CES 2016: 10 Trends

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CES 2016 10 TRENDS

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CES 2016 The pace of change in advertising and consumer behavior continues to be frantic and to accelerate, so our annual trip to CES in Las Vegas continues to remind us how in relative terms hardware changes more slowly than both software and our expectations. In fact, CES in 2016 didn’t show a revolution in electronics and consumer products, but more of an evolution. The products were similar yet faster, thinner, cheaper, and above all else, more connected. This moment feels like the early stages of a new era, a time when all products are becoming cloud connected, touch screens are everywhere, and all media is digital. Yet it’s not quite the Internet of things — it’s the interim of things. We don’t yet have a truly smart home; we have sophisticated homes that sometimes don’t quite work. We have 3D printers without totally compelling use cases and robotic body parts that don’t quite make a full humanoid. The companies succeeding are those that are innovating and collaborating to solve real consumer needs while staying true to a clear brand purpose. From artificial intelligence and cognitive computing, to drone technologies, virtual reality, and biometric sensing, to 8k video and 360 surround sound, there are tremendous opportunities on the horizon. Please read on to view the ten themes that make up this moment in time.

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AUTONOMOUS MOBILITY Self-driving, remote controlled 01 Automotive technology is undergoing faster, more profound changes than ever. Electrical propulsion is transforming what vehicles look like, from scooters to hoverboards. But the big change comes from how devices are being controlled and accessed. It’s the autonomous layer being added to mobility devices and the new business models evolving that are the really compelling changes. We have self-driving cars becoming a tantalizingly close reality. And we can see how they will soon talk to each other and collaborate with cities, as well as how smart cars will work together to find the best navigational route. In this world, will we buy a vehicle or have access to one? Faraday thinks the future lies in cars as a subscription service similar to data plans. Perhaps the future of car ownership is access; we will buy autonomous mobility, not vehicles. MARKETER IMPLICATIONS: The connected car could be the next media frontier. Passengers in self-driving vehicles will be engaging with content in new ways, from using location-based services to shopping through GPS enabled commerce — all of these being targeted opportunities for brand engagement.

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COLLABORATIVE SYSTEMS 02 As software eats the world, it’s becoming clear that diverse groups of people and companies can create more consumer value through partnerships. Hardware makers need to work with software companies, new platforms need developer Partnerships and interoperability ecosystems, and manufacturers need sensors and high powering processors. When we combine the pressure of a tough trading environment with the threats of startups to legacy companies, we’re seeing large, old and proud companies adopt a more open approach to product design and innovation. Ford is working with drone maker DJI and opening up its in-car OS to developers such as Amazon. GM is partnering with Lyft to create a fleet of driverless cars. IBM Watson is partnering with Under Armour to create a next generation fitness app. And LG is working with content providers like Netflix. We are seeing more companies working together across widely different marketplaces more than ever before. MARKETER IMPLICATIONS: Brands should think about the broader ecosystem in which their consumers live and engage, while formulating partnerships that are mutually beneficial for all. Collaboration can bring out the best in all parties. Amazon+Ford Partnership

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COGNITIVE ROBOTICS Not just smarter, but more human 03 Robots have been multiplying for many years now, undertaking roles in car production and undersea welding — typically behind the scenes in unglamorous roles. They often looked less like robots and more like fabrication devices. But it’s starting to change; we’re allowing devices to get closer to us. What started with the Roomba is turning into an industry of more anthropomorphic machines. This humanity isn't only in form, it’s in how machines process data, how they interact through voice recognition, and above all else, how they self-learn to get better. We have IBM Watson powered ecosystem partners like Under Armour and SoftBank. We see full-size humanoid robots that can understand speech and respond. We’re seeing improved motors, sensors, and cognitive capability smash together to make robots come into the foreground. MARKETER IMPLICATIONS:  Cognitive computing is ushering in a new era of communications in which brands will be able to better anticipate and respond to consumer needs. As robotics become more integral in our everyday lives, brands have the opportunity to rethink consumer and product engagement. Pepper from SoftBank + IBM Watson

