Tablets, Big TVs, Home Automation Technologies, Ultrabooks and Win8 Will Be Buzzworthy, but Analysts Aren’t Expecting Any Blockbusters at the Upcoming Consumer Electronics Show
It may be little things with limited sales potential, such as the intelligent Nest digital home thermostat, that will generate the biggest buzz at the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES).
Technology analysts expect that most new consumer products revealed at the Las Vegas trade show will merely be iterations of things that are already on the market. Despite that outlook, there’s hope for innovation in home automation, car technology, Ultrabooks, Win8 and new user experiences (UI).
“We’re talking plenty about voice these days because of Siri, and we’re talking a lot about gesture because of things like Kinect, but I want to see where UI is going,” said Danielle Levitas, vice president of consumer technology at IDC Research.”Are we going to see voice integration with remote controls? Are we going to start seeing gesture getting to into the UI experience?”
“Whether Win 8 is on PC or tablets it’s going to be a huge buzz category.” — Danielle Levitas, IDC Research (Flickr photo)
More specifically, Levitas wants to see if there will be any new visual interfaces for connected TVs. “To me, that’s where we need to see some significant innovation,” she said.
Stepping back, she believes there will be two predominant themes at the 2012 show: connected living room and mobile. “I think where the real innovation is going to be is around home automation and in-car entertainment,” she said.
Levitas expects to see news media focus on the latest tablets and large OLED televisions. “The fact of the matter is those two segments are going to be an evolution of where we are today,” she said. “The difference this year is that there will be a lot of attention not just around Ultrabooks but Win 8. Whether Win 8 is on PC or tablets it’s going to be a huge buzz category.”
According to Sara Rottman Epps, a senior research at Forrester Research, several strategists in the computing industry are gearing up for 2012 to be the year of the “Ultrabook” — new ultrathin and light laptops, often with solid-state drives, such as the Asus Zenbook UX31 and Lenovo IdeaPad U300s.
“As we get to the latter half of 2012, Ultrabooks will be making a big push and there will be a lot of innovation in the PC market.” — Mike Feibus, TechKnowledge Strategies (Flickr photo)
“We agree that Ultrabooks’ lighter, thinner form will appeal to many consumers,” Epps wrote recently at All Things D. According to a Forrester Research survey in September, 21 percent of U.S. online consumers say they’re interested in owning one.
Mike Feibus, founder of TechKnowledge Strategies, calls this a “tweener” year for CES.
“In 2011 there was a lot of excitement around smartphones, tablets, the rise of Android and even some 3-D TVs,” said Feibus. But he foresees the 2012 show not being as exciting as 2011 and won’t have as much to see and talk about as he expects in 2013.
“As we get to the 2013 CES, that’s going to be real exciting,” he said. “As we get to the latter half of 2012, Ultrabooks will be making a big push and there will be a lot of innovation in the PC market.”
Levitas said that people attending CES will see “that a PC can be an “aspirational’ product versus just another new PC with a new OS on it.”
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