CES & the Future World of Connected Cars, Wearables & Commerce

As I get ready yet again to head out of the International CES show in Las Vegas, I’ve been going through the mobile commerce potentials likely to be shown at the event.

CES is an event where a lot of products that are technically feasible are shown in hopes that they may become commercially viable. Many do not.

Just as International Business Machines is now known as IBM, as of last year, the Consumer Electronics Show is now known as International CES, although most of the things introduced ultimately are electronics of one kind of another targeted toward consumers.

Somewhat ironically, no consumers can attend the consumer-focused show, since the products are essentially being pitched to those who will be selling them to consumers down the road.

Before the official International CES opens on Tuesday, there are many private showings of some of the key innovations that will be seen by the public sometime later in the year.



For example, GM last year showcased a networked Corvette on stage showing how drivers will interact with their cars in the future. GM at that event announced its partnership with AT&T so that all future Chevys would be shipped with networked technology included in each vehicle.

GM again this year will be hosting a pre-event I'll be attending, showing what’s new in the world of connected cars and in-vehicle technology.

The car console is becoming yet another starting point for mobile commerce, with the smartphone as the hub. Apps are being loaded into dashboards with the potential purchasing power for a host of digital and physical goods while sitting in your car.

Wearables were a big deal at last year’s show and this year looks to be the same.

I’m guessing some of the companies we saw last year are gone, since there were so many with some on the outer fringes, to be kind. This year, some major players are expected to introduce new wearable innovations.

LG, maker of televisions, microwaves and countless other products, will be launching a range of smartwatches with some powered by the Android Wear platform.

Many wearables, such as smartwatches, can become new commerce conduits, seamlessly tethered via Bluetooth to a phone in a pocket or purse.

CES is also the place that gadgets galore are introduced. This year there will be more phone power charging gizmos, like a solar page charger that can be placed inside a diary, and devices for opening car doors, like the InBlue smartphone and smartwatch-compatible automobile virtual key system.

There will be countless innovations that don’t relate to mobile commerce, from ultra-high definition TVs, robotics, 3D printing to all types of healthcare items, most of which I’ll be passing on in search of those that relate to commerce.

I’ll also be on the lookout for any new beaconing technologies and approaches. At last year’s CES, there was beacon-triggered scavenger hunt, which I found to be somewhat of a bust, although beaconing was pretty new at the time.

In one pre-CES event, more than 200 companies will be showcasing their wares. Some of these companies no one has ever heard of and others, well, they include Microsoft, Newegg, Samsung, Brookstone, Lenovo, Epson, Garmin, HTC, Hyundai, LG and OnStar.

Not sure exactly what we’ll find at this year’s International CES, but whatever it is, the knowledge of it will not be staying in Vegas. Stay tuned.


Check out the coming MediaPost IoT: Beacons conference agenda for Chicago Feb. 10.




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