CES 2013: What Can We Look Forward To?

The Consumer Electronics Show, better known as CES, is one of the largest tech shows put on annually worldwide, and the show for 2013 is looking to be one of the biggest. Scheduled for January 8-11 and held in Las Vegas, there will be literally thousands of sponsors and exhibits, not to mention an expected attendance of over 150,000 people. In short, it’s kind of a big deal, and while some details have leaked out about what we can expect at this exhibition, there are also quite a few pundits weighing in around the Web on what we might see at CES 2013. In this article, we’re going to take a look at some of these crystal ball predictions, and give you a chance to tell us what you’d like to see at CES.

Focus moving away from mobile? Maybe.

Several thought leaders are postulating that this is the year of the PC, and that this year’s CES lineup just doesn’t look as mobile-heavy as much as in previous years past. There are more OEMs and manufacturers holding down the big box signposts this year than tablets and smartphones, and in fact, many of the well-known phone and tablet manufacturers aren’t even going to be at CES – speculation rests on the annual Mobile World Congress event instead, held in Barcelona, Spain. This year, CES seems to be focused on the “inner workings” of our devices: the core technology and components. Judging from the fact that the keynote speaker is a high level exec from Qualcomm, who makes processors for smartphones, this speculation seems to be somewhat in line.

Ultrabooks and touch will be big

We’ve already seen a huge push/release this fall with Windows*8, and that’s not going to slow down anytime soon. We’ve also seen releases of new or updated Ultrabooks™ from nearly every manufacturer out there, including hybrids and convertibles that do everything but do cartwheels (maybe that’s coming next?).  We’re going to continue to see Ultrabooks dominate the PC landscape, especially touchscreens, and that’s not only for the Ultrabook device, but for most any PC form factor out there. Touchscreens are becoming more and more ubiquitous, which could be argued is a direct result of the Windows*8 launch, and consumers are snapping them up whether they come in hybrids, convertibles, or the standard clam shell form factor. They’re affordable, they’re going mainstream, and we’re going to see them at CES.

In addition to touch, Ultrabooks are predicted to continue to make a name for themselves at CES 2013, especially convertible or hybrid Ultrabook devices. Laptops that rotate, flip, or offer a detachable component (see Computers Are Getting Interesting Again for more discussion on this particular subject) will be on display.

Contextual computing, NFC, cars

There are plenty of CES predictions scurrying around the Web, especially since we’re only one month away. Among the more intriguing:

-          Location-based technology that is also contextually aware; for example, say you’ve just come home from a cold day of shopping. Your smartphone recognizes this and automatically loads apps that not only see what the damage to your budget might be, but also sends you ideas for a tropical vacation. This combines NFC, Wi-Fi, and GPS into a contextual format that makes your computing experience as personalized as possible (to some, this might seem a bit, well, intrusive, but time will tell and this is definitely the direction we’re heading).

-          Miracast: basically, this involves the transition of data from small devices to bigger devices. Maybe you’re looking at a hilarious Annoying Orange video on your tablet and with the touch of a button or the wave of a hand you transfer what you’re watching to the big-screen so everyone can enjoy (or be annoyed, as the case may be).

-          Next generation connectivity: 5g Wi-Fi is already here, but we’re going to see this integrated into PCs, TVs, and mobile devices.

-          NFC: Near Field Communication is going to expand beyond mobile payments and gaming, and while it’s still in early stages; we’re going to see content moving seamlessly from one device to the other very intuitively.

-          Cars: Cars at CES are a given, but this year, digital communications systems and devices in cars are going to be the headliner. ABI Research predicts that this particular market is going to grow to nearly $40 billion annually by 2018.

-          BYOD adoption: Analysts in the know are predicting that BYOD adoption will be “the biggest thing to hit the enterprise world since the computer mainframe”. That may or may not be true, but it’s certainly going to be something we might see at CES.

-          Apps: apps linked with product launches in order to make a bigger splash

-          Cloud: a focus on cloud services will encourage consumers who haven’t to adapt this technology; pundits expect workshops and seminars to raise awareness as well as various spotlights on technologies that utilize the cloud

-          Health: Digital health and fitness products that incorporate technology are predicted to be a hot CES trend

-          Hardware: tablets and smartphones will definitely have a presence, as well as 4K TVs, capable of showing over 8 million pixels (yes, you read that correctly!)

Intel and CES

Intel is expected to debut the latest Ultrabook designs along with the Atom “Medfield” smartphone, along with new Ultrabook convertible designs with Windows*8. For exactly what Intel will be unveiling at CES 2013, we’ll get a sneak peek on January 7, 2013 at the CES Press Day. At the 2013 CES Press Day, Kirk Skaugen, Intel’s vice president and general manager of the PC Client Group, and Mike Bell, Intel’s vice president and general manager of the Mobile and Communications Group, will provide an update on Ultrabook™ convertibles with touch, phones and tablets based on today’s 3rd generation Intel® Core™ processors, Intel® Atom™ processors as well as future technologies. Throughout the show, Intel will showcase the 3rd generation Intel Core processor-powered Ultrabook devices and tablets as well as several phones and tablets powered by Intel® Atom™ processors. Numerous other Intel-powered devices from leading manufacturers will also be displayed. You can get the whole scoop on what Intel will be doing here.

No matter what crystal ball you might be reading, CES 2013 is shaping up to be an exciting event. Are you attending? What do you hope to see at this year’s CES? Let us know in the comments.


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