While predictions around The Internet of Things for 2016 come fast and furious, one of the most accurate predictors is just around the corner.
It comes in the form of the annual CES International, the mother of all shows held in Las Vegas each January.
Based on the numerous invites I’ve been receiving, this show will again provide a picture of what consumers will be presented with sometime within the next year or so.
Although CES -- which formerly stood for Consumer Electronics Show -- is focused on consumer goods, no consumers are allowed to attend. The trade show caters to some 150,000 or so business people who ultimately will be marketing these things to consumers.
Along with its new logo, the organization that runs the show even changed its name from the Consumer Electronics Association to the Consumer Technology Association (CTA).
Based on the many past CES shows I have attended, there are more press announcements than can even be counted.
Many new products are introduced (or at least shown), although many are months away from mass production for the marketplace.
The show officially opens on Wednesday, but there are pre-CES events galore.
For example, announcements that I know of are coming from Fitbit, LG, Monster, Panasonic, Huawei, TCL, Ford, Bosch, Casio, Toyota, Samsung, Dish and Sony, among many others.
But it’s not only products that are introduced at CES; it’s also the occasion where deals are announced. For example, platform providers announce new partners, associations introduce new members, standards groups announce new initiative and brands intro new distributors.
One of the challenges of CES is the actual scope of the show. With so many exhibitors and attendees, it doesn’t fit into one location, even one the monstrous size of the Las Vegas Convention Center.
As a result, various major hotels around the city host portions of the event, providing attendees the opportunity to find those locations and then get there through the massive car and people traffic.
But each year, attendees figure all of this out.
Meanwhile, the innovations shown at CES ultimately end up in the products that roll out throughout the year.
And if by chance something about what’s coming is missed at CES, it can be sure to appear at the annual National Retail Federation Retail big show , which occurs in New York shortly after CES.
And when all of this is over, marketers will be faced with the task of helping consumers decide which products deserve their attention.