As 2016 winds to a close, tech industry leaders are anxiously preparing to showcase their most recent high-tech innovations on perhaps the industry’s largest stage—the 2017 International Consumer Electronics Show.
What is the Consumer Electronics Show?
The Consumer Electronics Show, or CES, is a tech trade show held every January in Las Vegas, Nevada where companies demo their new gadgets. Last year drew nearly 180,000 attendees while the exhibition area spanned 2.5 million square feet—not exactly a quaint affair.
Each year, Magnetic Creative attends CES to manage clients’ trade show exhibits, forge new working relationships, and keep up with the ever-evolving tech industry. Someone’s gotta test drive those new self-driving cars, right?
CES 2017 Whoa Factor
CES 2017 Dates
This year, CES will be held January 5-8, but keep your ear to the ground for pre-show announcements in the days leading up to the event. If you haven’t nabbed your badge yet, there’s still time to register for the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show.
Consumer Electronics Show Expectations
Those who’ve attended CES in years past understand its magnitude—the place is huge. It’s more or less a plugged in Disneyland for early adopters, technology lovers and of course, brand and marketing managers.
Given the daunting number of exhibitors on the CES trade show floor (last year 3,600 companies attended), we decided to organize a concise list of products and companies worth keeping an eye on at this year’s conference. These companies meticulously organize their trade show exhibits year in and year out to best display their innovative products.
Looking for a trade show brand strategy? Get started with The Magnetic Method to Trade Show Madness
CES 2017 – Top 5 Tech Companies to Watch
Last year at CES 2016, Faraday Future, an electric car start-up comprised of former Tesla, Ferrari, and Apple executives, showcased the FFZERO1—a high-performance electric car touted as a “car of concepts” rather than a concept car. This year, however, Faraday’s announced its plans to “unveil the future” – which presumably means a production car available to the masses.
A year ago, Faraday mentioned that a widely available “premium electric” car that “combines extreme technology, industry leading range, and holistic design” was still at least two years out from being showcased. Fingers are crossed they’re ahead of schedule.
Faraday Future is but one of the many car companies expected to attend CES. Most notably, Chrysler has announced its intent to withhold its all-electric Pacifica from the Detroit Auto Show—its usual stomping ground. Instead, they’ve chosen CES as the site to unveil the world’s first plug-in hybrid minivan.
Nvidia (pronounced en-vid-ee-uh), a Santa Clara-based tech company focused on gaming and professional visualization, rocked last year’s conference with the unveiling of the Shield Android TV box. Upon its release, it was the first media streamer to offer Netflix in 4K with HDR—need we say more?
Since then, next-gen gaming consoles and smart TVs have caught up by offering scores of 4K apps themselves, so look for Nvidia to distance themselves from the pack with a product update at CES 2017.
Under Armour is due to showcase some new wearable technology. They haven’t confirmed the introduction of any new products at CES 2017 yet, but if you recall, they unveiled the UA HealthBox—their take on fitness tracking—at CES 2016. We’d be surprised if they weren’t packing a follow-up for this year. Speaking of fitness wearables, check out the work we did for Mio Global, a fitness-focused client we met at the Consumer Electronics Show several years back.
4. Dell Smart Desk
Between a Windows 10 VR headset and a 2-in-1 Convertible XPS 13 Ultrabook, Dell’s pumping out more than its quota for CES 2017. But believe it or not, neither of those products are considered Dell’s “big reveal” this year.
On November 2, Dell teased its plan to “unveil the future of desktops” with a smart desk anticipated to compete directly with Microsoft’s Surface Studio. Unlike the Surface Studio, Dell’s desk is expected to include a massive tablet along with its jumbo monitor—all comfortably angled and equipped with touch interaction ideal for long work periods. This thing is a creative professional’s dream.
High definition televisions always seem to get loads of attention at the Consumer Electronics Show. This year, expect all of the major brands to make an appearance but pay particularly close attention to Sony.
The Japanese TV giant is expected to announce its first ever OLED television after supposedly striking a deal with LG, the primary manufacturer of OLED panels. These displays are much like the ones you’d find on the latest generation smart phones and tablets. Unlike LED/LCD displays, the pixels on OLED displays produce their own light—eliminating the need for a backlight and significantly improving battery life.
Sony will supplement its OLED buzz with Playstation VR—a virtual reality headset designed specifically for PS4 and the new PS4 Pro. If you’re looking for a way to optimize your already sweet television, look no further.
But wait, there’s more!
Of the hundreds of exhibitors planning to roll out some seriously cool technology this January, consider the five companies highlighted above as little more than the tip of the innovation iceberg. Don’t sleep on other heavy hitters such as DTS, EA, or really anyone hawking VR headsets. It’s crazy how quickly VR is evolving—even since attending the VRLA 2016 Summer Expo.
The Consumer Electronics Show is essentially a giant playground, so whether you’re a company planning a product launch or a consumer looking to demo the latest tech, we encourage you to go out and have fun.
If you’re an exhibitor, we invite you to check out The Magnetic Method to Trade Show Madness. With this checklist, Magnetic Creative will guide you through the trials and tribulations of planning and executing an effective trade show exhibit—whether that’s at the Consumer Electronics Show or elsewhere.
Are you headed to CES 2017? Which products are you most excited for? As always, let us know in the comments section below.