The new year is here, which means CES madness is upon us. Here are thoughts from our analysts on what you can expect this week in Las Vegas.


“We’re living through a period of creative destruction in the smart, connected devices space. But some of these devices will reach a more mature stage, integrating into how people live their lives, how workers do their jobs, and how companies interact with their customers,” J.P. Gownder said. “But wearables aren’t just about devices; they’re about cloud-based services that take data from wearables and return insights to them as well. We’ll see a broader focus on services, particularly from companies like Samsung, Microsoft, and Google. We’ll see more evidence that services link together customers and value-added services in areas like health, fitness, tracking children and pets, and workforce enablement.”

Connected Cars/Home  

“Mercedes and Ford are likely to unveil news about new connected car products and services. If they follow past practice of talking only about features for new cars, they’ll be repeating the industry mistake of over-investing in new car tech and underinvesting in using mobile apps and services to build brand relationships with existing customers,” Frank Gillett said. “What I’ll be watching for are signs of the auto industry is embracing the mobile mind shift — such as Ford did by adding specific features and support to Automatic’s product that improves the experience with cars already on the road, rather than only brand-new cars.”

“No doubt we’ll see a flurry of new connected objects. Beyond hardware, what will matter is the extent to which key players will announce partnerships to differentiate their ecosystem in what will soon become a crowded space,” Thomas Husson said. “This is particularly true for Samsung who, as global smartphone leader, has no choice but to reinvent itself in the next computing battleground.”

As for Sony, Husson expects the company to start orchestrating its One Sony strategy, “delivering content experiences across a wide range of connected objects; from ultra-connected TVs, cameras, and audio products, to gaming and mobile devices,” he said. “It is unclear if Sony’s new mobile devices — such as the Sony Xperia Z4 smartphone or the high-end Tablet Ultra — will be previewed at CES. However, at the very least, we should see more innovation in Sony’s SmartWear ecosystem with new wearables and partnerships to differentiate from other hardware players.”

To learn more about Forrester’s wearables research, visit the Infrastructure & Operations blog.