For small business owners, it’s important to know what major tech trends are occurring and what to expect from the marketplace. That’s why I went to the Consumer Electronics Show (or “CES” for short), checking out all the booths from both major and minor tech companies and trying to determine what direction the industry is headed in. This is the biggest tech trade show in the world, with exhibition space spanning more than 33 football fields and tech companies from all over the world showing off their wares. This year, I’ve noticed three major trends in the tech world, and here they are:
1. 4K Television
As if it wasn’t enough that we’ve finally all moved to HD TVs, the next big upgrade in resolution for our home television sets is already on the horizon. Called “4K,” which refers to the horizontal resolution of the beyond-HD video format, the next advance in TV is going to bring four times the resolution of our current HD sets. With high-resolution displays already on our mobile devices and similarly high-resolution displays coming to TV, small businesses producing content for the web need to start preparing now for our beyond-HD future. Whether that means making sure that photographs being published online are already in a higher-than-needed resolution or looking into 4K video production solutions, this is something anyone producing content needs to be aware of and ready for!
2. Mobile is Growing
From six-inch superphones to innovative new tablet technology that can create a raised keyboard on top of your display, I saw tons of mobile tech that is going to change our lives this year at CES. The fact is, with mobile download speeds getting faster and devices getting smarter, every business needs to be prepared for a future where the computing power we have in current desktop and laptop computers is being carried around by general consumers in their pockets. Whether that means making sure 2013 is the year you finally get around to releasing an app for your company or making sure your business is prepared for a mobile future, there’s a lot to consider this year in terms of how you’re taking advantage of mobile technology.
3. Training the Next Generation
A huge portion of this year’s show floor was dedicated to tech for the next generation of children. From toys that help children build robots and learn to program to assistive devices that help children with autism and learning disabilities, there was an incredible amount of technology targeted specifically at children this year. What I realized is that any business that wants to survive the 21st century needs to anticipate customers who are not just tech-savvy but who literally grew up surrounded by smart devices. The next generation will literally be learning how to program at an early age and will be taking for granted the mobile technology and high-resolution displays that are cutting edge today. These won’t be brand new technologies for them, but rather things that have always been there. If your business is to adapt and produce products or technologies that next-gen consumers will love, you need to be able to anticipate and respond to these trends, as well as think of what types of products and services a totally connected generation of consumers will desire.
Seeing into the future may be hard, but taking a look at actual technologies on display at CES and determining what will have an impact on small businesses is easy in comparison. These are just some of the products and technologies I think will make a change in how we do business in the near future, but there will doubtless be others as well. The important thing is to try and stay ahead of the curve, anticipate consumer demand, and make the necessary changes to your business to survive and thrive.
If you’re struggling in any way to incorporate or respond to new tech in your business, feel free to drop me a line in the comment section below. I’ll do my best to read and respond to every comment you leave.
Mario Armstrong, Digital Lifestyle Expert, is an Emmy Award winning, tech commentator for the TODAY show and CNN, and the host of a tech talk radio show on SiriusXM. An entrepreneur by nature, Mario made his passion his career by quitting his day job and founding Mario Armstrong Media. Follow Mario at @MarioArmstrong. AT&T has sponsored this blog post.