The ces in Las Vegas, between crisis of confidence and trade tensions

Le CES de Las Vegas, entre crise de confiance et tensions commerciales

Photo: Mandel Ngan Agence France-Presse
A is delighted with the product Pegasus Smart Sleep Glasses at the Consumer Electronics Show, last year. This year’s show will take place in a particular climate after a series of scandals and controversies, in particular on the management of personal data.

With thousands of electronic devices, – basket for dog, connected to the car of the future, the technology sector will attempt during his show, the annual Las Vegas to forget trade tensions and crisis of confidence following a year marked by controversy.

The “all-connected” equipped with artificial intelligence should be, once again, the thread of the Consumer Electronics Show (ces), from 8 to 11 January, and declined in all its forms : health, transport, leisure, farming, sports… Tv-art, robots, endowed d'” emotions ” and a multitude of devices with voice command should attract the attention of visitors, who are also waiting for any news on the side of the screens roulables or folding. This lounge is huge — 4500 exhibitors spread over 250 000 square meters in all of Las Vegas — will take place this year, however, in a particular climate after a series of scandals and controversies, in particular on the management of personal data, which have undermined the image of the tech giants and is engaged in consumer confidence.

Crisis of confidence

“I think that 2019 will be a year of challenges for the trust in the technology sector,” said Bob O’donnell, analyst for Technalysis Research.

As thousands of connected objects that will be presented in THESE lie at the heart of the issue of the protection of personal information : they collect the data of the user, for example, anticipate his tastes in terms of music (speakers smart) or determine whether he will need medical care (bracelets health…).

The entire ecosystem of connected objects is based on the exploitation of these data, and therefore on the users ‘ trust in the fact that they will not end up in the nature, a concern largely justified by the scandals around Facebook, Google, and other platforms.

“The public is prudent, as a result of past events,” points out Roger Kay, analyst at Endpoint Technologies Associates. “This caution will weigh on the sector. “

Businesses with products that promise to secure the digital life of the users might, therefore, attract the particular attention this year, as the devices encrypt the data, or obstruct the microphones of the connected speaker.

Facial recognition, popularized by the latest models of the iPhone, should also be found in many devices (cars, mirrors, etc.). This theme triggers also regular concern, and even controversy, consumers may be afraid of feeling monitored, or by reason of the uses sometimes controversial issues of this technology, in particular by the forces of law and order.

Autonomous vehicles — including a tractor and connected will be again this year largely present, with most of the major manufacturers and suppliers come to brag about their latest advances.

The other shade in the table, the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), the organizer of the THESE, itself acknowledges that the customs taxes and punitive tensions between the two economic powers and leaders in technology — that are the United States and China are hurting the sector.

According to calculations of the CTA, the customs taxes on the products of technology has been multiplied by more than seven in a year, to reach $ 1.3 billion in October. The sector has also paid $ 122 million more for imports related to 5G, mobile Internet, new generation is supposed to give a boost to technological innovations.

Tensions are all the more disturbing for the sector as it is in China that american companies manufacture most of their products, and that China is also one of their major markets.

To Bob O’donnell, “the people are worried the idea that these taxes lead to price increases, “and this” is going to weigh on THESE “.

Finally, like many of his colleagues, Carolina Milanesi, at Creative Strategies, is not expected to be revolutionary products in Las Vegas. “The major changes to come, which will fundamentally change a large number of sectors, it is an evolution over several years,” she said, estimating that the “tech” is in a kind of transition period.

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