CES 2017

January 5 - 8, 2017
Las Vegas Convention Center 
Las Vegas

Attendees: 175,000+
Exhibitors: 3,800+
Media/Analysts: est. 6,500

Calysto Overview

“Alexa, what was big at CES 2017?” Alexa: “I was.” 

Yes, indeed, Alexa was everywhere at the 50th anniversary edition of CES 2017. 

Along with augmented/virtual reality and the IoT, connecting everything, everywhere. Connectivity was found in most product categories, including 5G, self-driving cars, smart cities to smart homes and smart clothes, connected health care, sports, robotics, drones and so much more. It was both crazy and exciting. 

What did people say about CES 2017? 

  • “CES 2017 was a coming out party for the future of 5G, which we estimate will generate a net 20 million new jobs.” Dr. Jim Mault, vice president and chief medical officer, Qualcomm Life.
  • “CES is the most significant tech show on earth!  . . . Very apparent that the trend is toward total integration of everyone’s digital life experiences that IoT (internet of things) and IeT (intelligent every thing) is about enhanced convenience, connectivity, and automation.” Roman Kikta, Managing Partner, Mobility Ventures
  • “For at least the past 10 years, we've been saying the "real" smart home is just around the corner. But at CES 2017, it finally felt more tangible than ever before.” John Falcone, CNET
  • “As Calysto has been predicting for several years now, the IoT train is rolling and shows no sign of slowing down.” Laura  Borgstede, CEO Calysto. 

John Feland, CEO and founder of Argus Insights, observed the top 10 topics of the show (as proven through real online data analytics). He joked, “CES now stands for ‘Car Experience Show’.”

Through Argus tools, John not only monitored and analyzed social media data for CES 2017 (every CES-related tweet, Instagram post, and CES comment), but he also walked the show floor to compare the data findings with what he was actually seeing. Here’s what he told us:

  • “It was interesting to see a shift to the enterprise-side of the conversation at a consumer show. You walk through the Intel booth and they’re talking about autonomous vehicles and cloud as much as they are about drones and the consumer-facing pieces of it. You saw a lot more around what companies are enabling across ecosystems.”
  • He listed the top ten social mentions as automotive, IoT, TV, VR, gaming, AI, smart home, robotics, smartphone and drones. 

The big thing we saw was the dominance of automotive and IoT returning this year. Some of that is because in the past  CES Smart Home or home automation or connected home hasn’t necessarily been called out as such and was just included within “consumer IoT.” 

In fact, IoT was the most talked about topic the last two days – Saturday and Sunday -- as cars fell a little bit. Partly because people are realizing that IoT is connecting across all the different market segments, including automotive. That was one of the major themes coming out of the show this year.”

“People are talking about connected cars and IoT, drones and IoT, robotics and IoT  -- it’s becoming an almost performance-enhancing term across everyone’s  conversation. And as a result, more interest was sparked in the last few days of the show. AI is in the same category. 

The shift this year we saw in IoT is a lot more towards enterprise uses, as well. We need things connected, we need them smarter. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a car, a smartphone, a drone, a home – all those things need to be connected and they need to be smarter. 

Who was there? 

Preliminary figures released by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA): More than 170,000 attended, including more than 55,000 from more than 150 countries outside of the United States.

There were more than 100 official national delegations, along with royalty and government officials from around the world. U.S. government officials attending were from the Federal Trade Commission, the Federal Communications Commission, U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, along with U.S. Senator Dean Heller and seven members of the U.S. House of Representatives. Other top level U.S. government attendees included representatives from the Federal Aviation Administration, Department of Energy, Department of Homeland Security, International Trade Commission and Patent and Trademark Office. 

Celebrities (besides Alexa) there this year were television personality Aisha Tyler; major league baseball all-star Bryce Harper; NBA hall-of-famer Shaquille O’Neal, U.S. Olympian Michael Phelps, actress Octavia Spencer and consumer advocate Ralph Nader.  

The program 

Keynotes and keynote fireside chats came from top executives at NVIDIA, Carnival Corp., Huawei, Nissan, IAC, Expedia, MediaLink, Condé Nast, NBC Universal,  Fox, Johnson & Johnson, Qualcomm, Under Armour, and others. 

