2013 CES Top 4 Mobile Trends

January 17, 2013 Shawn Griffiths

With 150,000 attendees, 20,000 new products, 3,300 exhibitors and two million square feet of exhibit space, separating trendsetters from dead-enders attending 2013 CES can be a difficult task. Fortunately, 20 staff from Xtreme Labs recently made the trip to Las Vegas and want to share their feedback on the world’s largest consumer technology tradeshow.

By popular poll, we’ve identified the top four mobile trends captured during 2013 CES. Here’s a quick overview of what to expect this year and beyond.

1) Android everywhere

We’ve been seeing stats for some time now demonstrating Android’s rapid adoption across multiple platforms. This was clearly evident at CES, with an abundance of Android devices showcased throughout the show. Android is seeping its way beyond smartphones and tablets, entering the fields of automotive, home appliances, gaming consoles, wearable technology and much more.

Expect an increasing number of companies in different industries to heavily leverage Android in 2013.

2) Wearable technology reinventing healthcare

Mobile technology’s leading role in the evolution of healthcare was on full display during CES. Company such as Fitbit and 4iiii with booths showcasing wearable technology devices were buzzing with activity and excitement throughout the show.

Proteus Health impressed crowds with their ingestible sensors capable of sending internal body data to smartphones and disposable patches that capture physiologic responses and behaviours.

Other attention-grabbing devices included an electronic fork that monitors and tracks eating habits and an impact sensing skullcap to help diagnose concussions. Most wearable technology devices were accompanied by mobile apps.

By 2016, the number of wearable technology devices shipped is forecast to grow to between 39 million and 171 million (according to IMS Research’s white paper Wearable Technology – A Global Market Overview).

With the consumerization of IT and the push of the BYOD market, millions of health app downloads and a mobile revolution in healthcare are imminent.

3) Automotive is the new app battleground

The focus on automobile technology generates significant attention each year at CES. Automobile manufacturers’ connected car displays were impressive but there’s a risk of fragmentation with the implementation of new technology.

For example, Ford and GM both opened their Connected Car APIs to developers but Ford is using mobile devices to deliver their experience while GM is banking on in-car infotainment systems.

From what we saw and the work we’re doing in automotive, cars will undoubtedly become more connected in 2013. Android appears to be the OS of choice for manufacturers but a platform war is inevitable if major brands can’t agree on implementation.

4) Home automation here but not yet mainstream

The growth of smart appliances is taking off, putting us very close to living in a world where most devices in our home can be controlled with our mobile devices. Major manufacturers such as Whirlpool, LG and Samsung showed off a wide variety of smart home appliances designed to save time, add convenience and even entertain.

User-centric design and remote appliance control were at the forefront of home automation displays. Examples included washing machines with apps, fridges with tablet displays, appliances with web connectivity and, finally, “magic remotes.”

However, similar to the automobile industry, companies in the smart home space are dueling over conflicting app designs. Some are creating separate apps for specific features while others are designing aggregated controls all in one app.

Regardless of the approach, CES demonstrated that smart homes will continue to gain traction throughout 2013.

Final thoughts

CES, hosted annually in Las Vegas at the beginning of January, remains one of the largest and most influential technology conferences in the world. While a lot could change as the year progresses, we’ve seen CES set a number of tech trends in the past. This year will be no different.

However, CES still takes second stage for mobile trendsetting to Mobile World Congress, being held February 25-28 in Barcelona, Spain. MWC is the largest mobile trade show in the world, hosting 1,500 exhibitors. Last year this mega-mobile conference attracted 67,000 visitors, up by 11% over 2011.

Stay tuned to this blog and follow www.twitter.com/xtremelabs for more mobile insights from our team attending MWC.

Contributors to this article included 20 staff from Xtreme Labs that attended CES. Xtreme Labs #2013CES team included:
@sundeep @avarma @fnthawar @imtiazj @AronIsHere @SheetalJaitly Urmi_19 @RaineQian @BoDhangles @borisc @gregburgoon @shawngriffiths @jeremywblack @rodneywong730 @LeeLeeMishi @mike__stern @ouchmyliver @rasingh

Android camera

Rodney Wong from Xtreme Labs tests out a Samsung GALAXY Camera on display at 2013 CES. This camera was one of many mobile devices using Android OS.

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