What to expect from CES in Las Vegas?
It’s the first big moment of the year for Global Tech. The Las Vegas CES, 51st of the name, will launch 2018 with great fanfare from January 9 to 12. As in every edition, new products should be announced by tech giants, even if the “wow” effect of the Consumer Electronics Show tends to fade over time. Indeed, the behemoths of Silicon Valley and most car manufacturers have now become accustomed to presenting their new innovations at their own conferences (“Build” for Microsoft, “F8” for Facebook, “WWDC” for Apple, etc. ) for increased media exposure.
Nevertheless, the CES in Las Vegas remains “the place to be” for start-ups around the world. And for good reason, a successful CES is the guarantee of a well-filled order book and a bright future. On the contrary, a failed CES can override the existence of a company. Because to go and shine in Las Vegas requires a certain cost: between plane tickets, the hotel, the stand and the various expenses on the spot, it is necessary to count at least 10,000 euros to give oneself the means to seduce investors. in the city of Nevada. French Tech has understood this and will once again be present en masse this year in Las Vegas. For the 2018 edition, 320 French start-ups will exhibit their products at CES, compared to 178 last year, making France the second largest delegation in the world behind the United States. As a reminder, barely 66 young French shoots made the trip to Las Vegas in 2015.
You will have understood that the CES, although not revolutionary, is still very important for entrepreneurs. Because if the event struggles to keep an effect of surprise, it nevertheless sets the pace for the year ahead. The trends that emerge from CES in Las Vegas are often those that govern the next 365 days of global tech. Overview of trends and expected announcements for the 2018 vintage of technology (and gadgets).
The smart home continues its rise
She was already at the party last year in Las Vegas, the smart home will come back in force in 2018 at CES. In 2017, the smart and connected home was notably carried by the smart assistants that are Amazon Echo and Google Home. And for good reason, these new connected speakers allow, simply by calling them out with your voice, to turn on or off your lighting, control your alarms, make online purchases, record appointments or even to regulate the temperature of your house. Clearly, these new daily assistants tend to become full companions in the lives of their users, to the point that in the near future they should allow you to manage your bank accounts or even give you some medical advice when you have listed the symptoms that a member of your family suffers from.
In addition to connected speakers, the voice assistants that accompany them should take an increasing place in the ecosystem of everyday objects at home. Last year, Samsung notably unveiled a refrigerator that integrated its personal assistant Bixby. It would not be surprising if this one starts to be present on washing machines, vacuum cleaners or even televisions.
While connected objects can simplify everyday life at home, residents expect above all to feel safe at home. Actors like Ring or Notion could do well this year at CES. Last year, Ring presented in Las Vegas a connected camera-projector, which aims to reduce crime, including burglaries and assaults, in neighborhoods. Nest Labs, which stood out with a connected thermostat, or August, which manufactures smart locks, are also companies that could inspire innovations in this sector at CES.
Virtual and augmented reality in the age of maturity
Virtual reality is well established in the landscape, developments towards augmented reality are now tending to multiply. Proof of this is that Snapchat is multiplying initiatives to encourage its users to use but also to create animated filters in augmented reality. Snap, the parent company of the ephemeral messaging application, has even launched “Lens Studio”, a creation software available to everyone that allows you to create and distribute augmented reality filters.
However, virtual reality should still shine in Las Vegas in 2018. In this segment, Qualcomm, the world’s leading manufacturer of chips for smartphones, should offer new possibilities since it provides development kits dedicated to virtual reality for headsets. boarding the Snapdragon 835 chip. In addition, Lenovo could unveil at CES its new Daydream virtual reality headset (which can only work on Android), called “Mirage Solo”, which has just obtained the approval of the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) in the United States.
Wearables on stand-by
More and more popular, “wearables”, these activity trackers that one carries on oneself or which are present in clothes, should again this year invite themselves in the aisles of CES. Some industry giants, like Fitbit, will be there, but like smartphone makers, they often prefer to organize their own events to launch a product. In addition, the “wearable” market has made several victims in recent years, such as Jawbone, Pebble, which fell into the fold of Fitbit, or Adidas, which stopped designing watches and others. connected trackers. In addition to Fitbit, Apple with its connected watch Apple Watch manages to pull out of the game.
