CES 2012 - a quick and dirty review

Every year geeks, tech gurus and captains of gadgetery from around the world converge to attend the annual Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas, where manufacturers show-off their latest products and services in an attempt to set the standards and create buzz for the coming year.

It's always good to have a look at what made noise at the show to get a little insight into what's coming this year.

I'm a researcher not a tech expert, so if you want a detailed run down of show please visit www.pcmag.com/ces or http://ces.cnet.com/ - however if you are happy with a quick and dirty review, please read on.

  • Smart TV's look like they will soon become the norm: are much like smart phones are today, smart TV's can connect to the net and do pretty much everything in a TV centric way, e.g. download Apps. Google TV is getting some traction, but manufacturers are still yet to find a common platform. Watch out for an Apple Smart TV announcement later in the year. 
  • Implication: Once Smart TV's become mainstream, it's either going to get easier or harder to reach your target audience depending on your current digital marketing capabilities 

  • Tablets are getting really really cheap: it won't be uncommon to be able to pick up a quality tablet for less than $300 in 2012
  • Implication: Once tablets get really cheap, there are going to be millions of these devices sitting on coffee tables, kitchens and probably bathrooms meaning customer facing content (e.g. apps, websites, multi-media, email etc) will need to be tablet, smartphone and PC friendly

  • Ultrabooks to become the standard (and cheaper): these new generation laptops are essentially thinner, lighter, bigger and more powerful than the average laptop, i.e. similar size and weight of a tablet with the power of a PC
  • Implication: Cheaper quality tools for the new mobile generation workforce (and less shoulder strain)
  • Mobile payments to boom: Paypal recorded 4 billion dollars worth of mobile payments in 2011, compare that to only 750 million in 2010 
  • Implication: With more and more consumers willing to make paymetns on their mobile, expect more mobile marketing and sales initiatives (i.e. apps) being developed by either new startups or retailers themselves