By Ricky Wong
Last week I had my annual 26 mile walk around CES Tech West, East, and South. It was a great workout. This year again I walked around with the 12 year long CES veteran Bobby Lo — he started CES before when he was allowed to gamble ... :-)
Where are consumer electronics going?
Distributed manufacturing is hot. 3D printing of metal is getting better. There are small waterjet cutters, small laser printer machines, and small PCB printers. To connect them all, we have fictiv.com (portfolio company) helping startups prototype quickly, without spending any money buying machines.
IoT is becoming more about action and automation.
Robot butlers are coming to a home near you.
Speaking of hoverboards, last year we had a huge number of Chinese smartwatch makers. This year they are replaced by hoverboard suppliers and Coolest Cooler copycats.
The marketing and branding of the Chinese booths have also noticeably gotten better. I saw more foot traffic in the Chinese booths than the German booths, which admittedly is not a high bar. For now, US and French exhibitors still attract more traffic.