Here’s What’s Hot at the 2017 CES Show

OK, I admit I’m a tech guy.

And hey, what’s wrong with that?

In the 21st century, being a tech guy is a necessity. It keeps me connected (figuratively and literally) to the latest trends in one of the world’s most-powerful investable sectors.

Perhaps more importantly, knowing and using the latest tech devices keeps me in touch with my young children. They already know a lot more about the latest and greatest must-have electronic gadgets than most people double and triple their ages.

Today marks the beginning of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). This annual event draws thousands from around the globe to Sin City in search of the new "must-haves" on the technology front.

CES also gathers a cadre of financial media and Wall Street analysts. That’s because what tech companies of all sizes reveal at this show often determines their investable outlook for years to come.

So, what are the hottest trends at this year’s CES?

Well, traditional electronic gadgets such as phones, wearable technologies, etc. are not the buzz at this year’s show.

Rather, it’s cars that have taken the stage as the next big technology driver.

Here I am talking specifically about driverless auto technology, or what some are calling "very smart cars."

A CNBC article on CES pegged this trend as one of the top areas of interest at this year’s show:

Alongside phone-makers like Huawei and Samsung, car companies like Toyota, Hyundai and Nissan are expected to announce major news.

Competition from the likes of Alphabet and Uber has made CES as crucial as the Frankfurt Motor Show for companies show their chops around artificial intelligence and autonomous driving.

The article even went on to cite phone maker BlackBerry’s (BBRY) expected reveal of more auto technology as a way to revive its standing in the marketplace.

Another big trend this year at CES is the so-called "Internet of Things." That’s the explosion of connected devices from all sorts of companies, including appliance makers and a host of other seemingly non-internet-related devices.

Then you have smart devices such as Amazon.com’s (AMZN) Alexa and Alphabet’s (GOOG) Home. These are examples of smart interface devices that connect a variety of gadgets and services together.

Amazon may be absent from CES, but its Alexa technology is representing the company at some of its hardware partners’ booths.

Another notable trend this year at CES is virtual reality, or VR, devices.

Now, this trend really isn’t new, as VR devices have been around for some years now. Still, the industry is betting that VR will soon take off. That’s because the improved technology, increased accessibility and affordability has made devices such as Facebook’s (FB) Oculus Rift, HTC’s Vive and Sony’s (SNE) PlayStation VR well within most customers’ reach.

Here are a few other gadgets I found interesting while reading about this year’s show.

Kuri the robot nanny: A mobile security camera with smart-home control capabilities. The device can roam around your home and check on pets, children, babysitters, etc. when you’re not home.

LeEco smart bikes:  The bicycle integrates a 4-inch Android touchscreen into the handle bars that supplies navigation, music playback and walkie-talkie functions. This could be a bicyclist’s dream.

Faraday Future FF91 car: Move over Tesla (TSLA). Electric car startup Faraday Future unveiled a self-parking, autonomous driving vehicle capable of going 378-miles on a single charge. It also features digital screens all around the cabin interior.

Acer’s $9,000 laptop: The computer maker’s Predator 21 X is the first notebook computer with a curved screen. But you better really like curves, as the device retails for $8,999. Ouch!

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Those are a few of my personal, as well as many of Wall Street’s, key highlights from CES. Do you invest in the promise of new technology? Or, are you skeptical of its often-fleeting appeal? I am curious to find out what you think, so please share your thoughts with me by leaving me a comment on our website or sending me an e-mail.

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The Nasdaq notched a new closing high today, rising 0.2% to 5,487.94, as tech fever spread from its epicenter in Las Vegas. Amazon (AMZN) was a big contributor with its 3.1% gain.

• Amazon is not at CES, but its Alexa voice-assistant technology is integrated into LG’s smart home appliances. Alexa also made an appearance last year thanks to a partnership with Ford (F).

• Elsewhere in Nevada, Elon Musk’s Gigafactory in Reno began mass-producing lithium-ion battery cells for the Tesla Model 3.

