Well I am finally back from Las Vegas after attending both Affiliate Summit and CES 2012. Both of these conferences are an absolute blast and as always I have plenty of reflections to share with all of you. CES ends today but I am back home in Los Angeles and thought I would share some of my observations from the show and some of the trends to look-out for in 2012. This does not mean that you should go-out and register a bunch of domain names based on these trends, however knowing where the Consumer Electronics space is going can only provide you with more data to make better investments.
I have to say that CES this year didn’t wow me nearly as much as it has in the past. Most years have some exciting new technology that (whether it takes off or not) becomes the focal point of the show. At CES 2011 the focus was Tablets and Smart TVs, at CES 2010 the focus was 3D TV, at CES 2012 the focus was…well the same thing as 2011 and 2010.
That’s right, this year I was pretty disappointed to see that there were no major new trends that got me really excited. Tablets are great but as a major Apple fanatic there’s only one tablet in my book. 3D TVs aren’t exciting to me either until they get rid of those pesky glasses, and Smart TV, well I’m all about Smart TV but having Roku‘s all over my house has already solved that problem. Still, there were some relatively interesting things that I wouldn’t say got me excited, but still definitely represent trends in the space. Below is a quick recap of what I saw to really be hot in Consumer Electronics this year, and while it might not excite you (or me) it is what we’ll all be hearing about in advertisements, on the news, and at your local CE retailer for the balance of the year.
Remember when Plasma and LCD used to be the latest-and-greatest? Well they’re not any more, OLED is coming in like a freight train and is definitely going to take-over as the premier flat-screen TV technology. They televisions are insanely thin and have black levels that make the night sky in the middle of a forest look downright grey. Right now they are damn expensive but expect prices to come down by Q4 of this year making it a great Christmas present if you’re already planning that far in advance!
Let’s face it – who doesn’t like robots? While this little guy pictured above is not for sale, it’s still pretty darn cool, albeit not very useful for anything outside of entertainment value. Still, the toy industry is a very big space and kids of all ages love robots. There were no shortage of robots this year including a press highlight of Justin Beiber demoing a brand-new dancing robot. You can watch the video below to see Justin and the dancing bot in action:
This will certainly not come as much of a surprise but “The Cloud” is in, big time! As many of you know this really is just a marketing term for a technology that has been around for a while, but it’s a great marketing term and definitely is getting a lot of buzz. I can tell you that there really aren’t any great cloud domains left to register so please don’t rush-out and hand-register every strange cloud domain you can find in obscure extensions that nobody has ever heard of.
What do you get when you combine the hype around 3D TVs and the hype around Tablets? 3D Tablets of course! This one I really don’t get and definitely won’t be getting. I’m still waiting for tablets and phones to have tiny projectors that can allow me to display the screen onto a wall or screen. Since I use my Tablet for checking email and reading blogs doing this in 3D really sounds like more of an annoyance than a convenience.
Of course there are plenty of other trends but these are the ones that really stuck-out to me. I can tell you that I personally am not buying a single domain name that has to do with the trends listed above. While I may already own a handful of names in this space I can tell you that Domainers have already picked these niches dry leaving only the scraps. So please, please don’t tell me about how you registered 8 trillion domains with “OLED” in them as you’ll probably own those for the rest of your life.
Remember, in most cases there really are only a few solid names in these spaces with “Cloud” being the one with the most options, however 99% of the good options are already long gone. Still – as investors it’s always important to stay on top of trends and CES is the place to find the current trends in the Consumer Electronics world.