After three days of pounding the floor at CES 2015, I’m back in Washington, DC and ready to collect my thoughts about this year’s experience. Originally, Donna Hoffman and I expected,as we usually do, to spent most of our time at Central and South Halls in the Las Vegas Convention Center. Not this year. In 2015, CES was divided into three zones: Tech East (Las Vegas Convention Center ), Tech West (Sands and Venetian) and C Space at the Aria. Tech West housed pretty much all of the new emerging product categories we were interested in – smart home, fitness and health wearables, 3D printing, robotics and sensors and over 375 startups in Eureka Park. While it’s overgeneralizing to say that Tech East only showcased big TVs, its a fair generalization that Tech West came across as housing the new and emerging and Tech East the same old-same old. With some exceptions – Oculus was situated in Tech East (BTW I wasn’t impressed by the Samsung Gear VR – it’s a step up from Google Cardboard but not a full blown Oculus experience). So, most of our time was spent at Tech West – the “New CES.”
Smart Home Systems. In my last post, I talked about Samsung’s big push this year promoting its new SmartThings acquisition and the role that Internet of Things (IoT) is playing in Samsung’s product and marketing strategy. In Tech West, it became clear that Samsung and SmartThings has a lot of competition. Lowe’s displayed its entire Iris line of connected home products, including hub, cameras, motion sensors, smoke alarms, leak sensors, locks, keypads, lights, plugs, garage openers, smart pet doors, and more.