• New jobless claims came in near their 1973 low at 235,000.

• The private sector created 153,000 new jobs in December, according to ADP. However, analysts expected 170,000.

• WTI crude oil gained 0.9% on news that the Saudis have cut production per the OPEC agreement that went into effect this month.

• Buyer’s remorse: You know there are plenty of designated holiday shopping days (Black Friday, Super Saturday, etc.). As the yang to their yin, today is "National Returns Day." That’s when the most UPS returns packages are sent back to retailers. UPS expects more than 1.3 million returns will be made today (and more than 5.8 million this week), compared to last year’s 1 million on this day.

• Gold rose to a one-month high (+1.4%) while the U.S. dollar sank to a one-month low on concerns about the U.S. economy under the next administration.

Good luck and happy investing,

Brad Hoppmann
Publisher
Uncommon Wisdom Daily

Your thoughts on “Here’s What’s Hot at the 2017 CES Show”

  1. What’s missing from most investment advice about the tech sector, is the compelling need for collaboration between IoT and SmartCars.

    Today, to drive out of my neighborhood onto a highway, I must run my car to a stop sign, stop, look up and down the highway for traffic, wait for traffic to clear, then proceed.

    To hear most investment pitches for smart cars, a smart car would follow exactly the same procedure as a human driver. It would approach a stop sign, stop, use a camera to look for oncoming traffic, wait for traffic to clear, then go.

    All the urban traffic congestion that’s caused by intersections with stop signs, remains right where it is, imply smart car proponents. They merely offer to distract the passengers with entertainment, while working through traffic.

    Now let’s consider an IoT application. What would change, if a video camera mounted on the stop sign, linked with approaching smart cars and showed them what the cross-traffic looked like?

    Now suppose every stop sign in the city has that capability. Do smart cars pick the optimal route through sidestreets out to a highway? Do smart cars stay off a congested highway entirely?

    Could a city begin charging a toll, on the use of four-way stops at intersections? The driver in a hurry to get to a meeting can pay five dollars for a nonstop route through an intersection, if a city is willing to offer that service. Cities need that capability, so that emergency vehicles can get through traffic. Selling it to people who have personal emergencies, could reduce the workload on the courts…how often do people ticketed for speeding, beg the court’s forgiveness because they had some sort of emergency and needed to rush? Offering drivers a way through traffic for a fee, would improve safety by cutting out the incentive to break traffic laws…that is, when drivers break traffic laws, they surprise other drivers, which causes wrecks…by eliminating the surprise, safety is enhanced.

    This is a promising field that could improve productivity significantly.

    Any means of reducing the number of injury accidents, saves a lot of money, because as people age, they take longer to heal from an injury.

  2. “Be not the first
    by which the new is tried,
    nor yet the last
    to lay the old aside;”
    is an old adage that I generally like to adhere to.
    Unless I am the one who has just developed
    the latest gizmo that everyone must have!
    Then you should make an exception!

    Also, “We grow too soon old,
    and too late smart!”
    I’m still trying better that one, since I’m already in my 90th decade
    and am running out of time to use all of the smarts that I have learned.
    When I try to pass on my hard learned smarts
    my Grand-kids just smile and try to humor me
    while they continue learning by making the same mistakes I made
    and figuring out a better way.
    But you know what, once in a while
    they really come up with a winner!
    We can see farther ahead
    when we stand on the shoulders of the giants
    who preceded us.
    So let’s keep bumbling along.

  3. Good Morning Brad,
    Probably you already know that I live in Las Vegas and have enjoyed attending CES Convention for several years, but this year I failed to register. So thanks for your letting me know what I missed this year. I have never purchased any thing at their show, but have
    always enjoyed seeing all of their toys.

    My family and I transferred from Kansas City, Missouri to Las Vegas in May1960 to work for Holsum Bakery and have retired after 30 years.

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