The BabyTech Summit was a mega hit, with some of the most talked about products at the show. Worried about too much screen time for your kids? Fisher-Price's Smart Cycle is an exercise bike with a tablet holder tacked onto the handlebar. The Lego Boost kit incorporates teaching kids to code. 

And, a startup company with a smart breast pump won awards and ended up generating some of the loudest buzz. What helped a relatively unknown company compete?  

According to Engadget’s Nathan Ingraham, “Willow was also likely helped by the fact that it's a smart, connected device. While the promise of the Internet of Things has largely gone unrealized thus far, our readers seem to have a fascination with the weirder connected devices that we cover -- particularly the devices that have no business being smart in the first place (like this toaster!). It's not surprising, then, that a smart breast pump garnered so much attention -- but the fact that it turned out to be actually useful made it more than just a punch line.” 


Once again, this appears to have been the largest show floor in CES history. From automotive accessories and self-driving cars to wearables and wireless devices, there were more than 3,800 exhibitors and more than 2.6 million net square feet of exhibit space, and 600+ startup companies at the Eureka Park Marketplace. 

If there was a theme, again it was connectivity. As Stacey Higginbotham of Stacey on IoT (and many others) observed, “At CES 2017, the concept of ‘put a chip in it,’ was apparent everywhere.” 


The press flocks to Vegas for this show and this year there were probably more than 6,500 members of the media. The show also received nearly 1.4 million mentions on social media using the #CES2017 hashtag. 

Wrap Up 

Is 50 considered old? Not when it’s CES. We felt the buzz and excitement was contagious and, compared to other big shows that take place during the year, there seemed to be a higher level of energy.

“CES is an efficiently run machine and does an excellent job of arranging companies into sectors. For example, fitness/health/sport device companies have their own exhibition hall, which makes it convenient to view that specific sector,” said Roman Kikta, Managing Partner, Mobility Ventures. “What I disliked this year was having the show start on Thursday and run through Sunday. Not too pleased giving up a weekend and also found many executives had departed the show on Friday afternoon, so meetings were crammed into all day (and most of the evening) Thursday and into Friday morning.” However, he added that CES is more than just a showcase for the coolest gadgets and tech. “It’s the most significant networking event, bar none!” 

Prior to the show, the Consumer Technology Association released its semi-annual industry report, "U.S. Consumer Technology Sales and Forecasts," predicting that growing consumer enthusiasm for IoT “will drive the U.S. consumer technology industry to $292 billion in retail revenues ($228 billion wholesale) in 2017.” And for a snapshot view, take a peek at the CTA 2017 Consumer Tech Industry Forecast infographic

Are you excited about the potential of IoT? We are! 

(And finally, have you tried asking Alexa this? Alexa, Open the Pod Bay Doors.) 

Next Up 

CES 2018: January 9 - 12, 2018, Las Vegas

CES Asia 2018: June 7-9, 2016 in Shanghai, China. 

Articles of Interest #CES2017 #WeirdCES  

Argus Insights

Smart is the New Black at CES 2017

Argus Insights

By John Feland


That’s a Wrap -- Highlights from CES 2017


By Emily Bary

January 9, 2017


CES 2017: The final word


By John Falcone

January 9, 2017


Presenting the Best of CES 2017 winners!


By Nicole Lee

January 7, 2017


AT&T’s Donovan ‘not a fan’ of network sharing for 5G


By Mike Dano

Jan. 5, 2017


CES 2017's Best Game-Changing IoT Inventions

IoT World News

By Jeremy Coward

January 10, 2017


Best Tech of CES 2017


By Mashable Tech Team


NetworkWorld @ CES 2017

If you’re in business, you’re in tech

Stacey on IoT

By Stacey Higginbotham

January 10, 2017


TechCrunch@ CES 2017


By Darrell Etherington

January 8, 2017


Best of CES 2017: This Year’s Most Interesting Gadgets


By Wired Staff

January 7, 2017


AT&T Lays Out 5G Roadmap at CES: Promises 1 Gbps Speeds, 5G Video Trial in 2017

Wireless Week

By Diana Goovaerts

January 5, 2017

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