Welcome to a new, semi-regular feature here at QuickLogic HotSpots, “5 Things”, where we’ll discuss 5 topics on recent events, products, news, etc…
So, rather than belabor the point, lets roll with:
“5 Things About CES 2014”
(1) Curved televisions aren’t the answer to low margins in the flat panel industry. The incremental viewing experience doesn’t wow me, and didn’t seem to wow most of the folks around me. They’re cool to look at, and definitely make a good conversation piece, but they lack the ‘it’ factor that would cause me to shell out money to replace the perfectly good flat panel that already dominates the living room.
(2) 3-D printing, however, is incredibly interesting. There was a large number of printing companies at CES showing off some pretty intricate work by their printers. The International Space Station will have one this year, and the opportunities for these companies are limitless. As the technology improves (and perhaps more importantly, 3-D printing materials become more rigid and robust), I can see a near-term future where the custom flange you need for the out-of-production sink in your master bathroom doesn’t have to be ordered at great expense from the one place in Arkansas that stocks it — the plumber simply dials in the design on the printer in his truck, hits print, and charges you while he drinks coffee and waits for the flange to complete. So many applications, so little time!
(3) Sensor sensors sensors sensors sensors (everywhere). QuickLogic had both a closed meeting suite on the show floor, as well as an open kiosk booth in the MEMS Industry Group section, and the amount of foot traffic and genuine interest in sensor and sensor technology was just incredible. Companies that a year ago were telling us that sensors were barely on their radar were, at CES, keen on discussing specific capabilities of our ArcticLink 3 S1, and talking about sensor applications that were astounding. The future is always-on, and the future is coming.
(4) Wearables were everywhere. Not just in booth-based product demo’s (of which there were hundreds), but on people. Google claims to have only shipped a couple of thousands pairs of their Google Glasses — if so, I am guessing most of them were at CES, as it seemed like every 5th person had a pair of them on. Additionally, products like FitBit and the Nike FuelBand seemed to be as ubiquitous as business cards, sore feet, and people looking for an outlet to charge their phone. While still extremely fragmented right now, the wearable market is an absolute hotbed for OEM innovation and component supplier opportunity. Especially for low power products.
(5) Las Vegas is truly the only place that can handle CES. 150,000 people fly in and out within a week, and spend their entire day and night in an area barely over 4 miles long. Sure, taxi queues can be long at certain times, and the monorail is the hottest ticket in Vegas in the hour surrounding the show’s daily opening and closing times, but overall, you just can’t beat it. (Literally, you can’t beat Vegas — many, many people leaving poorer can verify that).
and, in case you didnt’ see it…