International CES Adding ‘Smart’ Majaps

By Alan Wolf On May 17 2010 - 4:01am




ARLINGTON, VA. — The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), in concert with the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), is adding a Connected Home Appliances TechZone to the 2011 International CES in January.

The 10,000-square-foot section, to be located in the South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center, will showcase “smart” countertop and major appliances that can be integrated into a connected-home network, or that can communicate with local utilities to modify energy consumption during peak-demand periods.

The new exhibition area “is a natural extension of the CES show floor,” said CEA president/CEO Gary Shapiro, “with products designed to network and connect, improving the lives of consumers throughout the home.”

Co-sponsored by CEA, AHAM and The Retail Observer, the majap TechZone was created “in response to strong demand from current and future CES exhibitors,” Shapiro said. CES exhibitors with a significant appliance portfolio include LG, Samsung and Sharp, while Whirlpool, the world’s largest majap maker, has long maintained a South Hall presence, either alone or in concert with other companies, to demonstrate connected-home and smart-grid appliances.

LG, for one, is currently “evaluating this opportunity” and applauds CEA and AHAM for creating it, VP John Taylor told TWICE, “especially now with the growing importance of connected home appliances and energy-efficient products.”

Samsung is similarly deciding whether it will exhibit in the TechZone space, a company spokesperson said, while Whirlpool is just entering the early stages of its trade show planning for 2011 and could not yet provide details on its CES strategy.

In a statement, AHAM president Joseph McGuire said, “The world’s leading technology trade show is the ideal venue for AHAM members and other appliance manufacturers to showcase these technologies and the connected-home concept.” He added, the home is an essential component to an effective energy smart grid, and that smart appliances and CE “will allow consumers to save money on their electric bill and use energy in a more environmentally friendly manner.”

A CEA spokesperson said industry interest in the new section is very strong. “For manufacturers, retailers, homebuilders and integrators, attending a single trade show that features the entire technology value chain - encompassing more than 20,000 new products each year for the whole home, not just one or two rooms - is the most efficient and effective business trip imaginable.”

An AHAM spokesperson stressed that the smaller-format TechZone “in no way is … intended to replace any of the [appliance] industry’s primary shows,” ostensibly the Kitchen/Bath Industry Show (K/BIS) and the International Builders Show (IBS). “This is a unique, smaller exhibit space which will allow manufacturers to showcase advanced designs in effi ciency and show support for the integration of technology into today’s home,” she said.

Space for the new appliance TechZone has been officially floored and the wait/ priority list is now open, CEA said. The trade group is anticipating a mix of various booth sizes and configurations, much like the rest of the International CES floor, and expects to draw exhibitors and attendees from the manufacturing, retailing, wholesale, home-builder, integrator, supplier and utility sectors.

Companies interested in exhibiting should contact CES business development director Ryan Strowger at rstrowger@CE.org.

The 2011 International CES will be held Jan. 6-9, 2011.

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