In the weeks following CES 2024, and now that the dust (and post-show cough) has settled, our team reflects on the key trends and learnings from this year’s show. The highlights? The 3 A’s: AI, Apple, and automotive.
Perhaps unsurprisingly the prevailing topic across all of CES was AI, with notable AI innovations across new AI powered health devices, ChatGPT-enabled devices, smart home and smart car integrations and even AI companion robots taking the lion’s share of attention. In particular, our analysis shows that Samsung’s Ballie and the Rabbit R1 were the AI devices that reporters got most excited about, while NVIDIA continued its stronghold in the industry with a highly attended and discussed product showcase of its new graphics cards and gaming chips. Tapping into this key theme was a must at CES this year, but reporters were definitely skeptical, with concerns being raised around AI washing, and only products that utilize AI in interesting ways getting the real cut-through.
What do you mean Apple? They weren’t at CES. But in typical Apple style, they spiked the show with the pre-CES announcement that the new Vision Pro headset would be launching on February 2nd. While any Apple news is big news, perhaps the biggest conversation among reporters on the show floor was whether their insistence on using ‘spatial computing’ over AR/VR would actually make that clunky term happen or not. This announcement showed the value of participating in the CES conversation even while not being on the show floor, and while Apple is often its own special case, shows the opportunity for other brands to capitalize on the captive CES audience, without actually having to be at the show itself.
While CES is known for its gadgets (and they certainly showed up, particularly the TVs from TCL and Samsung), it’s no longer just for this. In fact, CES is now just as much of a car show with one of the halls fully dedicated to vehicles. Kia’s Connected Home out in the main concourse showed how car companies are now heavily investing in their own brands at CES, with innovations from Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mercedes, and Volkswagen driving huge volumes of conversation. Such news explains why Autoblog hit our list of most prolific media outlets during the show, publishing an impressive 61 CES news stories.
So what’s the takeaway?
CES is back, and as big as ever. Culturally it dominates not only the tech media, but increasingly the automotive and financial media as well. For brands looking to CES, that’s both a good thing and bad thing. The good; everyone’s watching the news and keynotes from CES so attention is high, and the caliber of conversations and guests has never been stronger. CES provides a great opportunity to strengthen relationships, build executive profile and create attention for your products. The bad; competition for news is fierce, so having an effective pre-, during and post-show strategy that’s rooted in more than just a flashy product will be crucial to cut through.
And finally, raise a glass to Haje Jan Kamps at TechCrunch who managed to write an impressive 24 stories during CES to make him our most prolific reporter, as well as to the whole team at CNET who published 224 stories alone.