By Chuck Martin
Mobile commerce doesn’t operate in a vacuum.
After attending numerous sessions during the official Press Day of CES, held before the opening day of the main International CES today, it strikes me still as somewhat apparent that if not the virtual hub, the smartphone will play a role in much of the high-tech electronics world.
The pre-CES media events are held at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Convention Center, about as far away as you can get from the Las Vegas Convention Center, where most of CES will be held.
The good news is the hotel has a tram that runs every few minutes between Mandalay Bay and the MGM, where the very efficient and totally automated monorail zips you directly to the convention center.
When official CES starts, it’s about the only transportation thing in the area that can move at any speed, due to the massive crowds. But back to the phone.
In a wide-ranging presentation of its current and future product lineup, Bosch Chairman Werner Struth talked of their innovations in 3D printing, auto connectivity, fast car charging and in-car augmented reality.
He also mentioned that mobile apps are being customized for in-dash use, also introduced by auto manufacturers at CES last year. The hub for many of those connections, especially for purchasing, will be through the driver’s smartphone.
A presentation by Valeo included a future view of self-parking cars by, you guessed it, the smartphone.
There were other examples, but many pre-CES presentations highlighted the importance of the smartphone, even when it’s not the central focus of any given technology.
Or as Qualcomm CEO Derek Aberle noted in a comprehensive press conference on all the chip-making company has been up to lately: “Smartphone technology changes everything.”
Many of the consumer technology presentations during the pre-CES events mentioned the involvement of the smartphone almost in passing, as sort of an afterthought.
Maybe being slightly overlooked in the overall equation is that most (or even no) people yet have the products they are introducing, while most (if not all) potential customers of those products have a smartphone.
The reality is that many of the technologies being introduced will not survive in a vacuum.
The last of the pre-conference events is now over, and there is much to share with you. Stay tuned for more.