Being at CES in Las Vegas can be overwhelming, as any of you who attended the 2016 show will know. An estimated 170,000 attendees and almost 2.5 million square feet of exhibits meant we couldn’t possibly survey even a fraction of what happened during the four-day extravaganza.

But from the vantage point of the Ayla Networks booth at the Sands Expo Center, our suite at Caesar’s Palace, and whatever we were able to catch in between the two and on food breaks, here are some of our impressions of CES 2016:

  • The Internet of Things (IoT) is everywhere. From smart home to smart health to wearables, connected products are definitely hot. The trend is moving away from individual connected products to more complete connected solutions. As an example, companies like Lowe’s literally built houses on the show floor to demonstrate how a variety of connected products might work together.
  • Compared to last year’s CES show, attendees seemed more educated about the IoT and some of the players. In particular, people were more familiar with Ayla Networks this year, and a number came to our booth already knowing our name. Some were directed to us by our customers (such as Hunter Fan, LockState, O. Smith, Kidde); by Gartner and other industry analysts; or because they saw one of our CES-related news releases.
  • Standards, protocols and interoperability emerged as areas of real interest in the IoT. We had some good conversations around these topics, as well as about the idea of TVs becoming home gateways for all kinds of connected products and services.
  • Although traffic congestion around the CES venues was painful, it was slightly less painful than in the past—thanks in part to the cloud-based services of Uber and Lyft. Too bad they couldn’t do anything to alleviate the cigarette smoke you had to walk through to get anywhere.
  • In the area of IoT specifically, a lot more non-U.S. companies were exhibiting, especially from China and France.
  • The Wi-Fi- and Apple HomeKit-enabled Symphony and Signal smart ceiling fans—from Ayla customer Hunter Fan, and powered by Ayla IoT technology—earned a CES 2016 Editors’ Choice award from Reviewed.com.
  • Shaquille O’Neal is a really, really big guy. Seeing him riding around CES on a Segway was quite entertaining.Man that guy is tall!
  • Speaking of Segway, looking at the Segway display in front of the deli stand (note to future CES exhibitors: food breaks are often the only time some of us get to wander beyond our booth duties, so food-related areas are prime spots for garnering attention) made us wonder why no one had thought to offer a cloud-connected Segway service that enabled you to “drive the floor” at CES. This would be a great thing for attendees. The service could deliver a recharged Segway unit whenever it was needed, and operators would have visibility into where all the Segway units were at any time. (Consider that another note to future CES exhibitors.)
  • We picked up some good ideas for things to think about with our future offerings, but we’ll save those until we have specific announcements to share.

All in all, CES 2016 was a great show for Ayla. In our booth and our suite, visitors frequently remarked about how impressed they were with both the breadth and number of customers’ connected products we had on display, along with the stature of the companies themselves. One industry analyst mentioned that our competitors “would be happy with half of what you’re showing.”

It would seem that we are on the right track with our IoT platform approach. If you’re interested in finding out more about what makes the IoT tick and why it’s generating such buzz, check out the Why IoT page on our newly revamped website. Or feel free to contact us if you have questions about Ayla, our customers, or how the IoT might make a difference in your business.