CEATEC (Consumer Electronics and Technology Conference, www.ceatec.com), Japan’s largest trade show is here again and the press, analysts, consumers, and inventors of great new technologies are again excited and congregated together in Makuhari Messe! Yes, I’m a judge on the Innovation Awards panel this year – looking forward to recognizing so many companies’ hard work!!!
Here are my expectations for this year’s show:
I would certainly expect to see innovation in the display and battery technology categories. Supporting smart devices, such as the increasingly popular smartphone and tablet categories, is going to be a full time contest. Consumers want their info, entertainment, and connectivity on the go. Whoever brings them that the best and fastest way possible may win.
Except for Apple it seems, there is little loyalty amongst brands. Hopefully we’ll see a push into securing some sort of consumer loyalty. HTC and Samsung sure appear to be working towards this, but they don’t own the software like Apple does. Samsung is trying to do so with Bada, and HTC less-so with Sense, which "skins" a device’s OS, providing an almost identical experience from device to device.
You’ll probably see a bunch of me-too 3D items in the form of televisions, mobile 3D devices, and cameras. You will probably see some glasses-less 3D, and hopefully somebody will do it well! I still think glasses for 3D just plain dumb. Anyone who has kids knows you don’t want to need $70+ glasses around children.
Don’t forget about the car tech. You’ll probably see some great things from Nissan, Toyota and others.
Keep an eye on components as well. Just like last year, not all these manufacturers have their own fabs, so they need green components, 3D components, video encoding/decoding components, power management components, and the like. Expect some cool component solutions to get more of these emerging and maturing technologies into more, cheaper devices.
There may also be a push on data services for syncing information across all the various media devices. Only Microsoft and Apple have really been successful in this regard so far, so it will be interesting to see if HTC, Samsung, Sony, (Nintendo?) and others can make a play. Windows Phone 7 will be one to watch, with Microsoft’s underrated "three screens" approach to content and data syncing. Seriously, has anyone noticed all the sync capability Microsoft’s been building? All the social media connectivity services built into Windows Live? Their Sync framework? Zune on XBox and Windows Phone 7 and PC? C’mon people! 🙂