CES 2020: The trends and tech business pros should care about


Enterprise technologies like AI, data analytics, and 5G underpin the latest IoT gadgets, smart devices, and autonomous vehicles and will be on full display at CES 2020.

CES 2020: The trends and tech business pros should care about
Enterprise technologies like AI, data analytics, and 5G underpin the latest IoT gadgets, smart devices, and autonomous vehicles and will be on full display at CES 2020.

At CES 2020 in Las Vegas, TechRepublic’s Karen Roby spoke with TechRepublic Editor in Chief Bill Detwiler and TechRepublic Associate Managing Editor Teena Maddox about the topics and products they’re most looking forward to covering at the conference. The following is an edited transcript of the interview. 

Karen Roby: Hi everybody! It’s CES 2020 and we’re here in Las Vegas where more than 4,500 exhibitors will be here to show off all their new technology. We’re so excited about this and two people that are not strangers to CES Bill Detwiler and Teena Maddox here with me to talk a little bit more about what we’re looking forward to, what we can expect, and what coverage we’re going to bring to you guys there on ZDNet and TechRepublic. Bill, let’s just start with our audience. Some things that you’re looking forward to telling them more about what we’re going to see.

SEE: All of TechRepublic’s CES 2020 coverage (TechRepublic)

Bill Detwiler: We often get the question ‘Why are TechRepublic and ZDNet and enterprise brands at CES, a consumer electronics show?’ Well, really CES has become–and has been for the last decade or so–as much about enterprise tech as it is about consumer tech, as much about IoT, as much about analytics and AI, as it is about big TVs and robots.

There are a couple of big trends that I’m really excited about this year–one is 5G. We really think after its initial rollout in 2018, and it’s been sort of a few limited area releases, 2020 is the year we’re finally going to see this come to consumers at scale, and on the enterprise side really start to be the networks that start to connect some of the next generation devices, whether it’s autonomous vehicles, IoT, smart cities, telemedicine. So we’re really excited about that.

And then, of course, there’s the big three when it comes to enterprise tech: Analytics, artificial intelligence, and the cloud.

Because behind all of the really interesting gadgets and gizmos that are out here, are all those enterprise technologies that we talked about, whether it’s running off of a cloud and doing processing in the cloud, whether it’s the algorithms that are analyzing the data that’s being collected by the sensors, whatever it is, there’s enterprise tech behind all the things that people see here on the show floor.

Lastly, for us, it really is about the consumerization of IT. There is a lot of technology here at the show, whether it’s a smart TV that might be included in a conference room or voice-enabled technology that salespeople might have on their phones or that field workers might use with
augmented reality (AR)
, helmets and fuel workers might use. A lot of that technology that’s shown here will eventually make its way into the workplace.

Karen Roby: Yeah, most certainly, and as we mentioned, Bill, things are still under construction. Everyone’s still getting everything together. But Teena, you’ve gotten a sneak peek at some things. So what are you really excited to cover?

Teena Maddox: Well, this is my sixth year here, and right now. We’re standing in the Sands Expo Center and just this as an example of how big things have become because my first year here, it was pretty small. It was just wearables, a little bit of sleep tech, and now it’s huge and everybody is coming to the Sands. While LVCC is still big, as well, this is kind of where the center of everything is. They’ve got sleep tech here, they’ve got wearables, they’re just kind of doing everything here. The signs are saying digital money and health and fitness. It’s just a little bit of everything.

I already took a sneak peek at one of the suites and saw there’s AR glasses are going to be everywhere, VR glasses. They’re kind of enabling everything with voice assistance, which they did that in the past, as well, but now it seems to be actually working really well and tying into all the other things that we have. There’s a lot of smart displays for the office that seems like they’re going to be working well. 

So I’m going to be looking at those and see how those can work for our readers. And another thing, there’s a lot of first mile last mile mobility devices. Segway has some cool things that they’re doing with electric transporters. Another thing that I think is cool, 5G. Last year was the big 5G CES, but now, we’re going to see where it’s really actually working. We’ve already written on TechRepublic about Dell’s new latitude that has 5G built in. So things like that. AI is in everything from toothbrushes to fitness devices. Do we really need it there? I don’t know, but we’ll be writing about it.

I like to do a gallery called the weird and the wacky, so stay tuned for that because I always like to dig up the coolest things I can find here at CES. One of the things that I always show a lot of cool stuff at is CES Unveiled, where there’s all the latest innovative products, including a lot of the big award winners at the show. So that’s one of the most popular things that we do on TechRepublic.

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