From Vegas to the Mainstream: Our Expectations for CES 2017


December can be a busy and stressful month, whether preparing for the holidays or for next month’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Both events are fueled by an intoxicating level of excitement, with one being the perfect opportunity to gift this year’s “must-have” technology gadgets, and the other a launching pad for what are sure to be 2017’s hottest consumer technology trends.

In just a few weeks, CES will kick off in Las Vegas (January 5-8) with a dizzying array of innovative new products and technologies. While many products from 2016 are expected to return with great fanfare, consumers can expect tangible and newsworthy advances in the categories of wearables, drones and virtual reality, as well as more affordable and user-friendly options. The major theme across CES 2017 will likely be the evolution and refinement of consumer technologies that are more palatable to and attainable by the mainstream public.

No matter what your technology sweet-spot is, CES 2017 will be the perfect place to get your fix. Here are a few of the anticipated trends that will pique our interest at CES 2017:

  • Rugged’s Star Will Continue to Rise: According to analyst firm VDC, 96% of people who try ruggedizes smartphones say they will never go back to anything different. The demand for ultra-rugged mobile devices continues to explode because, when the success of a business depends on uninterrupted functionality, rugged mobile devices are imperative. Kyocera has become the leader in rugged mobile solutions, especially among devices with IP68 and military-standard certifications for water-, dust- and temperature-proofing and more. You can expect to see more rugged devices showcased during CES.
  • AR and VR Get Real: During 2016, augmented and virtual reality got real for the mainstream consumer. Securing more than 20 million active users in its first two weeks of release, Pokemon Go bridged the gap between concept and usability for augmented reality – exposing a new landscape for businesses to connect with potential buyers and establish greater levels of brand affinity. CES attendees can expect to see new VR headsets and smarter more visually stunning televisions, many of which will be equipped with AR and VR capabilities, as well as some surprises in the realm of AR applications.
  • Robotics Take Flight:Piggybacking on last year’s success, advances in drones and robotics are certain to soar to new heights at CES 2017. This next generation will likely feature more compact solutions with extended battery lives and flight times, as well as integration with external devices as remote controls. For example, Cleo will debut a pocket-sized drone described as “the first selfie drone,” which resembles a donut or UFO in shape and is equipped with HD video-recording capabilities. The Cleo will take panoramas and selfies or record full 360-degree videos, and will be controlled exclusively by a downloadable smartphone app. While Cleo plans to announce the cost of its pocket drone at CES, the price-point is expected to be quite affordable and its usability high, priming it for success with beginners who don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on their first drones.
  • Wearables/IoT for Every Lifestyle: The wearables market has been heavily dominated by fitness and healthcare, but this year companies will be broadening their focuses to include wearables for pets and everyday items, such as luggage. Link AKC will debut a smart dog collar that guarantees to be both fashionable and functional. The collar is a smart device that comfortably fits a dog’s neck with an accompanying smartphone app that helps pet owners stay connected with their dogs via GPS and location monitoring. It will also offer features to better manage a dog’s wellbeing via activity tracking, temperature notifications, and vet reminders. Another cool device bordering the wearable category will be available for travelers to help them find lost luggage. Bibelib has created a suitcase cover with an integrated tracking system that allows people to pinpoint and identify luggage in case of theft.
  • Connected Vehicles That Drive Us: Our CES trends hit list would not be complete without mentioning what’s anticipated in the world of connected vehicles. Cars of the future are certain to be a driving force at CES, with self-driving car tech companies Delphi and Mobileye having already announced plans to debut a platform called the Central Sensing Localization and Planning (CSLP) system, which promises to advance autonomous motoring. In addition, Faraday Future’s recent tweets have hinted toward the unveiling of a new driverless car at CES 2017.

While big news in the world of smartphones is not anticipated at CES (many mobile manufacturers will postpone their big splashes for the more targeted Mobile World Congress trade show in February), we at Kyocera will be at CES meeting with our partners, customers, reporters and industry analysts. CES provides us the opportunity to keep a strong pulse on the upcoming trends, particularly those affecting mobile users and the devices upon which they rely.

We hope to see you at CES for what is certain to be another fantastic showcase of what’s to come in the new year – be it in the palm of your hand, on the road, in the sky, or wherever our imaginations can take us.

