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2017 Consumer Technology Industry Forecast

2017 Consumer Technology Industry Forecast
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At CES®, technology literally runs around! (Photo credit: James R. Lint)

By James R. Lint
Faculty Member, School of Business, American Military University
Senior Editor for In Cyber Defense and Contributor, In Homeland Security

January 5, 2017 was the first day that industry attendees were welcomed to the Consumer Electronics Show (CES®) in Las Vegas. The Consumer Technology Association (CTA™) hosts this event and it features exhibitions by 3,600 small and large businesses.

The CTA also released information about the CTA 2017 Consumer Technology Industry Forecast. Overall, total revenues in the consumer technology market are projected to reach $292.5 billion in 2017 and the industry has many market opportunities in public and private sectors.

The CTA also projected revenues and sales in different sectors of the consumer technology market:

  • Smartphones and tablet computers were the sales leaders:
    • Smartphones: $55.6 billion in revenue (+2%)
    • Tablets: $16.4 billion in revenue (-5%)
  • Virtual reality: $660 million in revenue (+43%), 2.5 million units (+79%) in sales
  • Drones: $1.2 billion in revenue (+46%), 3.4 million units (40%) in sales
  • Smart homes: $3.5 billion in revenue (+57%), 29.2 million units (+63%) in sales
  • Fitness and activity trackers: $2.6 billion in revenue, (+24%) 31.7 million units (+22%) in sales
  • Digital assistant devices: $608 million in revenue, (+36%), 4.5 million units (+52%) in sales

With statistics like these, it is easy to see why companies of all sizes see market opportunities. The product categories at CES are very diverse, in order to appeal to the 165,000+ attendees.

The companies in the show are equally diverse. Over 150 countries are attending or exhibiting at CES.

Samples of Technology Products Featured at CES

Wearsafe is an interesting, versatile technology that works with your telephone. It has a tag that you can put anywhere on your clothes, your bag or your keys. With one touch of the tag, it instantly connects you to a trusted network of your choosing.

Wearsafe transmits your location and a continuous audio stream to your network. If you get hurt during exercise, you can instantly let relatives or friends know your current situation and ask for help.

Wearsafe also applies to travel. For example, if an executive requires a high degree of security during a trip, Wearsafe could transmit information about the executive’s location to a backup security team.

A second example of the diversity of technology featured at CES® is MYNT by Slightech. This small, sleekly designed device easily attaches to your wallet, keychain, laptop or TV remote control. MYNT eliminates the problem of lost devices, allowing you to find your keys or other items more quickly.

MYNT could also be used for security. It can even be put inside your child’s clothing, so you always know your child’s location. The MYNT app on your cell phone immediately warns you when your children move outside of a preset area.

Your imagination is the limit for MYNT. A military unit or a SWAT team could put the MYNT on mission-critical equipment to know where it is at all times.

CES® has so many exhibitors and so many technological areas. While some products may seem similar, the advantage of CES® is you can observe the differences in the equipment and technology.

CES® also gives you the opportunity to ask developers, manufacturers and companies questions about their security and privacy options on their products. CES® brings the technology experts to one location, giving you the opportunity to learn about all types of new technology.

About the Author

James R. Lint recently retired as the (GG-15) civilian director for intelligence and security, G2, U.S. Army Communications Electronics Command. He is an adjunct professor at AMU. James has been involved in cyberespionage events from just after the turn of the century in Korea supporting 1st Signal Brigade to the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis as the first government cyber intelligence analyst. He has 38 years of experience in military intelligence with the U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Army, government contracting and civil service.

Additionally, James started the Lint Center for National Security Studies, a nonprofit charity that recently awarded its 43rd scholarship for national security students and professionals. James was also elected as the 2015 national vice president for the Military Intelligence Corps Association. He has also served in the Department of Energy’s S&S Security Office after his active military career in the Marine Corps for seven years and also served 14 years in the Army. His military assignments include South Korea, Germany and Cuba in addition to numerous CONUS locations. James has authored a book published in 2013, “Leadership and Management Lessons Learned,” and a new book in 2016 “8 Eyes on Korea, A Travel Perspective of Seoul, Korea.”

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