Since the International CES has become such a focal point for the convergence of content and technology, the lead-up to the show tends to generate a fair amount of buzz around Akamai about what's to come (and, frankly, what may have passed), how the industry sees content delivery and consumption evolving, and what might be the "next big thing" coming out of the event. In what's becoming an annual prediction - and occasionally snark - contest, we invited some Akamai staffers with particularly keen interests in CES to forecast a few trends for the January confab.
Without further ado, here are five predictions for next week's CES:
- Connected cars for the always-on consumer. We're seeing more and more auto announcements at CES, as opposed to auto shows, because of the impressive technology they sport. As consumers, we're increasingly reliant on our mobile devices, and auto manufacturers are finding new ways to connect our cars and smartphones - and many of our other devices. We're certainly going to see lots of connected cars and their new technologies at the event this year. It might be a stretch for this year's show, but what if, someday, cars could talk to each other? Just imagine how that would impact traffic patterns! - Kris Alexander, Chief Strategist, Connected Devices and Gaming
- A pair of 4K eyeballs to go with those snazzy new ultra high-def TVs, because I'm still seeing the same HD stuff I did with my ol' $600 HD TV from last year. OK, it's not likely, but there's going to be a lot of talk about how we can deliver 4K content on these impressive screens. - Troy Snyder, Vice President of Ecosystem/Executive Producer
- The death of 3-D. You can stick those glasses in your time capsule because 3-D was a short-lived fad. I doubt we'll see much advancement or interest in 3-D this year. - Will Law, Principal Architect, Media Engineering
- 4K is here to stay - and there are new use cases for it. 4K or ultra high-definition screens are cool, but this tech is about much more than crisp content on your TV. It doesn't make sense for screens smaller than 65 inches, so the uses of it will be different than the average TV screen. Think a wall-sized interface, like the slick living room demo Cisco showed at NAB this year - there will likely be more examples of that use case at CES in 2014. - Kurt Michel, Director of Product Marketing, Digital Media Solutions
- Who will become the "Kayak" of content? Various set-top boxes and services stream over-the-top video today, and with every new offer comes a new "thing" consumers need to get. With the arrival of new, highly connected devices like game consoles, the question becomes: Who will make consumers' lives easier and do it all within one device? - Frank Childs, Director of Product Marketing, Aura Network Solutions
Do you agree? Disagree? Care to share some predictions of your own? Feel free to use the comments section below.
Akamai will again be at CES and we expect to have a few interesting things to talk about in the coming days. Stay tuned to this space for more on that as well as updates and observations from the show itself.
Chris Nicholson is a senior public relations manager for Akamai.