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CE industry to expand path for wearables, sensors in 2014

Posted: 07 Jan 2014 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Accenture? wearable? sensor? Internet of Things? CE industry?

Sensors are "the story behind the story" at CES as a variety are applied in more consumer electronics, including wearables, gaming, household appliances and mobile devices. Sovie noted that a typical mobile phone has six to 10 sensors measuring various factors, and demand will increase as sensor technology "explodes."

Advances in MEMS technology are spawning smarter, more effective sensors, Hartley noted. Accenture expects to see more miniaturized, durable and use-specific sensors at CES and listed Hillcrest Laboratories, MEMS Industry Group and SoftKinetic as sensor vendors.

"The basic stuff like accelerometers and gyroscopes are becoming pretty ubiquitous for any smartphone. I think the eye tracking is going to be a requirement for certain types of devices," Sovie said, adding that he also sees sensors for chemical analysis coming on line. "This is allowing a wider range of devices to be tethered to the Internet."

As more devices become connected, Sovie said chip designers will have the opportunity to integrate a wide range of sensors into chipsets.

Sovie cited digital health and fitness products, which are also strong players in the wearables market, as a trend to watch at CES. The number of exhibitors at this year's show increased by 40 percent to almost 300 companies.

"The wearable fitness boom will continue with new products unleashed from existing platforms, as well as new sensor technologies for detecting more about people's biometrics and well-being while on the go," Hartley wrote.

The number of 3D printing exhibitors will triple at International CES to 26 exhibitors, and Accenture anticipates the technology will be introduced for the aerospace, automotive, engineering and medical industries. Beginning at the $500 price point, Sovie expects 3D printing to become more accessible to the general consumer.

Although CES has become less about television and more about mobile, Sovie said there will still be plenty of floor space for ultra-high-definition TVs, including 4K TVs.

"There's definitely a hardcore group of TV enthusiasts who are willing to shell out big dollars for the newest, greatest technology," he said.

- Jessica Lipsky
??EE Times

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