This years CES was a bit lackluster in my opinion. I was surprised not to see more innovation from the handset manufacturers in terms of handset innovation for 2008. It seems like any attempt to go after the iPhone was more a follower implementation then a leading innovation.
Clearly the most innovative products at CES were the Ultra-thin HDTV’s. Sony had one of the more amazing showcases with its 11inch and 27 inch OLED TV coming in at 3MM thick.
One trend I am interested in watching this year is the connected digital picture frame space. Kodak showed me some very cool displays attached to their Easy Share service so friends and family can share pictures right to the frame. I believe there is a lot of value in this service particularly as people start getting more creative with their digital photos and desire to do more. What is better then to send those new family vacation pics right to Grandma’s frame which alerts here when she has unseen photos. Eventually this experience makes its way to the TV for a complete experience but there are still tons of barriers to overcome before that is possible. This makes the connected photo frame very important to the adoption of new display services.
The CEA also dropped some of their forecasts for this year due to economic uncertainty and possible weak consumer spending. I am bullish that the electronics sector will suffer much even if we do slide into slight reception but that is just my opinion given history and some trends but I am no economist.
With all of that said I think CES 2009 may be a very different story in terms of innovation.
Happy New Year!