Although this market is difficult, companies that are not normally immersed in the tech ecosystem could try their luck at CES, which serves as an ideal showcase. Thus, smart shoes and t-shirts have appeared in Las Vegas in recent years. Clothing with sensors could be in the spotlight in 2018.
In the shadow of Mobile World Congress, CES will focus on 5G
CES in Las Vegas is not known to be the premier show for mobile phones. And for good reason, the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona will quickly fall behind from February 26 to March 1. However, almost all the players in the sector will be present in Las Vegas. Few shattering announcements on the horizon but the American show should allow to see the first devices embedding the high-end Snapdragon 845 chip from Qualcomm.
However, some smartphone manufacturers are taking advantage of CES to boost sales of their devices. This is particularly the case with Sony, which has made a habit of presenting smartphones from its Xperia range in Las Vegas. A new Xperia incorporating the Snapdragon 845 chip could be unveiled at the show. For its part, the Chinese Huawei could take advantage of CES to announce the marketing in the United States of certain flagship products, such as the Mate 10 smartphone and the MediaPad M5 tablet.
In terms of mobile telephony, but not only, the real interest will revolve around the arrival of 5G. The next generation of mobile communication networks after 4G should constitute a favorable base for new innovations for autonomous cars, drones or robotics.
The autonomous car at the dawn of commercialization
Uber, Lyft, Waymo, Baidu, Peugeot, Intel, Daimler… The list of players who are positioning themselves in the autonomous car market is already full. At CES, some will take the opportunity to seduce the public with their driverless vehicles. This is particularly the case of Lyft, the rival of Uber which has the wind in its sails, which will team up with Aptiv, an entity resulting from the reorganization of the equipment manufacturer Delphi. Using the Lyft app, CES visitors will be able to order a ride from the Las Vegas Convention Center.
While autonomous cars are systematically covered with sensors of all kinds visible from the outside, that of Aptiv will stand out since it will hide all of the autonomous technology under the sheet metal of the vehicle. Aptiv even thinks that its device will be ready for production launch within a year. However, the Delphi branch will have to contend with competition from Waymo, the Google subsidiary, which will organize public trials in the Phoenix metropolitan area this year without an emergency pilot behind the wheel. In addition, several manufacturers will be at the rendezvous in Las Vegas, like Ford and Toyota, which should offer an avalanche of self-driving car demonstration videos.
320 French start-ups put to the test of the American market
Once again, French Tech will be present in great numbers in Las Vegas. Crowned with the title of “Startup Nation” under construction since the election of Emmanuel Macron (whose trip to CES in Las Vegas in 2016 had marked the spirits), France will send 320 nuggets to conquer the United States.
It must be said that 2017 was a busy year for French Tech, which shone internationally with the opening of Station F, the largest start-up campus in the world, and the imposing round tables of several companies, such as Doctolib, the specialist in making online appointments with healthcare professionals who raised 61 million euros in 2017, and Younited Credit, the crowdfunding platform for loans between individuals which has completed a round of funding of 40 million euros last year, or Frichti, the home delivery service of homemade meals which raised 30 million euros in 2017.
At CES, French Tech will be represented in particular by Snips, a start-up led by Rand Hindi, which has set up a voice platform dedicated to connected objects, and Blade, a young shoot which will present its high performance PC hosted in Las Vegas. the cloud.
Other start-ups with a more astonishing concept will also be on the trip, such as Lovebox, a connected love box to offer to his soulmate to send him love messages, or Joy, who has designed a connected watch allowing to teach children to tell the time and to perform daily tasks, such as brushing their teeth or setting the table.
It remains now for the French nuggets to seduce investors and the media in the forest of 180,000 visitors who are preparing to walk the aisles of CES in Las Vegas.