Tag - CES 2022

Musings from CES 2022

Although the pandemic clearly impacted attendance at the Consumer Electronics Show held earlier this month, innovation and the “wow factor” remained on full display (pun intended, read on).

Not Your Great-Grandma’s TV

Just when you think the television market has plateaued for good, Neo OLED televisions have arrived to blow your mind with displays so bright and crisp you can see the fuzz on a tennis ball.  The latest TV technology unveiled at CES is meant to fully immerse viewers into the entertainment experience. With screen sizes ever increasing and/or curving, users are enveloped more than ever before.  Even at dominating sizes, new models aren’t necessarily eyesores. Some display realistic-looking art masterpieces when in standby mode, while others roll up and are hidden from view entirely.

Mobility Space Accelerating at CES

Beyond developing more lifelike (and size) futuristic gaming and television displays, some electronics manufacturers are remaining relevant by jumping to completely new verticals. One such example is Sony. Alongside crystal LED, professional drones, gaming, virtual reality and other CE exhibits, Sony unveiled VISION-S 02, its second battery-electric car prototype. With focus on electric power, autonomous mobility and safety features, this year’s show drew 185 auto manufacturers in the growing vehicle technology category at CES.

Sony’s concept battery-electric VISION-S 02

Sony calls its car a “new SUV-type prototype vehicle that accommodates diverse values and lifestyles.” Meanwhile, Panasonic debuted new electric vehicle battery technology that substantially increases storage capacity to extend range. The manufacturer, which supplies TESLA batteries, is also making the motor/battery system for Totem USA’s first eBike, Zen Rider.

Sony’s first prototype VISION-S is now undergoing road tests, and the manufacturer is creating an automobile division. Although there is no guarantee the vehicle will ever be mass produced, hats off to Sony – and Panasonic – for diving into a new product pool. If Sony’s vision ever becomes reality, it may one day be perfectly fine to sleep in the back of your car while it takes over. Plus, with Sony’s ingenuity, the onboard display system is sure to shock and awe.

Appliances Getting Smarter & Snappier

Nearly all manufacturers showed off products embedded with smart technology. From dryers that send notifications when laundry is done to refrigerators that offer recipes based on existing contents, appliances are being made to do a lot more for consumers than simply heat and cool.

Appliances are also being designed to free up space in the home. Stackable laundry units provide ample capacity while providing enough room to add a sink or more storage. Vibrant colors are replacing the white, black and stainless steel of most standard appliances. Samsung introduced a line of French door refrigerators available in 12 colors from pink to emerald green.

Robotics was another theme on display with upgraded floor cleaners, self-filling baths and other automated functionality to assist you in daily home life. Here’s hoping the robot chefs that duplicate famous chef dishes make it into the home in my lifetime.

                       Robert Coolidge
                       President & CEO

Opportunities for Repair Industry

By now, savvy, ambitious servicers have evolved their skills and business models to meet market demand and stay current. Those still relying on 42” TVs for repair work are likely close to retirement or have a lock on their service area.

Electric cars are going to displace gas powered vehicles – it’s not if, but when. What does this mean for electronics gurus? Could their skills transfer to this technology and displace standard auto repair shops? What about robotics, e-bikes and next-level gaming consoles? These types of electronics are sure to hold their price points much longer than LCD TVs, which should help drive repairs vs. replacement.

It’s often hard for businesses to anticipate future trends and adapt their operations accordingly when balance sheets are healthy. But no matter how comfortable you are today, it can all go horribly wrong if you refuse to be forward thinking.   Look no further than Blockbuster, Sears, Kodak, Borders and the like. Turns out there’s no such thing as being too big or successful to fail.

If you’re not paying attention to tech news and looking for new opportunities to provide aftersales service, you will eventually get left behind. It was a long time before mobile phones replaced the ubiquity of landlines, but once they took hold, that was the end for all kinds of businesses. Remember pagers? When’s the last time you used a phone booth or bought an answering machine?

Displacement is just around the corner from the next innovation. Watch where we’re going and don’t fall flat on the pavement.