CES 2015 Preview: Drones, Wearables, and Smart Homes…Oh My!

  • November 12, 2014
  • Candice Eng

It’s that time of year. No, not the holidays. Time to start the countdown to the biggest event of the year (technically, next year). It’s prep time for CES, and it’s just 55 days away. This will be my fourth year to participate in the Consumer Electronics Show, and you can read about my previous experiences from my very first adventure to when I became a little more seasoned.

Thanks to our good friend Sam Whitmore and our INK Tech Talk Series (a weekly session during which INKers share insights on a variety of tech, PR, and other topics), we’ve gathered some of our thoughts on what to expect at CES in a few months.

Wait, is Apple at CES? No, Apple won’t be there but that doesn’t mean you won’t hear about them. In fact, you’ll hear a lot about them. Talk about brand presence and influence. With its big announcements in 2014 – HealthKit, HomeKit, Apple Watch, and ApplePay – a slew of devices and applications will be making their debut at CES in these areas. Companies like iDevices have already started teasing their news in the recent weeks. It will be interesting to see who has a marketable product and who is just riding the trend coattails of Apple.

The not-so futuristic tech… anymore. Cars like KITT from Knight Rider and the drones you saw in Star Wars are no long so hard to imagine. CES is having entire areas dedicated to them. The “Unmanned Systems Marketplace” will be making its debut with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and more. Will we see more toys, or business, industrial, and/or military use cases? While cars have always been a staple of CES, we’ll see more automakers get into the self-driving car arena in the “Vehicle Intelligence Marketplace.” Car tech usually does not make as fast of a proliferation to the mass market, as most people do not switch out cars as fast as they do their phones or watch. However, discussions around how the connected car will play a role in everything from the IoT to the future of retail shopping are already happening.

Yup, these trends are sticking around. Wearables aren’t done yet. The Microsoft Band recently came out, which is interesting since they were one of the first to come out with the smart watch concept – remember SPOT? Also, FitBit is getting ready to announce its latest device, Surge. With the big name players like Intel looking to get into the space, will we see something at CES from the original guys like Pebble and MetaWatch? Also, expect to see more wearables move off the wrist to the ear, clothing, and shoes. Meanwhile, 3D printing doesn’t seem to be going anywhere either as the DIY and maker space continues to grow. One key reason both the wearable and 3D printing spaces are still hot topics is due to the impact the fashion and retail industry will bring in the coming years. Just as we saw tech enter Fashion Week, expect to see more fashion media at CES this year. Also, with the convenience and accessibility to technology like 3D printing, startups and SMBs will have more presence in upcoming years for CES.

What do you expect to be the big themes showing up at CES?

Stayed tuned for more on show trends, what our clients are up to, and tips and tricks to having a successful experience at CES.

Before we go, here’s the first tip. Better start pitching – whether or not you or a client is going (or not going) to CES. Start taking a look at what is expected to be trending at the event – are there opportunities to provide thought leadership and be a resource? Remember that media will be highly engaged in social media during this event and they’re looking for ways to get out what they’re seeing, fast – so don’t forget about visuals and videos. CES is a noisy, sensory-over-loaded extravaganza, what’s going to be heard?

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