Six Reasons Every AV Pro Should Pay Attention to CES 2013

CES 2013 is upon us—the largest annual consumer technology tradeshow in the world. Even though, as the “consumer” part of its name implies, CES is not traditionally on the Pro AV radar, believe it or not, it should be. Why? Here are six reasons every integrator should be paying attention to CES.

More AV Devices are Moving Onto the Network

In SCN's end-of-year survey, BYOD was rated as the second biggest tech trend of 2012, right behind The Cloud. As you all know, the D in that acronym stands for Device, and as you also know, there is no greater annual unveiling of devices than CES. While Apple and Samsung may not be dropping their megabombs of 2013 at this event, CES is where trends in the ultra-portable arena take shape. What else might be moving onto the network in the near future? If there's a place to find out, it's CES.

Where is Multi-Touch Heading?

Touchscreen devices have invaded pretty much every aspect of our lives today; this is old news. It all began to flood the mass market thanks to Apple, which ditched CES in the early '90s. However, the show remains the premier launching pad for every other device manufacturer to trumpet the latest way tapping and swiping can make our lives better. Pay close attention to what software developments emerge in this category. Various touchscreens are integrating with Windows 8 software, like those from Multitouch and BenQ. The applications are becoming incredibly widespread in daily life, so now is the time to get familiar with the platform offerings and emerging innovations.

Will NFC Break Out?

Near Field Communication is one of the more promising technologies on the horizon—the potential for personalized shopping and digital signage experiences alone leave content developers and marketing teams salivating, not to mention the potential for tracking, collecting, and harvesting customer data like buying patterns and advertising effectiveness. While the technology has been buzzed about for some time in tech circles, the adoption rate has been slow—NFC was a notable dud at CES 2012. Will 2013 be the year that consumers finally get as excited about it as the rest of us?

How to Compete With 4K?

One of the most difficult tasks AV integrators face is staying in front of consumer trends—if what you're installing is less impressive than what your target audience has in their living rooms, you're not impressing anyone. If giant, dazzling 4K TVs are poised to make their way from elite viewing rooms to average man caves, its worth considering what you'll be doing to up the ante in your next install.

1080p Tablet and Smartphone Projectors

Yup! More 1080p projectors for tablets, phones, etc. are being introduced from a bevy of manufacturers, such as Compound Photonics and Aiptek. Will your next iPhone also be a functional projector? How will this affect the pico category?

Is Real-Time Collaboration Here?

This is another major software development with big implications, especially for enterprise applications. Today's workforce is recognized for its decline in commuting to a central hub, with employees worldwide reaping the many benefits of working from any remote location with an internet connection. The ability to share content in real time—effectively, reliably, and intuitively—is a jackpot for employers. Although the applications on the consumer level are very different, the technology should be pretty transferrable to a larger scale, and to a certain degree, it's still in its infancy.

Did we miss anything? Leave your reasons for paying attention to CES in the comments!