What's Happening at CES? Reflections from Afar

What's Happening at CES? Reflections from Afar

Is anybody else following this year's Consumer Electronics Show from a distance, trying to absorb countless Google Alerts, Tweets and Facebook updates from friends and colleagues on the ground in Las Vegas? This year, like every other, major brands and start-ups alike are using CES as an opportunity to launch new products and share major news items. Because CES coincides with the new calendar year, it's exciting to evaluate all of this activity and to speculate as to how it might affect our industry in the coming months, as well as influence the business that our customers conduct. The announcements that have caught our eye thus far include:

Automotive Manufacturers Make Moves into Apps
Both Ford and GM announced broad forays into the app development universe at the show, inviting developers to create in-auto apps specifically for their own app frameworks. The auto industry's interest in app development is an energizing development; as developers' opportunities to create apps for platforms, devices (and cars!) continue to grow, so do the prospects for hybrid apps.

Cisco Takes Video Personalization to the Next Level
Do you ever feel like you have hundreds of channels, but nothing to watch? Cisco has announced plans to change that with its Videoscape Unity software offering--negating the need to channel surf. Instead, video content will find you--suggesting programming based on past preferences and storing it in the cloud, allowing you to watch it on whatever device you select for viewing on a given day. We've talked about video personalization from a brand marketing perspective, but it's interesting to consider its implications when it is used for entertainment purposes. We'll watch this space to see how cable companies react to this technology.

Media Attendees at CES are Going Live
Not surprisingly, given that live streaming is a “hot” industry topic, media companies at CES are distributing their coverage live from the event. With so many news organizations hoping to make their mark and draw attention to the content they’re creating at CES, live can certainly be viewed as a differentiator.

Technology Innovation is Driving TV Everywhere
Content distributors--both established players and those relatively new to the market--are trying to set themselves apart based on content. From the major cable providers to online video distributors, their provision of exclusive content is critical to ensuring that they remain relevant and grow audience and subscriber counts. In order to manage this effectively, and to reap the full benefits of independent content and proprietary technology, authentication is an integral piece of the puzzle.

Rovi Strives for High-Efficiency
Rovi just announced its long-term strategy for developing High-Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC); ultimately, it is presumed that access to HEVC will reduce storage and bandwidth costs for digital media and content publishers--while also ensuring a premium viewing experience for the end user. Given speculation that the majority of smartphones will have HEVC decoding in the next five years, Rovi's support plans are timely.

What else is going on at CES that we should be digging into? Please let us know in the comments.