1. Big brand curved TVs and mega booths are cool, but to me this year’s show was all about the rise of the crowdfunded hardware startup.
2. It’s official, there are now more wearable wristband vendors than there are human wrists on the planet.
3. The wearables category is still waiting for its disruptive “iPhone moment”. New releases show nice progress, but mostly incremental. Smart watches have a long way to go.
4. Accelerating trends on display, still early: family tech and senior tech.
5. The lines between the tech and non-tech worlds keep blurring. Pizza Hut and Ford both had a very noticeable presence and were pitching their tech innovation.
6. Hardware innovation is truly global. Some of the most interesting startups I met were from Manchester (UK), Ukraine and Lebanon. France continues to be very active in the space (Parrot, Withings, Netatmo, Sen.se, etc.). [UPDATE: See below some great 3D visualizations of the latest Withings and Sen.se products, produced by SketchFab]
7. China was left, front and center. Not just as the “workshop of the world” but, more strikingly, as as a producer/innovator in their own right. The rise of the juggernaut only seems to be accelerating.
8. In home automation, entrepreneurs were talking a lot about AllJoyn, Qualcomm’s open source platform and language, and the AllSeen alliance that is going to promote an open standard for the Internet of Things.
9. In 3D printing, Makerbot is killing it, with its three gorgeous new printers. Toys still seem to be the killer app for consumer 3D printing, although the new Chefjet chocolate 3D printer by 3D systems was pretty awesome. Consolidation in the consumer 3D printer space seems likely, in the not-too-distant future.
10. Yves Behar and Bre Pettis are incredible creative and entrepreneurial minds, who deserve all the hype they get. I got to witness this firsthand as a judge on the finals of the first TechCrunch Hardware Battlefield (with Jen McCabe, also very sharp), as they turned the judging into a real time mentoring session, providing insights that were worth way more than the top $50,000 prize. Exciting and inspiring.