Background: In its 50th year, CES saw over 175,000 attendees and 3,800 exhibiting companies over the course of four days. Here’s what you should know about the main trends and their impact on consumers’ everyday lives.
Life+ and The Connected World
As Cindy Gustafson, NA Chief Strategy Officer, puts it: “Our industry has talked about autonomous driving for years now. But that concept expands to what I think is the most fascinating part of this year’s Consumer Electronics Show: autonomous living. It’s the idea that technology can tell us what we need – and help us get it – before we even realize it.”
This year a lot of products have evolved to bring us closer to the reality of the smart home. You can program Whirlpool’s dishwasher through an app and then order more detergent through Amazon Dash. You can communicate with your family through a dashboard on a Samsung fridge, set expiration dates for food, and re-order through Instacart. OneLink’s camera in your nursery can track your baby’s breathing, and alert you if anything changes or stops.
Voice recognition is being embedded everywhere from connected cars to TVs, security systems, appliances and more. Amazon took the lead on the number of partners that have integrated Alexa into their devices but it’d be a mistake to ignore the other players in the ‘assistant’ the space like Google, Apple and Microsoft.
Shop+ and Commerce Everywhere
A key part of the connected world is a frictionless shopping experience. From that POV, although it didn’t have an official booth, Amazon definitely drove the biggest amount of buzz through Alexa, Dash, Go and drones. Most importantly, its voice recognition technology links back to the Amazon shopping ecosystem; so you may realise that you need a product, ask Alexa for it and then easily order it. It’s telling that Amazon announced at CES that the number of Alexa Skills grew from 1,000 in June to over 7,000 today.
For marketers, any new voice activation that you launch should be tied back to a larger, more long-term campaign. As physical shopping further blurs with digital experiences, all retailers need to become more omni-channel. Brands should also consider how connected devices could potentially reduce the amount of choice people leverage in purchasing products. If you use voice search to find a product, it’s easier to just go with the first thing that’s suggested, versus scrolling through results the way you might on your phone or computer. What does that mean for your brand and its relationship to media and publishers?
Content+ and Mixed Reality
For AR, there was everything from new Smart Glasses from ODG and Lumus, to new shopping experiences and more. AR presents the potential to overlay the entire universe with information. In the future, you could be looking at a pair of shoes in a storefront window and suddenly all the relevant info pops up – the price, what other colors are available or you could be looking at The Tower of London and suddenly a historical timeline is presented in front of you. The content possibilities are endless.
And while scale is still a key challenge for VR, it’s no coincidence that at Christmas some of the top downloaded apps in Apple’s app store were VR experiences. And that the keywords “VR apps” and “VR games” were among the top trending searches the day after. At CES, Samsung confirmed that it’s sold five million mobile VR headsets to date; we also saw new releases from Intel, Lenovo, Asus and more.
Ultimately, there is so much that can inform the way brands create adaptive content—from voice commands and gesture and eye control to open APIs that bring in all sorts of info to inform the content that you see. Marketers have the opportunity to bring audiences to a place where it’s almost like the viewer is the conductor, creating their own content experiences tailored to them, in the best way possible.
Want more? Read our full takeaways deck below.