Where Are They Now? Revisiting Breakout Social Trends From CES 2013

If you sense tech craziness in the air and all your salespeople were mysteriously missing this morning, it must be the week of CES. Each year, the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas showcases “the next big thing” for every category of gadget under the sun, and based on the huge amount of brands prepping their newest and greatest tech right now, this year’s show should be no different.

As we anticipate the onslaught of product announcements, celebrity sightings, and keynote fun starting tomorrow, let’s look to CES-related social chatter for insights on how this year’s trends will fare in the market. Last year we worked with the team at Twitter to analyze the winners from CES and to identify the major emerging themes surfaced through social conversations about the show.

Here’s a quick look at last year’s findings for Top Emerging Trends:

Bendable screens, UltraHD TV technology, and wearable tech were the largest new breakouts to the tech world, as discovered through Twitter mentions during the show. So, did the excitement for these new innovations last all year or were they just CES-hype?

Looking at trends for social mentions on Twitter over the remainder of the 2013 calendar year, you can see that some predictions fared better than others.

Trend: Bendable Screens

Social Mentions Since CES 2013: About 100 per day

Verdict: Not Ready for Prime Time

Looks like we got a bit excited about bendable screens before they were ready for the masses. The social mentions since the show have been minimal, without a huge production-ready product announcement in 2013. Discussion around curved (but not flexible) glass displays has been trending up during the second half of 2013, but bendable tech is not being discussed with significant volume.

Trend: UltraHD / 4KTV

Social Mentions Since CES 2013: 1,000+ per day

Verdict: Trending Up

UltraHD/4KTV had a strong year leading into CES 2014, where it’s predicted as one of the pre-show category winners for 2014. There were a few product announcements in 2013, and while the technology is still targeted at early adopters, this year it could go mainstream.

Trend: Wearable Tech

Social Mentions Since CES 2013: 2,000+ per day

Verdict: Nailed It

For any gadget geek worth his or her salt, it’s hard to remember a time when every other headline wasn’t about a fitness tracker, smart watch or Google Glass. Social mentions for the wearable tech category exploded in 2013, and show tremendous velocity heading into CES 2014.

What should we expect in 2014?

Leading in to CES 2014, it’s wise to remember that all that shines in the social realm may not be gold. The true trends can be found by watching and learning from the data over time.

My prediction for the new breakout category at CES 2014 show? To cover my bases, I’m going with a wearable 4K TV that controls your car while you play Battlefield 4. Boom, CES 2014 predicted.

Chris Kerns's picture

Chris Kerns

Chris Kerns has spent more than a decade defining digital strategy and is at the forefront of finding insights from digital data. He currently leads Analytics and Research at Spredfast. His research has appeared in The New York Times, Forbes, USA Today and AdWeek, among other publications.