By Todd Bernhard on Thu, 01/12/2012
I have been attending CES (and Comdex, CES' now defunct competitor) for over two decades... since 1988 in fact! Each time, when I come back home, everybody asks me what the trend was. Sometimes it's bigger TVs, or flatter TVs, or 3D, smartphones or faster processors or smaller laptops or tablets. This year, however, the trend is not a particular technology or product set... The trend from CES 2012 has been 'Made in the USA.' I really did not anticipate this trend. Indeed I'm not sure that more products are actually being made in the USA than in prior years. What appears to be the case is that the vendors who do make products in the USA have been more upfront and vocal about it than ever.
I believe this trend is attributable to three things. First, the rough economy has made vendors more conscious of helping locally and creating jobs where it is both possible and practical. Second is the Kickstarter effect. It has become easier for a one or two person operation to take an idea and make it a reality, especially if the type of product doesn't require semiconductors or other components which have long migrated overseas. Finally, those smaller groups may not have connections internationally nor shareholders who are forcing them to emphasize profits over other priorities. With this trend in mind, watch this space for several articles about vendors whose products are made entirely in the USA or at least 95% in some specific cases.