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Welcome To The Future: CES 2019 Kicks Off

We’re entering the Data Age

What if all those things you saw at a prior CES finally became a reality?

Judging from the Consumer Technology Association’s Tech Trends presentation, a.k.a. the official commencement event of CES, the 2019 show will be precisely one of those years.

This year’s presentation was delivered by the CTA trifecta of Steve Koenig (VP of Market Research), Ben Arnold (Senior Director of Innovation and Trends), and Lesley Rohrbaugh (Director of Market Research). The trio noted that in addition to the newest emerging technologies, attendees at this year’s show can expect trends of the past come to fruition, as we move from the Digital Age of 2000, to the Connected Age of 2010, to the Data Age of 2020.

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5G is one of the most prominent examples of this evolution, as its progress and potential will be evident across the entire show floor. Exhibitors will demonstrate not only its impact on the consumer tech industry but also the economic change it can effect across the globe.

Artificial intelligence will also be omnipresent at CES, said Rohrbaugh, with the “ingredient technology” embedded in devices in order to provide more customization and personalization in our lives. Such bespoke experiences are perhaps nowhere more attainable by consumers than within the smart home, a category that will continue to be steered by the development of digital assistants. Rohrbaugh boiled down voice technology into three core truths for today’s age: 1. Digital assistants are going into everything; 2. Support for digital assistants has become table stakes for all companies; 3. Voice is quickly becoming the “go to” interface.

As such, the smart home conversation will continue, but we should expect to see more dialogue about devices connecting with each other, across multiple platforms, rather than the consumer being tasked with control. We’ll also see more smart appliances, as manufacturers and developers continue to grapple with the evolution of IoT and the limits of automation as it’s applied to real-life situations.

And, yes, of course there will be TVs: big, bright, eye-popping displays that demonstrate the future of home entertainment. The average screen size of the TV continues to rise, according to CTA research, thanks to increased availability and affordability. 4K has helped accelerate this trend, and 8K will be no exception, said Arnold. While just 200,000 8K TVs are expected to ship this year, the figure will jump to 1.5 million in 2022.