John Chier is director of corporate communications at Kyocera. He has worked on the Kyocera team shaping its communications strategy over the past 15 years – 13 of those years in-house and two with a Kyocera agency partner. John has always had a passion for writing and began his career as a newspaper reporter at the Whittier Daily News, part of a multi-paper syndicate in Los Angeles. When not working, he and his wife can usually be found coaching, shuttling, refereeing or cheering for his three sons and their numerous plays, concerts and sports teams. 

What You Get When You Take Kyocera Devices, SAP applications and Android for Work


A Rugged Solution for all Enterprise Workers

In the age of instant information availability, companies and employees use multiple methods of communication with both corporate-liable and individual-liable devices. Management teams using tablets or computers, and field-force workers using corporate-liable dedicated rugged mobile devices, need to be able to communicate instantly using the same data, creating a need to support the same set of applications running on multiple platforms. This introduces an increasing level of complexity for IT departments, particularly with the rapidly growing universe of enterprise applications, security concerns and data management.

On Android devices, this need to support similar applications on multiple platforms creates a lot of work for enterprise application vendors and IT departments, as they need to check application compatibility on different devices due to variations in Android implementation by different OEMs. Enterprise applications running on different Android devices often have a different set of issues and, therefore, OEMs and application providers must work together ahead of time to at least establish a baseline level of compatibility testing.

Google finally attempted to solve that problem with Android for Work, with which an application can utilize the same set of pre-defined APIs on any Android for Work-enabled device. This significantly reduces the number of issues with enterprise applications running across different Android devices and platforms. Much to the relief of IT managers, the work environment also ensures that IT approves deployed enterprise applications, which means applications are thoroughly vetted before deployment, especially if they require additional capabilities such as remote access using secure VPN, additional encryption, Kiosk mode, etc. This is often done as part of carefully controlled trials, where the device OEM and application vendor work with a customer’s IT team and end-users to support the trials.

Recently, Kyocera and SAP started collaborating to test SAP mobile apps on rugged devices running Android for Work. The characteristics built into Android for Work are closely aligned to what Kyocera and SAP focus on when creating devices and enterprise mobility management solutions, respectively. Don Coop is a Product Manager from SAP who worked on test SAP apps on Kyocera devices. He commented that SAP customers would value the ease of use on Kyocera devices.

For workers who need devices that are rugged, reliable and secure, a Kyocera device running SAP apps on Android for Work enables a best-in-class experience for enterprise workers. From construction to fleet management to public safety, users can be assured that their devices are:

Secure: Kyocera devices have built-in security and encryption to keep sensitive data protected using FIPS 140-2 validated cryptographic module for full device and SD card encryption, as well as advanced VPN capabilities providing security for data at rest (DAR) and data in motion (DIM). Coupled with SAP’s Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) security expertise, users can securely store and share files without worrying. In addition, Android for Work enables IT departments to remotely differentiate between personal and corporate data on a device, allowing the latter to be locked or wiped remotely without affecting personal data.

Productive: Tapping into SAP’s longstanding leadership in both business productivity apps and enterprise security, Android for Work on Kyocera devices allows workers to use their enterprise apps such as SuccessFactors, SAP Jam and SAP Fiori mobile apps anywhere, anytime and across devices. This means that employees can access critical business apps on the go to maintain high productivity levels. With app and file integrity as well as device and content management, mobile devices now have fewer limitations in terms of what they can do. 

Durable: Kyocera specializes in devices that are built to last. One particular device that SAP tested is the recently introduced DuraForce XD, part of Kyocera’s portfolio of military-grade waterproof and ruggedized devices, built to withstand the toughest work environments. While Kyocera makes sure its hardware can endure the tests of time and the elements, SAP brings its expertise in software to meet the demands of running large-scale, multinational businesses with dozens to thousands of employees.

Rich Mobile Experience: As Kyocera (and others) continue to introduce new form-factors and increasingly larger screen sizes, including large-screen “phablets,” the mobile experience becomes more immersive. Android for Work and SAP help make it even more so with a robust app marketplace, featuring specialized apps for enterprise customers.

With SAP as a leader in enterprise applications and Kyocera as a leader in rugged devices, both companies are excited to show how Android for Work can revolutionize technology for both the workplace and for life in general. Kyocera and SAP are at the forefront of testing the latest devices to ensure that all hardware, software and applications are optimized to bring workers an exceptional Android for Work experience. Now, businesses with a field force have an affordable option to equip their employees with productivity-driving devices that are designed to function in every work environment. The result? A single, long-lasting rugged solution for enterprise workers meets all their needs, both professionally and personally.

For more information on Kyocera devices, visit our Business Solutions page.