The world’s biggest consumer electronics show kicks off in Las Vegas on Monday, but what will be on display?
Next week heralds the start of the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, where consumer technology companies from around the globe gather to show off their latest products and offerings.
The show has grown rapidly over the past few years as device manufacturers in particular have gained a larger share of the consumer technology market, but it is also a traditionally key opportunity for smaller gadget makers to get their wares in the shop window. With last year’s event drawing crowds of over 160,000 to view over 52,000 exhibitors, this year’s event promises to be the biggest yet.
But with so much on show, what are we expecting to see at this year’s CES?
More connections, more places, more things
Unless you’ve been living somewhere without internet access for the past few years, you can’t have failed to hear about the Internet of Things (IoT). The next big thing has been growing steadily, drawing in more connected devices as the world around us begins to talk to itself in more ways than we could have thought possible.
2015 is set to be a major year for the development of the IoT, and this is shown by the fact that this year’s CES will feature the largest ever showcase of IoT products, services and technologies. Over 900 exhibitors will be present at the show, with such diverse areas as health, defence, and security all represented. Both Samsung and Intel are expected to focus heavily on the IoT during their keynote speeches at the event, meaning that CES 2015 could be the starting point of widespread IoT recognition.
Connected cars should also play a big part at the show, as the technology packed into our vehicles becomes ever more powerful. Last year saw Google announce its Open Automotive Alliance as part of a move to get its Android software into cars, and was followed in March by Apple’s launch of CarPlay, which will let drivers use apps whilst driving. We expect to hear much more from both companies and the car manufacturers themselves at CES 2015.
The first wave of 2015’s mobile devices
CES seems to have gradually replaced Mobile World Congress, held in Barcelona in February or March, as the key event to announce new mobile devices. Despite many of the big manufacturers, including Apple, Microsoft and Samsung, preferring to hold their own launch events, CES 2014 saw the revealing of many new devices, including offerings from Alcatel, ZTE (pictured right) and Huawei, as companies look to take advantage of the large audiences and amount of media coverage at the show.
CES 2014 also proved popular for the companies tasked with powering the latest smartphones, with Imagination and Nvidia revealing powerful new components at the show, a trend which should be repeated this year.
Lastly, wearables will likely be everywhere at CES 2015, as more and more companies flood the market with devices such as smartwatches, fitness trackers and smart glasses. With the market for wearable technology set to spiral into billions over the next few years, expect to see more new devices than ever at this year’s show.
Drones, drones, everywhere
Drones were one of the big surprises of 2014. Previously just a futuristic novelty or science-fiction mainstay, drones hit the big time last year, gaining the support of major companies such as Google, Amazon and GoPro.
Amazon has signalled its intention to start delivering items via drone by 2018, and even Boris Johnson believes they could be the answer to London’s overcrowded roads. With growing public support behind them (despite some well-publicised issues with entering restricted airspace, more and more people are buying drones, making it a fast-growing market.
We expect to see a wide range of drones at this year’s CES, as manufacturers look to outdo each other with consumer-targeted units.
Bigger and smarter TVs
CES has always been a traditional highpoint for television manufacturers around the world, who look to outdo each other every year with bigger and smarter units. 2015 seems to be no exception to this, with companies such as Sony, LG and Phillips all lining up new releases for this year’s show.
Previous CES events have seen the introduction of 4K displays and curved screens, so it will be interesting to see what comes at this year’s event. We’re predicting televisions becoming an even more central part of the home entertainment experience, allowing you to surf the web, have video chats, and interact with social media all whilst watching your favourite programs.
And a little bit of something different
With over 52,000 exhibitors, CES is always home to some outlandish and wacky gadgets which you never normally would think possible. Last year we saw (among other things) an iPhone case with a stun gun attachment, another case which turned your mobile into a thermal imaging tool (pictured left), and a Google Glass competitor from printer specialist Epson.
Tech-savvy celebrities are also a key part of what makes CES stand out, and this year’s event is no excpetion, with figures such as 50 Cent, Neil Young and Tiesto all making an appearance with their associated brands.
But will anyone match Michael Bay’s teleprompter-based meltdown last year or Qualcomm’s Big Bird and Maroon 5 car crash in 2013? Guess we’ll just have to wait and see…
What do you remember about CES 2014? Try our quiz!