Viewpoint: Steve Koenig, Director of industry analysis, Consumer Electronics Association

The two big trends we are seeing in the industry today are mobility and connectivity and consumers really want to be standing at the intersection of those trends. We are all leading increasingly mobile lives and we want to take our content and information, entertainment, productivity, all those things with us, so therefore the connectivity is supremely important.

Steve Koenig

This is why we see connectivity being embedded in a variety of devices. Not only mobile devices but also devices in the home that allow those technologies to be connected as well.

We are often asked about the next big thing that comes from our Consumer Electronics Show. Increasingly, the industry is less about hardware and more about connectivity, services and software. The hardware becomes a platform and for this reason it’s sometimes difficult to quantify how big the industry is.

A year ago, we started seeing smart or connected TVs. This segment has really advanced. The real innovation from the show this year was around search and content discovery via gesture. Voice and facial recognition technologies are being built into the TV via a camera and microphone, so when you sit in front of your TV, it recognises your face and customises the TV viewing to you – it knows your favourite channels and understands your viewing habits so it can make recommendations for you on what to watch.

Televisions are becoming more intelligent, and people can search for content. This innovation is not hardware – it is the back-end software and processing going on behind the scenes that enable the intelligence.

Increasingly, what you are going to see is connectivity becoming standard and expected by consumers. It’s not appropriate to bring forward a ‘dumb’ device because from a business standpoint, companies are increasingly having to maximise the value proposition.

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