|Areas:||世界 米国 韓国 日本 欧州|
世界最大の家電見本市「CES（Consumer Electronics Show）2012」が今年も米Las Vegas Convention Centerで開催された。マイクロソフトが今年を最後に出展を止めることから、既にピークを越えたイベントと見られていたが、蓋を開けてみると来場者数は史上最高の15万人3000人を記録するなど、その勢いに陰りは見られなかった（ちなみに2011年は約14万人だった）。
In January 2012, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) was once again held at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Although it is the world's largest exhibition of its kind, recently it had began to look a bit stale, a point emphasized by Microsoft announcing that this would be their final year of exhibiting technologies at CES. However, in contrast to this image, if the record setting attendance of 150,000 visitors this year is any indication, it may be to early to consider that the CES may on the wane.
Originally created as a forum for exhibiting TVs and audio products, in recent shows mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets were drawing more attention than these traditional consumer products. This trend continued in 2012, even though there were no revolutionary products on display, indicating that even mobile devices are on the verge of commoditization. Rather than a single groundbreaking hardware, exhibitors, such as consumer electronics manufacturers, were focusing their attention upon Cloud Computing systems, demonstrating the network potential of their products including smart phones, tablets and smart TVs, i.e., their capability to let them share various contents such as music, videos and games on the Internet. Another notable trend in CES of recent years is the rise of mobile phone carrier companies. Providing communication infrastructure, such as LTE for the Cloud System, has positioned them as key players in making mobile devices and new kinds of electronics products really valuable and useful for consumers.
Particularly prominent booths this year were two US companies, Verizon, the largest mobile operator in the U.S., and Qualcomm, a dominant manufacturer of chips (processors) for the mobile devices, with both attracting huge audiences to their interesting demonstrations. A number of new and emerging products also raised significant interest. Notable were internet-capable smart TVs, especially for their voice and gesture control interfaces; and so-called smart cars, with dashboards closely resembling smart phone like “appli” on their displays. These new kinds of cars can even be controlled by voice commands from the drivers.
A final observation on international presence and popularity, Japanese companies’ booths were visibly less crowded than the major Korean firms such as Samsung and LG, that, along with other relative CES newcomers, such as US company Google, were attracting huge numbers to their booths. It is possible to speculate that Japanese companies’ are presenting less revolutionary technologies, and products that are out of touch with current consumer preferences.