Analyst company CCS Insight and wireless veteran Glenn Lurie predicted smart home devices and artificial intelligence (AI) will be the stars of the show at CES 2018.
CCS Insight tipped announcements in the smart home category to primarily centre around incorporation of intelligent voice assistants. The company forecast Amazon’s Alexa will be “more pervasive than ever,” with related announcements spanning a number of device categories including cars, computers, appliances, lighting, TVs and more.
The analyst company said onlookers should also keep an ear out for announcements around Apple’s Siri, Google Home, Microsoft’s Cortana and Samsung’s Bixby. Despite the buzz, however, CCS Insight concluded “for most consumers, smart home products will continue to be isolated responses to a particular need, rather than fully connected and managed home integrations”.
Both CCS Insight and Lurie also predicted CES will feature a plethora of AI announcements, though the term may be used loosely. Lurie, a former AT&T executive and current head of cloud company Synchronoss, told Mobile World Live AI is frequently conflated with related technologies like machine learning and data analytics, but noted all of those centre on using information to deliver a customised user experience.
“The bottom line is the use of data is becoming more and more core to everything people are thinking about. There will be players that do this the right way, and players that do it in a way that’s not relevant and annoying and creepy. But as time goes on it will get more refined and that’s what’s exciting.”
Though CES had been a home for major smartphone launches in the past, Lurie said he expects handset activity to be more muted this year. CCS Insight added PCs will shift into the spotlight, highlighting the “emerging battle between Intel and Qualcomm” to be at the heart of the two-in-one category.
CES 2018 kicks off in Las Vegas, Nevada on Tuesday 9 January.