What happens in Vegas: What to expect at CES 2020

Published: 7 January 2020 - 8:39 a.m.
By: CommsMEA staff writer
This week, the world’s tech and telecoms industries will descend on the US city of Las Vegas for this year’s instalment of CES.

Well over 100,000 attendees are expected to flock to Las Vegas this year, to take in CES 2020, which will showcase the latest innovations and advancements from the tech world, including AI applications, smartphone handsets, home entertainment systems and wearable tech.

While there is expected to be plenty of wow factor on display in Vegas this year, analysts believe that there is still a large gap between the cutting edge tech on show at CES 2020 and the hardware that is available to consumers today.

“The show very much sets the tone for the year ahead. However, most of the new tech on show will struggle to be commercially viable, let alone make it into people’s homes,” said Paolo Pescatore, Media and Tech Analyst at PP Foresight.

“8K TVs will grab all the headlines. Bigger and dazzling displays will steal the show. However, these will prove to be prohibitively expensive and out of reach price wise for many consumers. There is growing concern that the ecosystem is moving way too fast. Let’s not forget there is still a distinct lack of 4K programming with the majority of TV channels still in HD.”

Pescatore also believes that big sporting events like the Summer Olympics will drive a huge upswing in demand for 8K screens as well as 5G connectivity, with vendors rushing to get their latest tech on the shelves in time for the summer.

“This will emerge as a key battleground for end to end providers like Panasonic, Samsung, Sony and others. Ownership of the entire ecosystem is still up for grabs,” he said.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is set to be a key theme at this year’s show, with AI being the glue that holds together the next generation of 5G and full fibre connectivity. 2020 will see an upsurge in the prevalence of connected devices, too.

“AI and voice will be everywhere, more in TVs as a way of improving the viewing experience for customers. Users are becoming increasingly frustrated with changing inputs and changing settings to optimise the best picture and sound for their TVs. The integration of AI can help deliver the best experience and bring TVs to life.”

The stage is still set for mobile network operators to own a bigger slice of the content pie, as more and more MNOs look at strategies for launching their own content streaming services. However, Pescatore believes that US web giants Amazon and Google will be redoubling their efforts to counter this incursion into their territory.

“Amazon and Google will seek to own the show everywhere as well as Las Vegas. They have clearly emerged as the default voice assistants for TV manufacturers - and for other consumer electronic devices,” Pescatore added.

“Content will feature prominently given the looming streaming wars. Brands need to reach new audiences on as many screens as possible. It is clear that the tech industry is seeking to collaborate more closely with the content world to bring their products to life. The vision of content anywhere on connected screens everywhere is something that will come true. This is where a combination of voice, powered by AI and the cloud, delivered by 5G and fibre is happening right now. The need for tech giants to co-operate rather than compete will be notable at CES 2020.

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