Consumer Electronic Show

ICBA’s Jon Bibo is attending the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas for the 27th consecutive year and will be sharing insights and observations during the week-long Mega-Conference & Trade Show. Here are his thoughts as he preps for CES.

I started attending CES in 1992 and each year, I can honestly say that it “delivers” in terms of excitement, energy, innovation, and opportunity. As an attendee who is focused on how technology can affect college stores, however, it becomes a sort of “treasure hunt” to determine what is truly relevant for college stores and what is simply “awe-inspiring” and “super cool.”

Do I gawk at 100 inch TVs that are thinner than a spiral notebook? Yes, I do. Do I marvel at how self-driving cars will safely shuttle us around in a few years? Yes, I do. Do I marvel at how the Internet of Things will tell my favorite chair my preferred temperature when it “senses” that I am approaching? Yes, I do. But my primary task and my primary goal at CES is to identify current and future opportunities for college stores.

Here’s some of the incredible numbers that make CES the MOATS (mother of all trade shows): 3,900 exhibitors, 175,000+ attendees from 150+ countries, 2.6 Million Sq. Ft. of exhibit space. Areas of focus include:

  • Advertising, Entertainment, & Content
  • Automotive
  • Health & Wellness
  • Home & Family
  • Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Product Design & Manufacturing
  • Robotics & Machine Intelligence
  • Sports & eSports
  • Startups

In doing my prep work for CES 2018, the buzz is around how Technology will impact individuals and society in the following areas: Smart Cities, Robots, Artificial Intelligence and Augmented Reality, Sports Technology, Digital Health, 5G Networks, & Digital Lifestyle Innovations.

I hope that my treasure hunt is successful, as I truly believe college stores can and should help facilitate the use of technology to support campuses in areas including: academic success, efficiency, infrastructure, and lifestyles. Plus, it might be nice to identify some “high-margin” tech gadgets that could fly off college store shelves over the next 12-24 months! Did I just say: “high-margin” when referring to tech products? Oh well, I can dream, can’t I??

My CES activities will start Monday evening, when I attend the opening Keynote address by Brian Krzanich, the CEO of Intel. As one of the world’s largest chip-makers, Intel has unique insight into what the future holds as far as Tech innovation goes. They are deeply involved in AI & AR, 5G, Autonomous Cars, and much more.

To help follow the latest happenings at CES, I recommend the following web sites:

While I have the opportunity to drop a few needed “lbs” at CES, since I will be walking 4-5 miles per day, I’m afraid the famous (infamous??) Vegas Buffets may also be calling my name, so I hope to break even, calorically, at the end of the week!

Finally, support Independent College Stores: Roll Tide! Beat Georgia!