As the CEO of Founders Space, I'm used to working with startups from all over the world. Many of these are now preparing to come to CES to show off their latest achievements and launch their products.
These are the trends that will dominate CES this year:
Everything is getting smarter. This is the year AI eats CES. AI is everywhere, from smart refrigerators to personal robots and intelligent security systems.
The real star of the show is Amazon Alexa, which has ushered in the age of the smart personal assistant. Amazon has built the world's largest voice-based ecosystem, with thousands of developers and device makers. Alexa's smart skills (apps) are being incorporated into everything from TVs to washing machines.
There will also be Alexa's competitors at CES. This includes Google Home, Apple Siri, Samsung Bixby, as well as all the Chinese equivalents, especially those from Alibaba, JD, Xiaomi, etc.
The other big players at this CES are the automakers. With Tesla leading the pack, everyone is showing off their self-driving and connected cars. The focus is on the passengers. BMW, Toyota, Mercedes, Ford and all the rest will be there trying to capture the spotlight.
The 5G revolution is about to begin with Verizon, AT&T, Qualcomm, Baidu and others talking up the fact that you'll soon be able to download a movie in a matter of minutes. 5G will be exponentially faster than 4G.
Digital Health is another hot area, with the focus shifting from consumer wristbands, like Fitbit, to serious medical devices for addressing conditions like heart disease, diabetes, alzheimer's and more.
As for TVs, it's all about MicroLEDs, which have numerous advantages over OLEDs. And now that 4K is mainstream, everyone is touting 8K.
AR (augmented reality) is shifting away from consumer devices and more towards specialized devices for tasks like surgery, remote repair, manufacturing, collaboration, and design.
This year, CES is an exciting place to be, with plenty of new products to dazzle even the most jaded conference attendees.
Just don't expect a smart robot to guide you around, anticipating your every need and whim. These robots aren't quite ready for prime time. There's still plenty of work to be done. Maybe next year!