It’s no exaggeration to say that we at WTI have been preparing for months for next week’s International CES. CES, for those few who don’t know, is an immense, 2-million-square-foot trade show and expo for the consumer electronics industry that wakes people out of their New Year’s stupor every January. (The Consumer Electronics Association, which puts the show on, gets cranky when you call CES the “Consumer Electronics Show.”) There are certain rhythms to the show, and therefore to the news you’ll be getting out of it.
This week, you’ll see a few strategic leaks. Avegant has been showing its second-generation retinal display goggles to a few select sites. LG has leaked some wristwear that may or may not be debuted at CES, and there’s word that Archos will show a smartwatch. WTI spoke to the Bluetooth SIG last week, and we’re expecting a ton of Bluetooth LE products to show up.
You won’t seen an Apple iWatch.
The real fun will start this weekend. You’ll start to see some actual product news (which is not to be confused with actual product, which trails the news by a few weeks to a few months) starting Sunday evening, with the first press previews. Monday is Press Day, when the major manufacturers talk new products. You’ll hear from LG, Panasonic, Samsung, Intel, and Epson, and we’re expecting some wearables news from most if not all of them; it wouldn’t be shocking if some of that news turned up in the WSJ that morning. There are more press demos Monday evening, including one hosted by the Bluetooth SIG, and it’s likely there’ll be some product coverage from those.
The actual show floor opens Tuesday and runs through Friday, and there are more product-related media functions Tuesday and Wednesday nights. We’re booked pretty much back to back from breakfast past dinner Tuesday and Wednesday; a lot of the companies we’re meeting with are small but innovative, but a couple of them are big and (we hope) innovative. Many are in the digital fitness business, but several are in the general productivity area. And more than a few, we expect, are deeply technical innovators whose work you may not see in products for a little while.
We’re going to try to post more or less non-stop as we see and hear things but CES is a big busy place with iffy connectivity and we may not get to realize that plan. We’re very excited to be checking wearables out for you, and we hope you enjoy reading our coverage as much as we expect to enjoy writing it.