A happy New Year to you and with the holidays now behind us, let’s do what this industry does best and that’s dive right back into our work. As always in early January, we’re prepped and ready to tackle another CES out in Las Vegas. Ahead of CES 2019, I wanted to take a minute to reflect on a few trends we’ve been following over the past year and what we hope to see out in the Nevada desert valley this year.

First up 8K.

The technology really had something of a coming out party in Berlin at IFA in September with seemingly every major display brand introducing an 8K set. That figures to carry over to CES 2019 as those same sets and more will be on the show floor and in various hotel suites. But what about the content? What can these brands tell us as far as when we’ll start to see 8K content? That was one of the biggest question marks we had on our way back from IFA, and not much has been said around 8K content since.

Listen, we’re still struggling to find viable original content options in 4K in these early stages of 2019. So what’s the pitch the consumer that they should ditch their current 4K ready TV for the next-gen display tech when the content has yet to catch up?

Next up… VR.

It’s no joke that in each of the last three CES’s we’ve gone out to, we’ve asked this category to prove something to us. And each year we leave feeling somewhat let down. However, 2018 ended up being a pretty crucial year for the technology with the launch of higher-powered yet lower-priced options like Oculus Go and Lenovo’s Mirage Solo. But again, this comes down to a content play and finding the pitch to get consumers hooked. NextVR has a cool thing going with their streaming of NBA games, which feels like the future of VR content, but what other options are out there? Frankly, there’s not much. We’re still waiting on that “killer app” for the consumer. VR has awesome benefits on the commercial/professional side of the spectrum, but it needs to win with consumers too. So, how does the space plan to do just that?

Lastly, let’s hit on the holy trinity of IoT—5G, artificial intelligence, and the connected home.

Those three segments have been quickly converging over the past year or so as the next-gen networking tech gets ready for its big debut, and as AI gets exponentially more intelligent, and as consumers really start to warm up to the connected home and smart technology. Amazon and Google have traded barbs over the past two CES’s with their respective voice assistants, so what’s the play this year? How much smarter will those technologies get? How will 5G impact their capabilities? And how can the industry turn those casual DIY consumers into full blown home automation prosumers?

There’s always a lot to dive into at CES, but those three things stand out as some of the biggest trends we’ll be following throughout the week, on the ground in Las Vegas—and in the days and weeks to follow. So stay tuned, be sure to check out all of our coverage, and hopefully we’ll see you all out there.

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