The International Consumer Electronics Show, an event held in Las Vegas, attracts more than 150,000 visitors. It occupies 2 million square feet, the equivalent of about 35 football fields, of exhibition space. More than 3,500 companies come to show their wares.
This year, the International CES may be energized by a wave of new exhibitors chasing a top trend in consumer electronics: the Internet of Things or refers to the concept of a world full of connected devices controlled through a consumer-friendly hub, like a smartphone app.
The new devices at the event, which opens to the news media on Monday and to the public on Tuesday, will include a Wi-Fi-connected ceiling fan controlled by a Nest Learning Thermostat and automated door locks, light switches, and LED bulbs. Under Armour, the sports apparel company that has experimented with smart sports clothing, will exhibit at CES, as will the Girl Scouts of America, which is introducing a new digital app.
“This is the digital lifestyle not just coming into concept but into practical execution,” said John Curran, managing director of communications, media, and technology at the consulting firm Accenture. “The Internet of Things is touching almost every aspect of your life, and it’s bringing in a host of new companies and new partnerships.”
Major tech companies that are not usually part of the CES will play a part in the show, too, because of their relationship to the new generation of connected devices. Although Apple, for example, will not have any official presence at the CES, expect companies to announce home automation devices that work with its HomeKit development platform. HomeKit lets companies build smart home gadgets that can be controlled with iPhones or iPads and can even work with Siri, Apple’s built-in assistant.
Other devices are targeting a niche consumer base. Tagg’s GPS-enabled pet trackers can report your pet’s location and the temperature there. Connected workout clothing from Hexoskin will let trainers monitor athletes from afar — even from other countries.
“These devices get new life breathed into them as they become connected,” Curran said. “Aesthetics and fashion become a core component. It’s either hanging in my house or I’m wearing it every day.”