Greetings from Las Vegas – one of the few places in the world where you can always get breakfast – no matter what the time is. A city built by members of the mob, and now THE place to find the perfect Elvis Presley Chapel of Love to renew your wedding vows.

It is also the home of the world’s largest trade show – the Consumer Electronics Show. CES is expected to attract in excess of 120,000 trade visitors over the coming week – seeing the latest and greatest products to occupy pages of retail catalogues for months to come.

Technology stand at CES 2011A 20 minute walk from my hotel to the Venetian for the introductory sessions is almost equalled by a 20 minute walk through the casino to the conference rooms! At the Press/Blogger lounge, there are over 60 members of the press typing away on their notebooks or iPads, getting ready for the coming sessions (or was the real attraction the free coffee and cookies?)

Opening events BEFORE the show

The first session kicked off at 2pm sharp – with over 200 press, bloggers and analysts hearing about the trends for 2011.

I hope to elaborate more on this later, but let me summarise the presentation as follows:

The Consumer Electronics Association broke the market into four areas:

  1. Portable v Pocketable
  2. Intelligence of things
  3. Miniaturisation v “Sensor”isation
  4. From Amplification to “App”lification

1. Portable v Pocketable

The US household has on average 24 technology products.™-MPro120-Pocket-Projector.jpgThe big push this year is going to be on Tablet computers. The CEA expects there to be over 100 tablet computers either displayed or discussed at this year’s CES.

The average price point for tablet computers is between $300 and $400.

Although the majority of tablets were bought by consumers, at least 40% of those surveyed buy the CEA said they purchased the device to use at work.

The eReader market is expected to hit 20m units in the US this coming year.

Key areas to watch:

Differentiation will be key to the success of Tablet manufacturers – through form factor, operating system and pricing.

Manufacturers will be promoting “best fit” scenarios for their products

Integration of other sensory technology – beyond touch, camera etc

eReaders – colour, gaming,

Grand Hall CES 20112. Intelligence of things

  • GPS
  • Connectivity (internet, Bluetooth, WiFi etc)
  • Computing Power
  • Network effect of application ecosystem
  • We are now seeing digital cameras with GPS (from Casio).
  • Body monitoring through smart phones
  • Automotive monitoring and reporting
  • Internet enabled TV – >50% in 2014

Key areas to watch:

  • 171m connected devices
  • Smartphones become the point of user interface
  • GPS adding relevance to new products – cameras, laptops, tablets, mobile phones
  • In-vehicle
  • Connected TV, services, mobile

3. Miniaturisation v “Sensor”isation
Central Hall at the 2010 International CES

  • Sensors matured and reducing in size
  • capacitive and resistive touch screens
  • microphones
  • touch
  • gyroscope etc

Key areas to watch:

  • Combinational innovation
  • Sensors used for different purposes
  • Companies responding to users

4. From Amplification to “App”lification

In the 1980s, it was Packaged software

In the 1990s, it was Software downloads

In the 2000s, it is Cloud Computing

Key areas to watch:

  • Content Applications
  • Connectivity with Home whilst on the road
  • m-Commerce
  • Applications enhancing hardware

Next up…the CES sneak peek…