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2015 International CES: wearables and smart home

2015 International CES: wearables and smart home
by Bill Jewell on 01-13-2015 at 7:00 pm

2015 International CES was held last week in Las Vegas. The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) which puts on the show said over 170,000 people attended. The show featured more than 3,600 exhibitors covering over 2.2 million square feet of exhibit space.

In advance of the show, CEA released highlights of its forecast for the 2015 U.S. consumer electronics market, measured as shipments to U.S. dealers. The overall market is expected to grow 3% from 2014. One of the fastest growing markets is wearables at 133%. Wearables includes smartwatches and health & fitness trackers. Smartphones are expected to grow 5% and account for 23% of the overall consumer electronics market. Tablets, which have been a hot growth item since Apple reinvigorated the market with the iPad in 2010, are projected to decline 1%. Overall televisions and displays are forecast to decline 2%, but 4K or Ultra High Definition (UHD) TV revenues should double from 2014.

[TABLE] border=”1″
|-
| colspan=”4″ style=”width: 671px; text-align: center” | U.S. Consumer Electronics Market, $ Billion
|-
| colspan=”4″ style=”width: 671px; text-align: center” | Source: Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)
|-
| colspan=”4″ style=”width: 671px” |
|-
| style=”width: 167px; height: 21px” |
| style=”width: 167px; height: 21px; text-align: center” | 2014
| style=”width: 167px; height: 21px; text-align: center” | 2015
| style=”width: 167px; height: 21px; text-align: center” | Change
|-
| style=”width: 167px; height: 21px” | Total
| style=”width: 167px; height: 21px; text-align: center” | 217
| style=”width: 167px; height: 21px; text-align: center” | 223
| style=”width: 167px; height: 21px; text-align: center” | 3%
|-
| style=”width: 167px; height: 21px” | Wearables
| style=”width: 167px; height: 21px; text-align: center” | 2.2
| style=”width: 167px; height: 21px; text-align: center” | 5.1
| style=”width: 167px; height: 21px; text-align: center” | 133%
|-
| style=”width: 167px; height: 21px” | Smartphones
| style=”width: 167px; height: 21px; text-align: center” | 48.9
| style=”width: 167px; height: 21px; text-align: center” | 51.3
| style=”width: 167px; height: 21px; text-align: center” | 5%
|-
| style=”width: 167px; height: 21px” | Tablets
| style=”width: 167px; height: 21px; text-align: center” | 25.2
| style=”width: 167px; height: 21px; text-align: center” | 24.9
| style=”width: 167px; height: 21px; text-align: center” | -1%
|-
| style=”width: 167px; height: 21px” | TVs & Displays
| style=”width: 167px; height: 21px; text-align: center” | 18.7
| style=”width: 167px; height: 21px; text-align: center” | 18.3
| style=”width: 167px; height: 21px; text-align: center” | -2%
|-
| style=”width: 167px; height: 21px; text-align: center” | 4K UHDTV
| style=”width: 167px; height: 21px; text-align: center” | 2.4
| style=”width: 167px; height: 21px; text-align: center” | 5.0
| style=”width: 167px; height: 21px; text-align: center” | 106%
|-

UHDTVs have become a mainstream product fairly quickly. In our 2013 International CES report, Semiconductor Intelligence stated: “The biggest visual impact was from 4K (or Ultra HD) TVs. With price tags of $20,000 and up and little content in 4K, 4K TVs will not have measurable impact on consumer electronics for a few years.” Now Bestbuy.com has major brand 55 inch UHDTVs for as low as $1000. CEA’s forecast of a $5 billion UHDTV market consists of 4 million units at an average dealer price of $1250.

The hot product categories at 2015 International CES were digital health & fitness and connected home. The 2014 CES featured 366 exhibitors under the category of digital health and fitness. For 2015 the category was split into three (fitness & sports, health & biotech and wearables) and featured a total of 1,781 exhibitors, almost five times the number in 2014. The 2014 connected home category featured 982 exhibitors. In 2015 the number more than doubled to a total of 2,066 exhibitors in three new categories (smart home/appliances, safety & security, and energy management). The total of 3,847 exhibitors in these two categories is about equal to the total number of exhibitors at 2015 CES. Obviously many companies are classifying products in these categories as well as in the traditional CES categories. There is also likely overlap in the subcategories.

Digital health & fitness and connected home are each part of the “internet of things” or IoT. IoT has been much hyped in the last few years as a major growth area for electronics and semiconductors. Many definitions exist, but the internet of things can be simply defined as any device which communicates over the internet and is not a computer, tablet or smartphone. These devices often communicate with the internet automatically without the need for human intervention.

At 2015 CES, A&D Medical released the results of a survey of 2,024 U.S. adults conducted by Harris Poll. The survey showed 56% want to monitor their health with connected devices. The most desired vital signs the participants wanted monitored were blood pressure, weight, chronic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension, sleep, physical activity and diet. Only 5% wanted to monitor their sexual activity. However that low number did not stop OhMiBod from introducing a product in the category of wearable sex technology. We won’t go into detail here, but the specifics are in OhMiBod’s press release.

The 2015 CES Innovation Awards featured several products under the categories of wearables; fitness, sports & biotech; and smart home.

The Polar V800 (below) is a multisport GPS watch for activity tracking and fitness training with a list price of $520. It not only looks complex, the manual is 102 pages.

The Withings Activité in contrast is a simple and elegant looking analog watch which doubles as an activity tracker and retails for $450.

The Cloud Based Advanced Smart Robo VacMop from Moneual learns from prior cleaning history data saved on the Cloud. This device could be also be classified under “things we didn’t know anyone needed” and “fun things to scare your cat.”

Also from Moneual is the Smart Beauty Mirror, an integrated grooming gadget with a mirror that “provides personalized fashion and beauty care information through face analysis, skin monitoring, trending fashions, web contents and more.” Now every woman can have the magic mirror the evil queen had in Sleeping Beauty.

Netatmo’s WELCOME is a smart home camera with facial recognition. “It learns to recognize your household members and updates you on who is home when you are not, with concise notifications on your smartphone or your smartwatch.” Good way to keep your home safe and spy on who is with your kids when you are not home.

It is difficult to predict which of these products will be successful. However the “internet of things” is more than just hype – it is a fast growing area of consumer electronics.


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