CES 2012: A New Year Equals New Products

Casey King, CTO, LifeSize

by Casey King, Chief Technology Officer, LifeSize

You’ve got to love the new year. I’m not one to make a lot of New Year’s resolutions, but the turn of the clock does offer a great chance to look forward to all of the possibilities to come.

And that means new products.

I’m currently on Southwest flight 1242 en-route to see some future products. No, I’m not heading to Detroit for the North American International Auto Show, but I sure am looking forward to seeing the new Acura NSX hit showrooms in three years. Where am I headed? Every year in early January, I head to Las Vegas for a couple days to experience the insane mass of humanity that can only be experienced at the international Consumer Electronics Show. You can read about it on Engadget, Techcrunch, The Verge or a host of other blogs, but there really is nothing like being there in person.

See the insane mass of humanity? I wasn’t kidding. (Photo Courtesy of CESweb.org)

My first day is full of meetings with current and potential partners. I never even step onto the show floor. The second day also includes meetings, but I’ll get the chance to go see the show. What am I looking for? I am looking for trends. I am looking to learn new ways to approach old problems. At LifeSize, we are always looking to innovate and connect the dots in ways that only we can see.

Over the past few years, you see many trends emerge. With the recovering economy, the crowds have exploded. You see mobile contenders come and go. Smart TV’s have gotten smarter. 3D TV continues to try. Netbooks were hot, hot, hot and then fizzled into obscurity, only to be replaced with tablets and now Macbook Air imposters. Cameras evolve and integrate with other devices.

Photo Courtesy of CESweb.org

A common trend that seems to have no end in sight is video. LifeSize is right in the thick of this technology trend. You can feel it growing and, more importantly, changing. Home video is changing. Delivery mechanisms are changing. Physical sales of video (DVD and Blu-ray) are down. Digital sales, including streaming movies, rose 50 percent. If the trends continue, then 2012 will be the crossover year where digital sales exceed physical. You knew this was going to happen.

So what will we see at CES this year? I don’t know, but I have a long list of things to check out and the most interesting discoveries are always unexpected.

I do know that 2012 will be a very big year for LifeSize products. The innovation pipeline is full and you won’t have to wait very long to get the first peek.

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