Technology Feature Stories

Tech Evolution Through the Lens of Years of Scouting the Consumer Electronics Show (CES)

As we were going through some of our files, we came across our CES trend report from 2009. While it was fun to look back at an age where we were so focused on getting electronics as thin as technologically possible, it occurred to us that there was a bigger story.

CES used to be the show we’d scout to see the ‘coolest’ tech for consumers. The ultra-thin devices, the colorful designs, the sleek and interesting forms. CES 2020 is a different animal entirely. Most notably, consumer electronics - the fun devices that play music, movies, and games- are only part of much larger movement.

A number of years ago, especially as electric vehicles gained momentum, we started seeing the blurring between what was on display at the Auto Shows and what we saw walking the halls of CES. Autonomous vehicles in all forms and futuristic function were shown as the mode of transportation of the very near future. Connected cities, connected vehicles, connected homes - it all started coming together. The Internet of Things pushed the Consumer Electronic Show to contain just about every imaginable part of a person’s life being plugged in to technology. A connected infrastructure was being implemented all around us.

This year, Delta Airlines became the first airline to keynote at a CES show. Their CEO talked about their focus on creating a more customized travel experience that leverages technology. Years ago, as IoT was emerging, PDT, an Astronics Company, coined the term the “Internet of Flight” to describe the connected aircraft. It is now real in some ways, and our Astronics family is leading the charge on much of it, but there is still much to be connected in the travel experience. We’re thrilled to be right in the middle of that effort.


There’s no going back now; it’s hard to name an industry untouched by technology, connectivity, and IoT, and this will continue. We wonder if in another 11 years we’ll be writing that the lines have completely blurred - that ‘consumer electronics’ are all of the connected technology that work together in every aspect of our lives, from medical tech to travel, to entertainment and education. We wonder if CES will no longer be separated by sections like automotive, health, and smart homes because they’re all so tightly interwoven. We look forward to looking back in another 11 years and being amazed at what we’ve seen and experienced since 2020.

If you missed our report from CES 2020, read it now here: