In the tech world this week, it is all about CES – the onsumer electronics show in Las Vegas. I was not disappointed by my first CES, with 2014 bringing out all the normal things you would expect from CES – the good, the bad and the straight out wacky. I must have walked at least 30kms per day, but have been astounded by the level of innovation and where we are headed in the consumer electronics space.
I thought I would share with you some of the key themes and a few of my personal favourites!
Curves, not of the human kind, but curved screens aimed at reducing reflection and improving image quality. Massive focus for the TV category, with the likes of Samsung releasing curved screens and currently working on a curved mobile device.
Cars, the automotive industry is at CES bigger than ever before. In 2013, there were two automotive car companies at CES. This year there are nine and include all of the major manufacturers. Cars are set to be the new frontier of connectivity. The other key highlight is cars that drive themselves and cars that save us from ourselves (slowing down for us when we take our eyes of the road for too long!).
Wearables and digital health, with a huge focus on fitness and well-being. In 2014, digital health is front and centre at CES, with a 30% increase in exhibitors in this space. The shift here has been the move from monitoring just our fitness activity (think Fuel band) to monitoring our sleep, heart rate, brain waves etc. The crowd pleaser this year is the toothbrush from Kolibree. The Kolibree toothbrush records your teeth brushing activity so you can take it to your dentist for feedback!
Wearables extends into the area of clothing, with Reebok launching the checklight hat for people playing impact sports to wear. This detects the impact of a hit to the head when playing high contact sports. This is set to be a bit hit with those cautious mums!
The internet of things and smart everything! There has been a lot of emphasis at the show on ‘smart’ appliances, with everything from smart fridges, to smart beds being showcased by manufacturers. I personally loved the Samsung and LG exhibition which shows how the connected home will be. LG plans on launching later this year a fridge which tells you when you’re running out of beer! That could be a sure winner next Christmas!
3D Printing is the other massive focus, with 2014 seeing a 25% increase in the number of 3D printing exhibits. The cost to purchase these is looking to reduce in the next 12 months, with Makeabot announcing they will retail one at $1300. Really interesting applications of this, with movie companies investing in this area. Check out the dollhouse and guitar – both of which are 3D printed!
All of this poses interesting questions, opportunities and challenges for clients and agencies. The opportunities are vast; with the increase of data with each of these developments enabling us to increase our understanding of consumer behaviour on many levels.
How we look to extend our marketing activity into new spaces such as cars, which with 9 manufactures on board will be a reality soon enough, opens up new avenues for location based marketing.
I will leave you with a few of my favourite wacky things that I enjoyed… Robotics pets – no more walking the dog or cleaning up after pooch! & Electric cigarettes which are taking China by storm!!!