Emerging Tech Takes Center Stage At CES, Staples Continue To Dominate Sales

If 2016 was a “year of transition” for potentially game-changing consumer technology -- especially VR headsets and digital assistants -- 2017 is projected to be the year they “really take off,” Shawn DuBravac asserts in the latest edition of the Consumer Technology Association’s “U.S. Consumer Technology Sales and Forecasts,” released on the eve of this year’s CES conference

"We've had more progress in voice-activated digital assistants in the last 30 months than in the first 30 years,” DuBravac, the CTA’s chief economist, said, noting that underlying improvements in the technology -- especially “word recognition accuracy” (currently 95%) -- have increased dependability and driven mass consumer adoption.

“While still in a period of massive experimentation, we're increasingly moving away from what is technologically possible and focusing on what is technologically meaningful,” he stated.

In addition to the kind of consumer-facing technologies that often take center stage, DuBravac noted that “factory-installed technologies” in cars are now projected to “make up an estimated 50% of the collective value of new vehicles, up from 25% just 10 years ago.”

According to CTA estimates, factory-installed electronics will generate nearly $17 billion in consumer electronics sales in 2017.

That said, the five largest drivers of industry growth -- accounting for an aggregate of 48% of consumer electronics revenue -- continue to be recent mainstays, including smartphones, TVs, tablet, laptop and desktop computers.

But the big stories coming out of CES this week most likely will come from emerging technology categories, especially those that fall under “smart home,” digital assistants, 4K ultra high-definition TVs, VR and AR, drones and “wearables.”
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