If you did not make it out to Las Vegas to the CES convention, then you certainly missed a crazy show. The 2020 gathering just wrapped up, and it certainly left people with a lot to talk about.
Historically, CES has been the go-to place for the latest and best in consumer technologies. In 50 years, it has hosted everything from VHS technology to 3D printers. The event has room for more than 4,400 exhibits, and it welcomes manufacturers, developers and suppliers.
What was the big news for 2020? The biggest news is probably that there is no big news. This year, there was nothing heralded as the next big thing. While that is a little disappointing, it does not mean that there is nothing to talk about. Take a moment, and we will break it down.
1. TVs Are Still A Thing
As people rely more on digital technology, getting people to buy televisions is not always easy. That is why television manufacturers are focusing less on affordability and more on fun perks. In 2020, television manufacturers are pushing the best picture quality yet with 8K. There were also televisions with a thinner profile and no bezels on the edge. Some of them are even rolling. It is too early to tell which of these ideas will take off, but it is clear that television manufacturers are still hoping to find new ways to get people to upgrade.
2. AMD and Intel Are Poised to Square Off
It seems funny to think that desktop computers used to be standard in most American homes and businesses. Laptops reduced the size and increased portability, and they are still widely used. However, AMD is looking to challenge the laptop’s predominance. AMD devices are smaller, which appeals to many consumers. Nonetheless, Intel is not taking the fight lying down. Intel showed it still deserves a place in the conversation by showcasing the advancement of its graphics and displays. Which solution is the one that consumers will prefer? 2020 may be the year that we find out if AMD or Intel will lead computing into the next decade.
3. Flexible PCs May Be Coming
There has been a lot of buzz about foldable PCs. However, none of that has come to fruition on a broader scale. Even so, this year we did see flexible screens with a lot more promise. PCs are struggling to retain their relevance in a world with laptops, tablets and phones. Flexible screens are one way to appeal to a wider market. However, it is not totally clear just how close flexible screens are to hitting the shelves. Part of the problem is that Microsoft is not taking a strong leadership role. Instead, the tech giant is focused on getting its next operating system out.
4. Quibi Is Finally Coming
There are a lot of video platforms out there already, but Quibi certainly got people excited at CES this year. Quibi was formed by Jeffrey Katzenberg back in 2018, and its big release is finally set for this year. While people are eager to see what Quibi has to offer, the launch at CES was not super-specific. Most of the display was focused on concepts, which got people excited but did not provide many concrete details about what to expect when Quibi finally does go live. If Quibi is a success, then its launch at CES in 2020 will be remembered fondly. If it is a failure, then this launch will prove forgettable in the long run.
5. Lots of Talk, Less Catchphrases
What was interesting about CES 2020 was how many concepts were presented instead of actual products. The new car releases were all prototypes. Samsung showcased a Ballie robot and talked up lite phones. That said, some of the catchphrases that generated so much buzz in recent years took a backseat. There was less talk about AI and 5G, giving way to other ideas in the technology sector. We also heard a lot from smaller companies. Just hours before CES opened, Sonos filed a lawsuit against Google. It was a sign that smaller companies are still fighting for their rightful place at the table in consumer technology.