I love the smell of CES in the morning. Seriously, I *love* CES (here’s my walkthrough the show last year with Robert Scoble – be warned – its 45 minutes long), though I’d love to see them move it back in the year a few weeks. CES is like SXSW, except people actually get some work done in addition to all the partying. I love the vaporware demos sandwiched in between the unnecessarily huge screens and the neon. Lots and lots of neon. LOVE IT – and no, this isn’t a long, drawn out sarcastic rant. But I’m taking a break from my annual “CES Tips” lists, as there’s nothing substantive to add. Instead, here’s some thoughts on what I’m expecting next week:
That might sound weird, but I’m just not expecting any “big new thing” at this year’s show, instead lots of “mostly better things than last year”. Bigger screens. Thinner screens. Lighter phones. Longer batteries. The major keynotes are from Qualcomm, Panasonic, Verizon, and Samsung – not one of these companies has a history of revolutionizing the show.
But yet, lots of cool updates
While nothing should blow us away, I’m expecting tons of improvements to other products. More smart TVs with more smarterness to them. Lots of UltraHD/4K TVs (sigh). More well-done AirPlay integrated devices. It’ll be fun.
Coolest thing at CES 2012 were the 4MM thick OLED TVs that didn’t ship in 2012, despite promises they would. Coolest thing at CES 2013 will be the 4MM OLED TVs that might actually ship in 2013.
Meme Prediction: Complaints about the lack of stuff
If there’s one thing that follows the theme of “nothing revolutionary” its listening to everyone, their mother, and their mother’s facebook friends complain about nothing being new at the show. You shouldn’t be expecting something big, and whining about how you could’ve stayed home is just annoying.
Potential sleepers: Verizon & Qualcomm
Interestingly, both have keynotes, and both have large booths (and near each other). If I had to put money on “doing something unexpectedly big” I’d place on either, or both of these companies.
What I’d love to see, but don’t expect
Flexible displays. I’ll go so far as saying there’ll be *nothing* exciting in consumer electronics and mobile devices between now and when the first generation of devices with flexible/bendable displays arrive. So I’ve got a secret hope that even prototype stuff will emerge from someone’s labs at this year’s show.
What I’m already bored of: More Tablets
I still haven’t seen a single product from a single company that defines a “tablet market” and I’m not expecting that to change at CES. But, I am expecting loads of cheap tablets that might do well overseas, which is all fine and good. Yawn.
I’m Betting On: Smarterer TVs
Every single TV company will announce new Smart TVs. And every one of them will continue to make TVs that are harder to use than they were before. Bummer.
Who Will Be Missing?
Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Apple – the four companies that would make the show dramatically more interesting.
That’s about all I can think of. Shame is I’ve got so many other commitments at the show this year I have no idea if I’ll even get to walk the floor. C’est La CES, C’est La Vie!