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Retailers Recap CES 2017

Amid the hubbub of new product demos, keynote addresses and attention-grabbing booth displays, let’s not forget a critical constituency at CES: the dealers, who ultimately decide the exhibitors’ fates.

To get their sense of last week’s show we gathered a sampling of retail observations, as shared through their company blogs. Here’s what these attendees had to say:

Scott Nygaard, merchandising senior VP, hardlines, Target: “It’s fascinating to see the progress and sheer volume of new technology. As we’ve seen in recent years, connected devices continue to be a mainstay at CES.

“This year, the acceleration of voice-activated platforms is changing the game — everything from cars to core electronics to sporting goods and more.  The noticeable change this year is the increase in guest usage and adaption as these devices become more mainstream. Consumers want convenient solutions that will simplify their lives.”

Carl Prouty, sales rep/on-screen talent, Abt Electronics: “CES 2017 wasn’t much for shocking new technology debuts or any real game-changers. Instead, we saw plenty of refinements and advancements to the wowing tech that debuted maybe last year or the year before.

“That trend was especially evident with televisions and associated home theater stuff. Here are our Top 5 developments in TV from this year’s CES:

1. More OLED

2. Samsung QLED

3. Even thinner TVs

4. More high short-throw projectors

5. Sony CLEDIS (Crystal LED Integrated System, a scalable display system that can combine individual display panels into a seamless video wall).”

Frank Walker, senior contributing writer, Adorama Learning Center: “If any over-arching theme emerges from the spectacular diversity of products and services shown at CES 2017, it is the seemingly unstoppable movement toward total integration of everyone’s digital life experiences.

“In the automotive sector, this means self-driving, self-navigating, self-parking, total electric/electronic cars that are all connected to the Internet and remind you when service is required or appointments are upcoming. In the imaging arena, it means cameras with enhanced Wi-Fi, NFC, and Bluetooth connectivity that automatically save captured images to the Cloud and let you post and share them instantly in convenient sizes without having to go through separate steps, and to stream live video.

“It also means action-cam-equipped drones that are easier and safer to fly, and let users have an immersive flying experience via video headphones.”

John Vomhof Jr., staff writer, Best Buy: “Although a lot of focus will be on products like self-driving cars and lifelike robot assistants that are years away from becoming commonplace, most innovations at CES will be significant (albeit less flashy) upgrades and changes to existing technology.

“We’ll see new and improved laptops, smart home devices, wearables, drones and even household appliances. You know, the latest version of all of the different products that you’ll find on the shelves at your local Best Buy store.

“Some new products will be more eye-catching than others, though. LG, for example, is releasing a levitating speaker — yes, as in floating — that provides 360-degree sound.”