Big Trends to Look for at 2014 CES

December 13, 2013

11:00 am

We’re merely weeks away from the consumer electronics industry’s biggest event of the year, when 150,000 CE enthusiasts converge on Las Vegas to see the latest and greatest the industry has to offer.

The Consumer Electronics Show sets the stage for new technologies that promise to become a part of our daily lives, from the VCR (introduced at CES in 1970) to the Xbox (2001) to 3D HDTV (2009). The 2014 CES will be no different.

Here are the trends and technologies we have to look forward to at the biggest electronics event of the year:

3D Printing: Companies like MakerBot have been stealing headlines for more than a year, and Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman is getting in the game, telling The Register that HP will ship its first 3D printers in mid-2014. In January, CES will roll out a conference track dedicated to 3D printing.

Who to look out for at CES: WhiteClouds, a Utah company that specializes in personalized additive manufacturing, including home models.

Internet of Things: Also referred to as IoE (Internet of Everything), this trend speaks to smart devices and their ability to communicate with each other. Home automation is one particular category that has seen explosive growth over the past few years.

Who to look out for at CES: Open-platform project Neura, still in beta, which calls itself the “glue connecting the Internet of Things.”

Wearable Devices: Nowhere is the IoT trend more evident than in wearable technology. Fitbit and other wearable fitness tools made a showing at 2013 CES, and the space has since become much more crowded.

Who to look out for at CES: MetaWatch, maker of customized smartwatches.

Bluetooth: 2014 promises to be a big year for Bluetooth. Yes, you read that right. Companies are continuing to innovate in this 20-year-old category, and the pace of consumer adoption of hands-free devices is picking up, thanks in part to state legislation; in January Illinois will join several other states in banning hand-held devices while driving.

Who to look out for at CES: Philips, which is unveiling its Fidelio M1 Bluetooth Headphones.

Multi-screen Advertising: 2013 was the year cross-screen content came to the forefront, with a significant percentage of TV programs integrating Twitter and other social media into their broadcasts. 2014 is poised to be the year advertisers capitalize.

Who to look out for at CES: Time Warner Cable Media is showing off their new solution that provides real-time cross-platform ad insertion.

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Andrew Cross is a Tech Cocktail contributor and an account director at Walker Sands Communications in Chicago, where he handles PR strategy and media relations for tech companies. He covers tech startups, particularly those based out of the Midwest. Contact Andrew at andrewrcross AT gmail DOT com or on Twitter @Andrew_R_Cross.

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