How I Was Wrong About CES 2014

Tech consumers have more power than ever.

Jan 15, 2014 at 2:00PM

Fool contributor Tim Beyers says CES is more important than the South by Southwest Conference.

It's a switch for Tim, who two years ago wrote of how CES no longer mattered. "Incrementalism is what makes CES boring," he wrote at the time, noting that bigger ideas were to be found at the annual South by Southwest Interactive conference in Austin, Texas.

What's changed? Consumer influence, Tim says in the following video. Rising adoption of the bring your own device, or BYOD, trend has seen consumers taking greater control over and responsibility for technology purchases. Gartner says rampant adoption of BYOD could double or triple the mobile workforce in short order. CES 2014 was a marketplace for these sorts of tech buyers.

Of course, plenty of incrementalism was on display at the show, too. Take Dish Network's Hopper DVR technology, which allows the terminally bored to simultaneously record eight TV programs. Or Samsung's new Galaxy Tabs, which offer larger screens and not much else to the few remaining consumers who haven't purchased an iPad..

Yet those who wandered into in CES 2014's crevices were rewarded with genuine innovations that have a chance to revolutionize markets. Take Voyce, a wireless collar for your dog that uses a combination of software and radio frequency technology to measure your pal's vital signs and determine whether a visit to the vet is in order. The company behind Voyce, i4C Innovations, is a subsidiary of Intersections (NASDAQ:INTX). A hidden gem, you might say, and precisely the sort of innovator that Tim says will bring him back to CES every year.

Do you agree? What impressed you at CES 2014? Please watch the video to get Tim's full take and then leave a comment to let us know where you stand.

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Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team and the Motley Fool Supernova Odyssey I mission. He didn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article at the time of publication. Check out Tim's web home and portfolio holdings or connect with him on Google+Tumblr, or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.

The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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