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Subject:  Early Learnings and Observations from CES 2018 Date:  1/11/2018  12:04 PM
Author:  TMFPencils Number:  7210 of 7305

Hi Fools,

I've been at CES 2018 in Las Vegas this week. Here are some early observations and takeaways that have stuck out to me so far.

1. Big emphasis on voice and personal assistants (Google, Amazon, Alibaba, Baidu, Microsoft, Samsung... every tech giant has one).

2. No Under Armour booth or presence that I could see. (Checked again, and they didn't attend this year. Big contrast from having a huge booth and delivering final keynote at CES 2017.)

3. Less presence from Fitbit.

4. Less: wearables and connected fitness, 3D printing, and virtual reality.

5. 3D Systems and Stratasys didn't even attend.

6. Surprising amount of drones (not gonna lie, underwater drones are pretty darn cool).

7. Kodak had a large presence -- multiple (big) booths. Cringe.

8. Autonomous driving continues to be big theme.

9. Nvidia’s booth had little/no mention of video games. Almost entire focus was on autonomous driving and AI (gaming was a highlight of the booth in 2017).

10. Alibaba’s presence in mobile payments is INSANE.

11. Riding in a self-driving Lyft through the streets of Las Vegas was cool. Still needed manual mode for certain turns and scenarios -- makes me think full autonomy is still a ways off.

12. GoPro had a big booth and was still displaying Karma drone, just days after it had been discontinued and big layoffs were announced. Headscratcher.

13. Pondering: is it a bullish sign if a company is attending CES, but sticks w/ private meeting room and avoids a huge, flashy, and uber-expensive booth? Perhaps this could be the modern-day equivalent of Peter Lynch preferring companies in nondescript offices sending bland annual reports.

More of my thoughts/findings (and some pictures) over at my Twitter page:

David K
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