How consumer electronics is steering vehicle design
How consumer electronics is steering vehicle design
If you have any type of consumer electronics product in your home, car, office or hand, chances are that technology made its debut at the International CES.
As the largest hands-on event of its kind, the 40-yearold CES features all aspects of industry. More than 160,000 industry professionals from the accessories, audio, automotive, content, digital imaging, entertainment, health and fitness, video and wireless industries from 140 countries attended the 2014 CES.
It is owned by Consumer Electronics Association (CEA®), the technology trade association representing the $208 billion U.S. consumer electronics (CE) industry. CES exhibitors include manufacturers, developers and suppliers of consumer technology hardware, content and technology delivery systems. The show also features a conference program with more than 250 sessions and 750 speakers. According to an independent audit, international attendance jumped nearly 13% between the 2013 CES and the 2014 CES.
“The 2014 International CES broke records across the board as the most important, must-attend business event of the year,” said Karen Chupka, Senior Vice President, International CES and corporate business strategy.
Earlier this year, CEA announced that it was expanding its CES Unveiled event series to Shanghai and Warsaw, joining the established and successful lineup of pre-CES events in Paris, New York and Las Vegas. The CES Unveiled event series brings innovative technology companies, top media, buyers, analysts and key industry influencers together to showcase new products and tech trends leading up to the 2015 International CES. The inaugural CES Unveiled Warsaw was held in conjunction with the 5th Innovative Economy Congress on June 17, drawing visitors from Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic.
Automotive Industries (AI) asked Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of CES, why the CEA decided to expand the scope of the CES Unveiled events to China and Poland.
Shapiro: Every year we conduct a comprehensive analysis to determine the appropriate target markets to host our ever expanding CES Unveiled events. China is a major driver of the global tech industry and an important market for both the success of CES and the technology industry. It’s continually one of the top five countries represented at CES in terms of international attendance with more than 7,500 attendees from China at this year’s show, plus more than 800 Chinese exhibitors. In terms of Poland, we project that global consumer tech spending will increase to US$ 1.1 trillion in 2014, and Central and Eastern Europe will play a major role in that growth, representing 6% (US$ 68 billion) of overall tech spending. Warsaw, specifically, is a growing global city for technology innovation. And Polish attendance at CES has increased 50% over the past four years.
AI: How important are these markets?
Shapiro: In an increasingly global market, we recognize the important role that foreign companies play in the growth and vibrancy of the CE industry. China is the largest country and the second largest economy in the world. And then take for example the fact that tablets and smartphones are the biggest drivers of consumer tech spending worldwide, projected to grow by 18% and 20% respectively in 2014. Spending on tablets and smartphones in Central Europe is expected to grow by 26% and 29% respectively – far outpacing the global average.
AI: What role do automotive manufacturers especially in China play in CEA events?
Shapiro: Over the last handful of years CES has consistently hosted the majority of the top global auto manufacturers, with companies like Ford and Audi taking the keynote stage at CES. The automotive footprint is continually growing as the lines between the automobile and technology worlds are blurring. Ford was able to bring two of its vehicles to CES Unveiled Shanghai to demonstrate some of its latest technological innovations.
AI: What are some of the new features of the 2015 International CES?
Shapiro: We will see an increased focus on personal connectivity and security, smart home integration, and digital health and fitness. CEA estimates that wearables, including fitness devices and smart watches, will see 20 million units ship globally in 2014. We also expect to see a larger presence of digital sporting goods that track and improve performance. Several emerging categories, including 3D printing, drones and wearables, will have expanded visibility at the 2015 CES. The 3D printing show floor footprint will double in size over 2014, covering more than 14,000 square feet. The 2015 CES also will feature a new destination called C Space at ARIA, designed as a networking hub for the more than 30,000 entertainment, content and creative professionals that attend CES.
AI: What has been the participation of the automotive sector in the past few CES shows?
Shapiro: A record number of automotive manufacturers exhibited at the 2014 CES. Automotive exhibits covered more than 140,000 square feet of exhibit space overall, up 25% over the 2013 show. The number of automotive tech companies exhibiting at the 2014 CES jumped 13%, to 125. A record of nine auto manufacturers had a show floor presence in 2014, including Audi, BMW, Chrysler, Ford, GM, Kia, Mazda, Mercedes and Toyota. Audi, OnStar, Toyota and Valeo hosted press conferences during the 2014 CES, where they shared their latest company and product news. Audi also hosted an official CES keynote, at which it introduced its highly-anticipated Sport Quattro LaserlightV8 hybrid concept car.
The CES Innovation Awards, CEA’s annual competition honoring outstanding design and engineering in consumer technology products, has seen increased participation from automotive companies in recent years. Pioneer Electronics’ AppRadio 3 smartphone connected in-dash receiver was named a Best of Innovations honoree for the In-Vehicle Audio/Video category in 2014.
AI: What can we expect from the auto industry at the 2015 International CES?
Shapiro: CEA industry forecasts predict sales of factoryinstalled vehicle technologies will increase by nearly 20% in 2014, to US$11 billion. Cars continue to become more connected, and, as a result, the number of automotive manufacturers at CES continues to rise. As consumers continue to want more in-vehicle technologies, we expect to see an expansion in the way of connected infotainment systems on the show floor. Such technologies enable hands-free communications, spoken navigation instructions, Internet radio, emergency assistance and much more. Consumers also want self-automated features in cars that increase driver safety. Virtually every major vehicle manufacturer is currently testing and refining its own version of driverless car technology. We expect to see more driverless cars on display at the 2015 CES.
AI: What does the 2015 International CES offer automotive companies?
Shapiro: The event will feature category-specific marketplaces highlighting innovation across the automotive industry, as well as conference sessions targeting automotive technology and opportunities for the automotive sector to gain recognition from prestigious awards programs. The 2015 CES will reflect and drive the magic, wonder, energy and promise of consumer technology. It will represent the entire technology ecosystem, and automotive technology will play a big part. It is the one place where automotive company executives can directly witness and interact with the technologies and people who are driving the global innovation that will impact the automotive market and the global economy.