15 inches is being filled. Only 6% of tech enthusiasts and 4% of the general population currently own an e-reader, while 14% of tech enthusiasts and 8% of the general population currently own a netbook. The CEA expects these numbers to increase substantially over the next few years, especially as prices drop. Things to look for at CES are dual-screen and color e-readers, whereas for netbooks it’ll just be a whole slew of new models, as both technologies try to move into the mainstream.
Trend 4 – Customization & Personalization Empower the Individual
It’s all about the apps! That’s not only what Apple wants you to think with its App Store, but also what the CEA believes will be huge this year. Although the iPhone and the 100,000 apps will play a huge role, it’s not just about that. PC and printer manufacturers are getting into the mix, as are GPS manufacturers. Apps allow the user to customize products to his/her wants and needs, and as more devices support them, more content providers will emerge as well, both small and large.
Although those are the four main trends the CEA tells us to be on the watch for, those aren’t the only ones we’ll see on the CES floor. A focus on “green” technology and devices will continue to be big, and software will be big as well, with Windows 7, Android, Windows Mobile 6.5, etc.
I think it’s safe to say that CES 2010 will not disappoint. Of course, for the very best CES coverage, you need not turn anywhere other than right here at OverclockersClub.