The Consumer Electronics Show used to be the premier trade show for the unveiling of major products from big tech companies. But it’s been years since Apple made an official appearance at the Las Vegas convention, and recently the show’s relevance has been questioned as titans like Google and Microsoft have packed up their booths.
Still, Apple’s presence will be strong at International CES 2014, most significantly in the iLounge Pavilion, a sprawling section of the massive show floor that houses hundreds of Apple accessory makers. It’s bigger than last year, even if the actual number of exhibitors has shrunk.
“The iLounge Pavilion at CES grew in square footage since last year, and sold out of space so rapidly that some vendors who wanted to get in were unable to do so,” iLounge Editor-in-Chief Jeremy Horwitz told Cult of Mac. “We’re very excited about this year’s show, and are expecting some awesome announcements.”
The larger square footage belies the fact that there will be fewer iLounge Pavilion vendors this year: The number of companies will be 378 versus 450 last year.
CES might have lost some of its luster in recent years, but it remains the largest gathering of tech-related companies in the world. Vendors like Samsung and Huawei will take over the Vegas strip to show off their latest gear, and more than 150,000 people are expected to attend this year. It’s an amazing showcase of the hottest tech or a miserable throng of smelly journalists, depending on who you ask.
You Can Either Wear It Or Pair It
Horwitz, who organizes the iLounge Pavilion, has written about some of the trends he expects to see this year at CES. There will be more Lightning and AirPlay devices than last year, but the primary focus will be Bluetooth 4-enabled accessories. A lot of companies will be showing off their wearable tech. Within the wearable camp, health and fitness devices like Misfit’s Shine will be plentiful.
Cult of Mac will be reporting from the show floor throughout next week, showing you the gadgets and toys—no matter how weird they inevitably get—that are worth your attention as an Apple fan. We’ll cover the most interesting Bluetooth gear we find. You can also expect hands-on posts about new iOS game controllers from the likes of Logitech and Moga Ace Power.
Big case makers like Otterbox and Spec will be there, along with other favorites like Adonit, Element Case, Griffin, Just Mobile, Mophie and Olloclip.
Aside from the iLounge Pavilion, this year looks like it will be about 4K displays and the so-called Internet of Things, or how automakers and companies like Nest are connecting everyday devices with the cloud. Google has reportedly partnered with Audi to implement some sort of Android car system.
Processors are going to getting a lot faster following Apple’s 64-bit kick in the pants a few months ago, and there are more Fitbit clones coming out than should be allowed.
Buster, Erfon, Leander, Traci and I will be bringing you the latest from the show floor all next week, so stay tuned to Cult of Mac for all the Apple-focused coverage you can handle. We promise to show you not only the cutting edge, but the weird and wacky side of CES. We’ll also be bringing you a CES-filled mega-episode of our CultCast podcast from Vegas.