CES Asia

Whether you’ve previously attended CES in Las Vegas or have an interest in all things tech, you may want to consider a trip in the other direction: CES Asia. A younger counterpart to the long-standing Vegas show, CES Asia is now in its fifth year, hosted each June in Shanghai.

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[Huawei keynote]

Since its inception, CES Asia has doubled in size with over 50,000 attendees and 550 distributors at this year’s show. It’s not only a place for the Asian tech market to display their wares, but also a vital space for start-ups to get their prototypes and newly-released products out to the world. 115 start-ups representing seven countries were on hand this year.

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About 70% of companies don’t represent at CES Vegas. There are even a few European startup companies showcasing their prototypes here to showcase and eventually market to the Asian tech world.

The elephant in the room, tariffs, was also addressed during a journalist press briefing. CTA’s Gary Shapiro nailed the topic right, stating “No country has a monopoly on innovation”.

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[On the runway at Spinali Design’s wearable tech fashion show]

As with the Vegas show several years back, I was thrilled to again be part of CTA’s esteemed Journalist Scholarship Program in Shanghai with dozens of other journalists from around the world. It’s been wonderful to chat over lunch and to bond over coffee breaks with like-minded tech writers.

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CES Asia is on a smaller scale, thus a lot more approachable than its bigger sister. Conference sessions and keynote addresses are held inside the Kerry Hotel Pudong while the show is divided into five distinct halls (N1 to N5) plus the Startup Park (W5).

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[Michael Kors smart watch collection]

N1: Audio, Home Entertainment, Mobile, Video/4K Ultra HD
N2: Health, Lifestyle, Smart Home, Sports/Fitness, Wearables
N3: 3D Printing, AI, Augmented Reality, Content and Online, Drones, Internet of Things (IoT), Robotics, Video Gaming, Virtual Reality
N4, N5: Vehicle Technology
W5: Startup Park

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During a brief CES floor tour, we checked out headsets, accessories, personal robotics, autonomous vehicles and underwater drones.

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[RoboSea’s underwater drone]

And despite the fact that not everything shown is available outside of China, there’s definitely a cool factor involved when you’re checking out products from a country that often leads the way in tech innovation.

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[Lambot’s cool white robots]

Turntables, headphones and speakers were a huge draw here. I noticed some amazing design forms at the show.

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Artificial intelligence has expanded 25% since last year. Another hot trend is 5G connectivity, helping to power smart homes, self-driving vehicles and IoT tech. The robotics sector has grown to include over 34 global brands at CES Asia.

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[Tech innovation in travel and tourism photo]

On day two of CES Asia, a travel and tech innovation panel featured Wong Hong, President, Greater China and Singapore Delta Air Lines; Helen Huang, President, Greater China, MSC Cruises and Michelle Toh, Programming Editor, CNN Business Hong Kong (detailed in a separate post).

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Trends to Watch

Facial recognition is taking home security cameras further. Image intelligence really changes the value composition of products.

Say goodbye to settings and hello to intelligent object recognition to cook food, fill your fridge, etc. These products are fast becoming more useful and personal to users.

China leads the way with intelligent devices powered by voice-activated digital assistants, soon poised to hit the market.

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According to Steve Koenig, CTA’s VP of Research, the next decade will be met by a new era of intelligence powered by connectivity – and data.

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[At the Startup Park]

Technologies such as self-driving vehicles and 5G are on the way, the latter to impact IT, the public sector, pharmaceuticals and several other industries.

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The next stage of global industrial revolution will be smart tech: New experiences, opportunities and outcomes to advance our civilization.

Leading the 5G revolution, China, its consumers quick to adopt new tech, has set a 40-city, 5G rollout for October 2019. Beijing is very set on this pace of deployment too.

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Vehicle-to-tech communications are being driven by 5G, a network expected to grow.

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[Inceptio builds applications for autonomous trucks]

Future mobility includes autonomous delivery (via self-driving trucks) and IoT shuttles as conceptualized by companies like Bosch.

CES Asia

Save the date: CES Asia 2020 will take place from June 10 to 12.

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