With venues spanning over 32 football fields across Las Vegas more than 1.9 million sq. ft. (176,516 sq. metres) 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 hit.
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 user activity.
“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.