CES 2015 in Las Vegas: first impressions, 5 hot topics

With nearly 160,000 lust-ridden techies, corporate denizens and a few of us security types descending on a slightly crisp wintery Las Vegas to see what all the fuss is about at CES 2015, here are a few things to keep an eye out for this year at the show:

  1. Your car will be connected – (and not necessarily to you as a driver):
    There is a steady, hypnotic automaker drumbeat that promises a new car where it can do the driving all by itself, thank you. Tired of fighting distraction? Just give in, swivel your captain’s chair around and have a conference while you drive; the car will notify you when you get there. When can I buy one? That depends on whose presentation you listen to, but slowly they’ll be oozing onto the scene, if only to poise squarely against Google, heretofore considered the leader in this space. Wait for us, we’re the carmakers, and we’ll have something really soon now, we promise.
  2. Shopping sprees writ large – and not just by consumers:
    In the face of what is an increasingly breakneck development cycle for the latest gadgets, why not just give in and build a brand by seeing who can be purchased to build your tasty ecosystem? After all, if customers dogpile on a new gadget, that’s a good indication that they have a hit, so your team doesn’t have to do the guesswork. How big of a check? How big of a buzz on the show floor may be a better question.
  3. How absorbed are we anyway in the Android vs. iOS borg, or will there be any plausible newcomers?
    Should we just collectively admit defeat and work on something else besides an operating system? Hasn’t the “North vs. South” of Google vs. Apple been pretty solidly laid out? Well, sort of. Here we have a sharply polarized development strategy, namely that you can easily port Android, and not as easily port Apple things. Apple is proud of its ecosystem, but Android allows a more free-wheeling “get there very quickly and let the consumer decide” approach, and here at CES, that’s definitely an edge. And there’s a wildcard on the horizon: open source developers who feel that they can “roll their own” and make it happen. We’ll see.
  4. How much do we care if our e-fridge is connected?
    I mean, sure, it’s nice to have tasty recipes displayed in a tailored manner on your fridge’s built-in HD display, but is it enough to differentiate in the market yet? Sure, eventually all your appliances will bring you the latest connected information, but do we care enough now to buy one? The manufacturers seem to be betting on it. And anyway, this is CES, so we get to sample a flood of aspirational views of what the future might look like. Maybe.
  5. Someone’s finally focused on security:
    Or so we’re told. In the coming days we get to poke around and find out whether security is just a cheap veneer, or whether some plausible players have gotten it right and baked it in from the ground up. Here, it will be interesting to see whether they use more tried-and-true security implementations (see #3 about the OS mashup), or just parachuted in some vanilla operating system that works well enough to move on to the whizz-bang aspects of development that the manufacturers hope will help sell millions. We hope the market is maturing a bit and recognizes the value of security, and we hope the consumers will force the issue. Maybe we can only In the coming days we’ll report back with a deeper look.

So stay tuned that we are covering the International Consumers Electronics Show 2015 direct from Las Vegas and will be talking about digital invasion and privacy concerns in the next post!

Picture Credits: ©TechCocktail/Flickr

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