IT & Operations

CES 2016; the future just got even more interesting!

January 27, 2016

Every medium having even the slightest affinity with technology has been flooded with news regarding the biggest display of consumer electronics in the world; the international Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Over nearly 50 years the CES has grown into the biggest event of the year for CE companies, making the 2016 version the largest one to date.  Attended by over 150.000 visitors the spectacle is a great stage for companies to display their capabilities and plans for the coming year.

A major topic at CES is about looking ahead for upcoming developments; what are the technologies companies aim at for the coming time. The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) expects record revenue streams for many categories of technologies for 2016, of which the smartphone business remains the largest. Especially impressive is the anticipated revenue growth coming from drones, expected to sell close to 3 million units in the US alone, increasing revenue with 115%.

Virtual Reality only for early adopters? 

Another interesting technology seeing much screen time on the CES is the consumer version of the Virtual Reality glasses. For the time being, VR will be the realm of the early adopters. With growth of the market, there will be more room for big budget content, gearing the technology for the big crowds. By 2020 the market size of Virtual Reality is forecasted to skyrocket to 30 billion dollar. Compare this to the current size of the smartphone market and it becomes evident that the expected impact of VR can’t be underestimated. This is clearly represented at CES; product demonstration including are often mentioned being amongst the most impressive. 

Finally there is a big chunk of the consumer electronics pie reserved for ubiquitous computing; connecting everything and everybody. From the more known connected refrigerator to the newly developed intelligent footwear, which automatically laces your shoes while keeping your feet at the ideal temperature.  

Planning the unpredictable 

The difficulty for companies presenting all these great new technologies to the public is that the people want to buy these products, and they want to buy them NOW. This test professionals in Sales & Operations Planning tremendously. Initially there are difficulties trying to foresee the demand for these new type of products, often lacking even a predecessor. Secondly there is the push to get the product to the consumer, with pressures to minimize the time to market. The key to facing these challenges is accurately predicting future consumer demand, as is discussed in the white paper ‘Planning the unpredictable’. Eyeon and TIAS School for Business and Society are currently working on gathering more insight on the subject of planning new products and will publish a new white paper on this topic in the coming year. If you’re interested in taking part in the research or would like to receive more information on the topic, get in touch!

If there is anything we can learn from CES 2016 is that the influence of technology is only to be expected to increase. The key challenge we face, both as people and as professionals, is to use the right technology to positively impact the steps we take. 

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