LAS VEGAS - Commenting on the absolutely-packed-to-the-gills room, Shawn DuBravac, Consumer Electronics Association chief economist, welcomed everyone "to the first Occupy CES Meeting. I hope you brought your tents."
Kicking off the 2012 International CES with the longstanding "State of the Consumer Tech Industry and 2012 CES Trends to Watch" presentation, DuBravac highlighted some of the themes that are going to be found at the show.
Among them (as
back in November) are the presence of computer power in non-computing devices; interfaces and the evolution of devices back to simplification; and the prevalence of customization and personalization.
The show will play host to more than 25,000 product introductions, DuBravac said, including 30 to 50 Ultrabooks, more than 50 tablets, and "more phones to launch than ever before."
"Last year was perhaps the strongest wireless show, and this year will have a stronger wireless presence than ever before," he said.
Acknowledging the legendary elephant in the room, DuBravac said, "I always read at least 30 articles highlighting that Apple isn't exhibiting at CES. I think everybody knows this. And I'm not sure that's the big story. Whether its iOS or Android or a different operating system, the key is that we're building a hardware core."
It is this hardware core, he explained, that is bringing together CE manufacturers and retailers. "I would argue that among the major CE retailers, wireless is the new traffic driver. We used to offer physical media to get consumers in the store - we now highlight what's happening in mobile to get them in the store. What will take place over the next few days is the leverage of this hardware core to leverage and build up this industry."