A CIO’s return to CES – I must be crazy

I’m attending the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas where over 3,000 exhibitors, and 150,000 attendees from 150 different countries are expected. That’s a lot of attendees for a trade show where the general public is not allowed. This year’s CES is supposed to be better and larger than last year and since this is my second time attending , I’m hoping to be less bewildered of the crowds, the number of vendors and the distances walked. I do wonder whether I’m crazy to be here again, walking hours at end, talking to vendors and seeing some technology prototypes that may never make it. And yet here I am.

On arriving on Saturday, Las Vegas was just as welcoming as last year, other than my suitcase being trampled on (or maybe the plane landed on it) and cracked . No matter, the nice people at the airport, replaced it on the spot and all is well. Picking up my CES badge was easy, I could do it on my arrival at the airport, the booth was well marked, no line up and everything was ready quickly.

While CES doesn’t officially start until Tuesday, the press gets a preview. The event started off with a session given by Steve Koenig, the director of industry analysis, Consumer Electronics Association, who announced that in 2014 there will be a one per cent decline in the amount consumers are expected to spend on buying gadgets like smartphones and tablets. This is surprising since last year the same market grew by three per cent over the previous year. The major reason for the predicted decline according to Koenig is that average sales price of such devices will be lower than last year.


The “CES unveiled” event on Sunday is a highlight of the preview that the press gets where over 90 vendors (from the 3,000) show off their products. Many of the products dealt with extending the battery life or providing back-up battery to smartphones and tablets. As an example, the Prong iPhone provides an iPhone cover case with prongs built-in so that it can be directly plugged in to an electric socket at a cost of $59.95. There were also a few drone exhibits, including one selling a drone that can take pictures from way above for under $1,200, if you have needs for these types of things.

There were lots of wearable items. Wireless earphones were a popular exhibit. Bluetooth earphones such as Yurbuds Sport Eartphones or RunPhones make listening to music easier while exercising. RunPhones achieves this by having small speakers embedded in a head band while yurbuds uses Bluetooth technology . But the price, from $40-170 may be too high to consider these as options, though having a more comfortable way to listen to music while exercising, may make it worthwhile.


A great looking “coaching bracelet” called June measures the sun exposure and alerts of sun damage was interesting. It is from Netatmo and it measures the wearer’s sun exposure and lets the person know when more sun protection is needed. It has a projected price of $99.

And that is it for today. More about the other items tomorrow. Do you agree about the one per cent decline in consumer spending on smartphones and tablets? Let us know in the comments section below.

Catherine Aczel Boivie
Catherine Aczel Boivie
Dr. Catherine Aczel Boivie is a widely respected executive with over 30 years of experience in the leadership of advancing the value of information technology as a business and education enabler. Prior executive roles includes: CEO Inventure Solutions and Senior Vice President of Information Technology/Facility Management for Vancity Credit Union; SVP of IT and Chief Information Officer at Pacific Blue Cross and Canadian Automobile Association of British Columbia. Catherine is also an experienced board member serving on several boards, including those of Commissioner for Complaints for Telecom-television Services, Canada Foundation for Innovation and MedicAlert Canada. Dr. Boivie is the founding Chair and President of the Chief Information Officers (CIO) Association of Canada that has over 400 Chief Information Officers as members across Canada. She has been publicly recognized for her contributions, including being named as one of Canada's top 100 most powerful women by the Women's Executive Network in the "Trailblazers and Trendsetters" category and the recipient of the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee medal for being a "catalyst for technology transformation".

Would you recommend this article?


Thanks for taking the time to let us know what you think of this article!
We'd love to hear your opinion about this or any other story you read in our publication.

Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

Featured Download

Latest Blogs

ITB in your inbox

Our experienced team of journalists and bloggers bring you engaging in-depth interviews, videos and content targeted to IT professionals and line-of-business executives.