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Xconomy 11/16/2015

CES Not The Same Old Show

CES Unveiled

Change is underway in the consumer gadget scene, thanks to new blood—and a rallying cry for support—from startups, as the organization that stumps for this industry gets a bit of a makeover.

At last week’s CES Unveiled in New York, a preview hosted for the press of things to come at the January conference, Gary Shapiro, president, announced the Consumer Electronics Association would be hence forth known as the Consumer Technology Association (CTA). The name change, he said, reflected the ongoing development of the organization and the companies it aims to represent.

Car makers, social media companies, and sharing economy companies, Shapiro said, are part of the membership and presenters at its events these days. These companies include BMW, Expedia, Google, Lyft, Netflix, Pandora, Snapchat, and Uber. “Look at our leadership,” he said. “It’s really spread out dramatically, reflecting the dynamism of this new economy based around the Internet and wearables.”

The increasing presence of new tech companies will be felt as well on the showroom floor at CTA’s main event, the annual CES conference held in Las Vegas (The event is now officially, simply called CES). Drones, 3D printing, and robots are all expected to be highlighted at CES 2016 as these technologies continue to make noise. There will always be giants such as Samsung and LG Electronics showing off new lines of televisions, but more and more room is being dedicated to feature startups.

More than 500 startups will be on display in Eureka Park at CES 2016, Shapiro said, up from about 375 last January, and 200 in 2014. “We actually have a wait list,” he said. The first Eureka Park opened about four years ago. “Since 2012, more than 800 startups have used CES to showcase their products,” Shapiro said.

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