—cameras, TVs, Blu-ray players, audio devices, headphones, smartphones and a multitude of othe
Like most of you, my mind is still racing from all the cool, new products introduced at the 2015 International CES – and the fact that I just couldn’t cover all of the 2.2 million square feet of exhibit space. It was truly an incredible show, and my thirst for seeing and learning something new was, at least temporarily, quenched. However, my desire to purchase the latest tech products has now kicked in.
As I contemplate the vast number of consumer electronics (CE) product categories – cameras, TVs, Blu-ray players, audio devices, headphones, smartphones and a multitude of others – I often forget categories that aren’t entertainment- or communication-related. There is a misconception that today’s high-tech electronics are products straight out of our space program. Yes, NASA’s quest to travel to the moon created all kinds of technologies that spawned new products like calculators, LED lights and solar cells. But the tech industry was able to continue its strong growth and rapid product development cycles by utilizing Moore’s Law, named for a co-founder of Intel.
to sell, sales associates have been trained, and strong promotions are scheduled to hit the competit
The fourth quarter is finally here! As someone who has been in retail or selling to retailers my entire career, I know this is the time when retailers put everything on the line to win. Products are stocked and ready to sell, sales associates have been trained and strong promotions are scheduled to hit the competition hard. The fourth quarter is also the time of year when retail buyers start second-guessing themselves, wondering, “Did I buy enough? Did I buy too much? Are my prices where they should be? Did I miss any key products or product categories?” Since it’s only October, the good news is if retail buyers act quickly, they still have time to bring in some last-minute products. Then the question is, “What should I buy?”
For decades, the consumer electronics industry has been turning imaginary products into reality. In the 1940’s, cartoonist Chester Gould created Dick Tracy’s famous wristwatch radio. Although pure fantasy, it seized the imagination of readers. Many toy companies tried to capitalize on the illusion and rushed to market wearable walkie-talkies. But it was Samsung that launched the first wristwatch phone, the SPH-WP10, in 1999. Fantasy no more! Meanwhile, Motorola answered the call of the Trekies and brought Star Trek Communicators to life in 1996 with the introduction of the StarTAC line of phones. Imaginary products in comic strips, TV and movies have caused us all to dream about how cool it would be to possess gadgets like Batman’s utility belt, James Bond’s laser beam pen and Inspector Gadget’s gizmos.
Industry analysts have been predicting the proliferation of smart, connected homes for more than 20 years. But up until now, no cool product or service has moved the needle toward mass adoption. The percentage of U.S. homes with some type of home automation or smart grid system is still less than two percent.
By the time you read this article, holiday shopping will be over! Eggnog cups will be empty and placed back into storage and New Year’s resolutions will still be possibilities.