The Consumer Electronics Show doesn’t officially kick off until tomorrow, but the parade of new tech gadgets and gear is well underway, with Nvidia yesterday announcing a mobile graphics chip it hopes will one day power customizable digital cockpits in cars and LG introducing a curved smartphone and large-screen TVs to be powered by Palm’s webOS operating system.
Sony, Panasonic, Samsung, Cisco and Intel are among those expected to make announcements before the convention floor opens tomorrow, with more than 3,000 exhibitors set to show off their product ideas to the over 150,000 attendees journeying to Las Vegas for the five-day event. Intel CEO Brian Krzanich will give the opening keynote tonight, followed by Audi Chairman Rupert Stadler.
The show kicks off on an optimistic note, with research firm Gartner Inc. saying today that worldwide spending on information technology will total $3.8 trillion in 2014, a 3.1 percent increase over the $3.7 billion last year. That’s good news given the market experienced flat growth in 2013 over 2012, growing just 0.4 percent. While spending on devices, including PCs, ultramobiles, mobile phones and tablets, fell 1.2 percent in 2013, consumers and businesses are expected to buy more this year. Sales are estimated to rise 4.3 percent — even as margins get squeezed with average selling prices dropping as consumer electronics makers battle for market share.
Among the offerings: Lowe’s showed off its low-cost Iris home automation system, saying “smart homes are not just for the rich and famous.” Parrot is working on a new mini drone it will sell as a toy later this year after seeing sales of its other drones literally take off over the holidays, thanks to Amazon’s Jeff Bezos pitching drones as possible delivery systems. Canary is now starting to ship its $199 home security system, which it was able to prototype and build after completing one of the most successful Indiegogo crowdfunding campaigns last year and raising nearly $2 million. Dream Audio was inspired by a Mont Blanc pen to design a stunning $600 speaker it says will offers 360-degree sound dispersion — basically, the audio will sound great no matter where you are in the room. yurbuds unveiled new wireless, sweatproof earphones it says will never fall out of your ears — even if you do a mid-air flip.