This year I attended both IFA in Berlin and CEATEC in Japan to promote SiBEAM and WirelessHD, as well as to keep my finger on the pulse of the consumer electronics industry in general.Overall, I find trade shows to be a key component of any company’s business development, networking and marketing strategy. In addition to U.S.-centric industry shows and given the fact that we have products shipping worldwide, I find value in attending international tradeshows to keep pace with local market trends. This year, both shows were quite different than in years past, with both being considerably smaller in size.
It was obvious that the CE industry is continuing to keep its belt tight as the fanfare was dialed down and vendors were focused on highlighting 2-3 of their most important innovations rather than 15 new initiatives on various new products. It appears that CE companies are being more discerning with the type of projects they are willing to invest in and are intensely focused on providing the most desired and sought after features that will provide consumers with the most value for their money.
At IFA, I was impressed by the number of consumers and families with their kids at the show. It was invigorating to see so many end-users taking part in the show and I took this as a sign that interest in CE is still high, although people are looking for great technology at the right price.
At CEATEC in Japan, I was witness to several great innovations available from consumer electronics manufacturers worldwide, though fewer truly revolutionary items than in the past.
New 3-D products and applications were pervasive at both shows. Every company with a 3-D product placed it front and center at their booths and in their demos. Consumers seem to be quite excited about the potential of 3-D in the home. We’re also interested in seeing how this new trend plays out in the market. In anticipation of 3-D adoption in the home, SiBEAM recently built 3-D support into its second generation WirelessHD chipset. We are thinking ahead of the curve to help support our CE customers in developing products consumers want.
Connectivity among the growing number and growing complexity of devices in the home continues to build in popularity. These were most notable in several areas. First, Internet connectivity in televisions is here to stay and is now a feature that consumers expect to be included in any modern device. Getting your TV connected to all the devices around it without wires is also growing in demand and popularity. The newest wireless TV’s from Panasonic, LG and Sony with 60GHz wireless connectivity are being received well. Who doesn’t want to eliminate the wires on the wall while also enjoying the highest quality image? WirelessHD products, powered by SiBEAM were present at both shows from various CE manufacturers.
New to CEATEC this year, there was a passionate interest in the potential of mobile features in the CE world. I was intrigued by how active the mobile operators were on the show floor in the area typically set aside for CE companies.
The CE industry has traditionally not been a core target of mobile business development, but this is obviously changing. Representatives from mobile companies were aggressively interacting with the CE community with a new level of interest and determination. I think it is likely that we will continue to see collaboration between mobile developers and consumer electronics manufacturers to create CE hybrid products with mobile integration.
I’m looking forward to witnessing and participating in the the expansion of the CE ecosystem. I envision a landscape full of new products that make it easier for consumers to share content among many types of digital devices, enhance their multimedia experience and allow users to view content on a display anywhere, while at home in a living room or while on a plane.
We are continuing to keep a close eye on the emergence of the hottest CE and mobile trends and plan to build support for these in-demand features into our future product lines.
Please feel free to comment below with your thoughts on the evolution of the CE ecosystem or any perspective you have on the CE tradeshow circuit.