SmartMoney Blogs

Pay Dirt
A daily look at what we buy, how we spend, and the companies that do right - and wrong - by their customers.

CES: Our Take on the World’s Largest Gadget Show

Senior consumer reporter and “Deal of Day” columnist Kelli B. Grant travels to Las Vegas to find the best, the worst, and the most hyped gadgets at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show. Join her as she roams the exhibit floor for three days, with dispatches here and on Twitter @kellibgrant.

Photo: FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

In the coming few days, more than 150,000 people are expected to descend on Las Vegas for the annual Consumer Electronics Show with the same mission they have every year: find the coolest new gadgets and gizmos.

This year, there’s already a buzz on the floor that several cellphone makers will introduce phones that are embedded with credit-card chips, according to analysts at CES. This means that more tech-savvy consumers could pay for goods with their phone a la Google Wallet. “There’s been a lot of talk about mobile payments,” says Todd Day, an analyst covering mobile for Frost & Sullivan, “and this may be the year that NFC [near field communication] and mobile payments really take off.” Other analysts expect to see more devices syncing with the cloud and offering voice-activated commands similar to Apple’s Siri. There’s also a slew of new so-called ultrabooks — thin and light laptops promising faster processing and longer battery life.

Experts say many of the new trends this year benefit technophobes as well as early adopters. More choice in everything from 3DTVs to tablets helps push prices down. This is especially true for items such as GPS units, cameras and camcorders, which are now typically integrated directly into smartphones and car dashboards. Shawn DuBravac, chief economist for the Consumer Electronics Association, which sponsors the convention, told reporters yesterday that there’s also an increased focus among manufacturers to make new devices that are easier and more intuitive for users.

Indeed, CES is a significant driver in how technology advances and, ultimately, what consumers buy, experts say. Historically, it’s been the venue where many then-ground-breaking technologies have been introduced, including the VCR and, more recently, HDTV. “It sets the tone for the year,” Day says. Consumers watching the show may start planning out when they’ll invest in that new TV, or figure out how to switch carriers to grab a hot handset. And when several manufacturers introduce devices with a new technology at the show, it creates a momentum among consumers and prompts competitors to follow suit.

But CES isn’t the end-all, be-all of innovation. The show focuses largely on hardware, and many of the more interesting developments of late have been on the software side, says Michael Pachter, an industry analyst with Wedbush Securities. “It’s services like Netflix and Hulu that make the devices more interesting,” he says. Apple famously does not attend — and Microsoft has said this will be its last year in attendance because the show’s timing does not coincide with its product release schedule. Plus, there isn’t always a big, exciting new headline technology to showcase. “But,” he says, “I always go in ready to be surprised.”


We welcome thoughtful comments from readers. Please comply with our guidelines. Our blogs do not require the use of your real name.

Comments (2 of 2)

View all Comments »
    • By WebOsPublisher

      Medical invoice information icons – Free icon. (0.05 MB) . for free download Medical invoice information icon in Medical. Available size : 256×256,128×128,96×96,72×72,64×64,48×48,32×32,16×16 in png format. Tags: Medical,medical,invoice,
      Medical invoice information icons – Free icon for free download
      Free vectorFree psdFree iconphotoshop brushesWallpapersFontPhotoshop StylesPhotoshop PatternsFree website templatesFree Photos
      HomeFree vectorFree PhotosFree website templatesFree iconFree psdphotoshop brushesPhotoshop PatternsPhotoshop StylesFontWallpapers
      Free icon icons
      Click here to free download this file now! (0.05 MB)
      Free icon icons Medical invoice information
      File size: 0.05 MB
      Medical invoice information icon in Medical. Available size : 256×256, 128×128, 96×96, 72×72, 64×64, 48×48, 32×32, 16×16 in png format. Tags: Medical, medical, invoice, information, info
      Tags: Medical medical invoice information info

      Relate file
      Personal information
      Medical bag
      Signs information
      Try some related searches
      free medical icons
      information icon
      free medical icon
      medical images
      information icons
      medical icon free download
      medical icon
      medical icons
      medical graphic
      free icon medical
      for information
      medical art
      icon medical
      icons medical
      free information icons
      information graphic
      All of the resources are gathered by users and public sources on the internet.
      Not all of the resources are allowed for commercial use please contact the author for detail
      If resources have violated your copyright, please through feedback to us so that we can delete a timely manner to protect you!
      Copyright © 2012 all-free-download.com. All Rights Reserved.
      Privacy Policy
      | Searched keywords | Upload your files
      Contact us
      EN: Free vectors
      ES: vectores gratis
      PT: vectores livre
      FR: Gratuit vecteur
      DE: Frei vektoren

    • Maybe that’s because rasneuratts and fast food outlets have been reluctant to raise prices during what might be viewed as a “fragile recovery,” and they have absorbed some of the wholesale food price increases.Actually a simpler explanation is that food cost is only a portion of their retail price. If the rest of their costs don’t go up comensurately, then they can pass through 100% of their costs and their menu prices will still go up less than their food costs do.

About Pay Dirt

  • Pay Dirt examines the millions of consumer decisions Americans make every day: What to buy, how much to pay, whether to rave or complain. Lead written by Quentin Fottrell, the blog examines these interactions, providing readers with news, insight and tips on shopping, spending, customer service, and companies that do right – and wrong – by their customers. Send items, questions and comments to quentin.fottrell@dowjones.com or tweet @SMPayDirt.