Why CES matters in the UK



CES2011 sml.bmpThe Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2011 might take place in Las Vegas, 10 hours away by plane, but we'll feel its impact resonating through the UK for months to come.

In the world of tech, distance is no object, and the vast majority of products launched during the six day tech event eventually make their way to British shores.

British influence
The influence of CES on Britain's gadget market is palpable. Some of the best-selling products of the year get their first outing at CES in January, before making their way across the Atlantic to whet our tech appetites. The reason? The UK is one of the largest markets for new gadgets, and that puts us right at the top of manufacturers' agendas.

At any of the CES press conferences, you'll hear products launched alongside schedules to get them into consumers' hands, and the UK's right up there at the top. Every firm, from new startups to multinational giants fight to get their products to Britain, and that's good news for tech heads this side of the pond.

Take Dell, one of the largest firms in attendance at CES. Its executives stated that the Dell Mini 3i Android phone "was built specifically with the UK in mind." Likewise, Samsung's latest web TVs were first demoed with Sky News software pre-installed. When it comes to creating products that'll appeal to overseas markets, companies exhibiting at CES have the UK at the top of their hit list.

A British showcase
CES 2011 isn't just a shop window for huge multinationals and American startups, some of the UK's most innovative firms pitch up to show their wares and garner support from the worldwide press, as well as new investors.

At this year's show, British firms such as audio specialists Orbitsound will be making their technologies sing and dance for a global audience. British DAB radio manufacturers Pure will be in attendance too, marking their second year at CES after launching their first products for US radio fans last year. Whether they're large manufacturers or cutting edge start ups, CES is a great British showcase for tech firms from our own fair isle.

A launchpad for British startups
For UK firms getting their first products to market, CES can provide a huge boost, with the eyes of the world's tech press, investors and customers' attention all focussed on Las Vegas for the first week of January. That's why CES is so valuable, even though it might seem miles away.

This year, MKW, a UK based start-up company producing portable audio devices, will use CES to showcase their products. It'll be the first time many industry insiders clap eyes on their gizmos, and the opportunity to impress has never been greater.

Other UK startups on the lookout for attention include Cool-er, a British e-reader manufacturer, which has partnered with Elonex to show one of the world's first colour e-readers in 2011. Whatever the product type, UK startups have an immense opportunity at CES, and for British gadget fans, the kit on show has never been more exciting.