James Fishler, Senior Vice President of Marketing for LG
Electronics USA, speaks at their news conference at the
Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. REUTERS/Rick
At the world's largest technology conference that kicks
off this week, the most intriguing innovations showcased may be
gadgets and technology that turn everyday items into connected,
This year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas promises a
new generation of "smart" gadgets, some controlled by voice
and gestures, and technology advancements in cars, some of
which already let you dictate emails or check real-time gas
Pundits have long predicted that home appliances like
refrigerators and stoves will be networked, creating an
"Internet of things." With advancements in chips and the
ubiquity of smartphones and tablets, it's now happening.
"We've been talking about this convergence of consumer
electronics and computers and content for 20 years. It will
actually be somewhat of a reality here, in that your phone,
your tablet, your PC, your TV, your car, have a capability to
all be connected," said Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst
at Moor Insights & Strategy.
Despite the absence of tech heavyweights Apple Inc and
Microsoft Corp, CES still draws thousands of exhibitors, from
giants like Intel Corp and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd to
startups hungry for funding.
Wireless chip maker Qualcomm Inc's CEO, Paul Jacobs, was due
to open the festivities with a keynote speech on Monday
(local time), taking a spot traditionally reserved for
Microsoft, which decided last year to sever ties with the
Jacobs said in a recent interview on PBS that he will show
how wireless technology will be pushed way beyond smartphones
into homes, cars and healthcare.
With venues spanning over 32 football fields across Las Vegas
-- 176,516 sq m -- CES is an annual rite for those keen to
glimpse the newest gadgets before they hit store shelves. The
show, which started in 1967 in New York, was the launch pad
for the VCR, camcorder, DVD and HDTV.
While retailers prowl for products to fill their shelves,
Wall Street investors look for products that are the next
Intel and Qualcomm are expected to highlight improvements in
"perceptual computing," which involves using cameras, GPS,
sensors and microphones to make devices detect and respond to
"The idea is that if your devices are so smart, they should
be able to know you better and anticipate and react to your
requirements," said IDC analyst John Jackson.
This year, snazzier TVs will again dominate show space, with
"ultra high-definition" screens that have resolutions some
four times sharper than that of current displays. The best
smartphones will likely be reserved for launch at Mobile
World Congress in February.
There will also be a record number of auto makers showing the
latest in-vehicle navigation, entertainment and safety
systems, from Toyota's Audi to Ford, General Motors and
Hyundai. The Consumer Electronics Association has forecast
the market for factory-installed tech features in cars
growing 11 percent this year to $8.7 billion.
BMW, for one, already provides speech recognition that is
processed instantly through datacenters, converted into text
and emailed without drivers taking their hands off the wheel.
The luxury carmaker also offers data about weather, fuel
prices and other items.
"Automotive has been this backwater of technology for a long
time. Suddenly, we're seeing a lot of real innovation in
automotive technology," Scott McGregor, CEO of chipmaker
Broadcom, told Reuters ahead of the show.