I recently returned from Hong Kong where I attended the spring sourcing fairs – The Hong Kong Electronics Fair and Global Sources Consumer Electronics. Each year the fairs occur twice, once in the fall in once in the spring. It is a gathering of thousands of factories and manufacturers that all come down to Hong Kong to show off their OEM and ODM products and capabilities.
I have a been attending these shows for many years and over the years I have seen incredible growth of the number of IoT devices that are available from the manufacturers; and this year especially there were more than ever. These devices include lighting (bulbs, plug-ins, and switches), windows coverings, cameras, door locks and thermostats. Indoor air quality devices were also prominent, as well as tunable lighting devices. The connectivity of the devices can vary, with the most popular being the Tuya cloud connectivity. This cloud platform is very popular with the manufacturers due to its ease of implementation. However, it can be problematic for a company to use the devices, as they MUST connect through the Tuya cloud to be controlled. These devices are typically Wi-Fi but can be Bluetooth as well. There were also plenty of devices using the more traditional RF standards like Z-Wave and ZigBee.
These fairs give me an opportunity to see the larger trends within the marketplace and to truly vet these manufacturers for our clients. To meet with the people face to face means that when we recommend a factory we know who they are and what their true capabilities are.
If you are looking for a good CM, ODM or OEM, this is the place to find it. It is one of my favorite times of the year, it gives me the opportunity to go to one of my favorite cities, Hong Kong, and look at gadgets for four days straight. However, the only downside is that my feet don’t enjoy it nearly as much as I walk about 50,000 steps each of the four days!