POV: CES Best In Show

Photo Courtesy of CES Photo Gallery

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas is the biggest innovation show in the world. Mindshare has walked the halls to curate for you the best in show:  

Everything is connected & everything is converging

If you thought the Internet of Things (IoT) was just about watches, fitness devices, and the odd fridge and washing machine, think again. Nearly every single device on show was a connected device, whether a car, phone, TV, home security system, clothing, robot, drone or pretty much anything else you can dream up. There is of course a need for standardisation as things go forward. Put simply, my LG washing machine should be able to talk to my Samsung dryer. The key question is, whether there is a need for regulation, or at least a meeting of minds amongst the competitions ecosystems (Apple, Google, Microsoft et al)? If you are interested in the IoT then check out Mindshare’s Life+ unit which has been set up to explore the opportunity for brands in this space (AdAge Article)

Emergence of new sensory languages

While the mobile phone and cloud services remain at the heart of consumer experiences, there’s an emergence of increasingly intuitive devices that enable all sorts of new interactions with personal data and content. It’s more than just watches and trackers with touch capability; now it’s gesture control, eye and face tracking and ear muscle control, to name just a few. The significance of this is hard to predict. However, think of it like this – as the world becomes more connected, consumers will adapt imaginatively with how they consume content, make choices, select and respond to communications and notifications from their life-systems, without always reaching to their pocket for their phones first. Goodbye to an ‘eyes-down at screen’ society.

Time for a power up

Historically, power and charging has had a lack of innovation. The elephant in the room is the need to eliminate monster power cords and develop much longer battery life across the board – even just more charging spaces would be a move forward, particularly as we switch to the mobile Internet. This year, there was certainly chat and promises surrounding the ability to charge phones in ninety seconds in the future. The automotive sector has already come on leaps and bounds with use of electric power. Watch this space as we predict welcome news in the future.

Democratization of health data set to empower medical relationships

Health, fitness and sports tracking has come of age at CES this year. But it is the sensor accuracy, data quality capture and communication that really promises consumers a reinvigorated relationship with the medical community – the combination of holistic health sensor-driven ecosystems that help your heart, lungs and any other organ live well and personal DNA capture, storage and tracking, promises the potential to predict illness before you suffer. This really is the tip of the iceberg, but also the moment consumers can begin take control and be more informed of their true wellbeing, so they can demand the best from medical services wherever they are in the world.

Audio gets HD and innovation treatment

Not so much a trend as a resurgence of an existing technology. There was a massive amount of audio related devices on show – speakers came in every shape and size, could float in the air, were connected and could be played under water. Services like Tadal and devices like PONO along with Sony debuting their hi-res music players and the world’s first hi-res audio compatible TV, taking sound to the next level. The importance of audio in the marketing mix is often overlooked, but it is an area that is seeing great innovation and is why Mindshare partnered with Shazam to launch Audio+ (NYT Article)

Cars, Cars, Cars

The cars are usually confined to the North Hall at CES, where you find everyone from Audi to Volkswagen demonstrating clean, driverless concept cars. But this year, the central hall dominated by the big electronics companies like Sony, LG and Panasonic was almost as good a destination for petrol (or electricity as they might soon be know) heads. The connected, gesture controlled car is definitely here and brands should be planning how to be part of the revolution. Other car themes included automated driving, fast charging electric and hydrogen fuel powered vehicles