US gadget love forecast to grow despite trust issues

Preparations are underway for the CES 2019 technology show in Las Vegas
Preparations are underway for the CES 2019 technology show in Las Vegas

The trade group behind the Consumer Electronics Show set to start here Tuesday forecast that US gadget love will grow despite trust and privacy issues hammering the tech world.

The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) predicted that US retail revenue in the sector would climb to a record high $398 billion this year.

"There are so many cool things happening in the consumer electronics industry right now," said CTA vice president of market research Steve Koenig.

"We are fast approaching a new era of consumer technology."

Trends gaining momentum, and expected to be on display on the CES show floor, included super 8K televisions; blazingly-fast 5G wireless internet, and virtual aides such as Google Assistant and Amazon's Alexa woven into devices of all kinds.

The CTA forecast revenue growth in the US for , speakers, homes and watches along with televisions, drones, 'in-vehicle tech,' and streaming services.

Amid trade wars, geopolitical tensions and a decline in , the is seeking to put its problems aside with CES, the annual extravaganza showcasing futuristic innovations.

The January 8-11 Las Vegas trade event offers a glimpse into new products and services designed to make people's lives easier, fun and more productive, reaching across diverse sectors such as entertainment, health, transportation, agriculture and sports.

But the celebration of innovation will be mixed with concerns about public trust in new technology and other factors that could cool the growth of a sizzling economic sector.

"I think 2019 will be a year of trust-related challenges for the tech industry," said Bob O'Donnell of Technalysis Research.

CES features 4,500 exhibitors across 2.75 million square feet (250,000 square meters) of exhibit space showcasing artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality, smart homes, smart cities, sports gadgets and other cutting-edge devices. Some 182,000 trade professionals are expected.

© 2019 AFP

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