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04 INFINITE SCREENS Digital and projected interfaces everywhere From screens on our wrists to dynamic screens in retail, everything is becoming a cloud connected space for digital media display. We have connected photo frames, seat back screens on planes, and VR / AR head mounted displays mere inches from our eyes. Our world will soon become a series of bendable screens, transparent surfaces, paper-thin displays, projected images, and holograms.  These screens are increasingly thin, cheap, modular, efficient, and with better resolution. IMARKETER MPLICATIONS: We are growing the media pie and in more places than we ever expected. Everything has become a media moment, and every space, whether tangible or intangible, has become a screen for digital projection. As all screens become digital, and media buying and placement become easier and automated, we expect countless opportunities in how ads can be created, distributed, and personalized. LG flexible screen

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MIXED REALITY Virtual, augmented & immersive experiences 05 HTC Vive proved it’s a viable challenger to Oculus Rift in the gaming and CGI space. So did Sony PlayStation with Morpheus. Immersive gaming for hours on end proved it’s about to take a quantum leap forward when the general release of head mounted devices begins in Q2 2016. Game on. As long as you have deep pockets, a powerful computer, and a lot of time at home. And that’s why the real VR winner at CES this year was in fact mobile VR, championed by Samsung Gear VR, already in the marketplace. With a VR platform already stocked with more than 300 pieces of brilliant content, mobile VR is affordable, portable, and a lightweight heavy hitter. Augmented reality showed their potential. The future will see a blend of both AR and VR headsets. But compared to mobile and desktop VR the quality and content of AR is still in beta. MARKETER IMPLICATIONS: Although some presume VR / AR is for the gaming industry, there’s massive potential for industries such as travel, sports, entertainment, medicine, education, journalism, and fashion. Whether it be through road show events, in-home use, or instore retail, we’ll see new opportunities in product placement and/or new formats for advertising. Sony Playstation VR

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DIAGNOSTIC WEARABLES Baby, health/fitness & beauty tech 06 Wearables as screens are missing the point; they’re more about inputs than outputs, and we’re finally letting them get closer to us and gain access to our core body metrics. From smart clothing to smart watches, from simple Fitbits to health kits from Under Armor or software that measures caloric values, we’re surrounding ourselves with some of the most personal data we’ve ever known. Times are changing. People are seeing a value exchange, and the population seems more comfortable with sharing heart-rates, stress levels, and even body scan statistics. The data collected is now forming the most accurate real-time dashboard we’ve ever known. With developments in data set handling, statistical analysis, and personalized medicine, we’re on the edge of a move toward the most advanced healthcare ever. How long before a doctor’s visit is merely handing over your phone? MARKETER IMPLICATIONS: We need to recognize that it’s not just about the vast amount of big data that can be collected, but the actionable insights brands can provide from gathering this more intimate, personal data. Targeting can now get granular, and content should be more personalized, evidence-based, and actionable for consumers. My UV patch by L’oreal

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RESPONSIVE HOMES Secured networks and connected devices 07 High-tech home security systems were in abundance, a reflection of the increasing importance of home networks, coupled with increased concern around cyber crime. Burglars today don’t need to be physically present to break in; they can use Wi-Fi to open doors, steal money, and access private information. For the smart home to break into the mainstream, people need to better understand the benefits of these new technologies. Common standards and protocols are needed to make more products and services compatible. Amazon has made big headway, especially with Alexa, the cloud-based voice service that powers Amazon Echo. It launched a fund that provides up to $100 million in investments to fuel voice technology innovation from developers, manufacturers, and startups. Although the smart home may not yet be a reality for many consumers, we expect over the next few years much of this technology will begin inhabiting many homes as it becomes easier to understand and use. MARKETER IMPLICATIONS: With brands living alongside consumers, trust will be of paramount concern. Privacy, compatibility, and seamless experiences will allow brands to communicate with consumers in newly available environments that exist in familiar places. Prizm: AI music player

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RETRO TECH The old is new again 08 For a generation of ultra connected, always on, always digital people, there is a real delight to be disconnected in a range of nostalgic devices that hark back to simpler times. Forget constant upgrades and obsolescence; we’re seeing physical book sales thrive and Adele’s album take off on CD. Podcasts are back and vinyl record sales are rocketing. For all these shared cultural moments, new products are emerging, and hardware is being developed for those who want simplicity, authenticity, and purity. Think: Sony’s new record player, the Kodak Super 8 Camera, and Star Wars tech gadgetry. Celebrities including Rihanna and Vogue editor Anna Wintour have been photographed using their flip phones. We’re seeing the leading edge become retrospective. MARKETER IMPLICATIONS: Nostalgia is a real opportunity to tap into. How can we make products and services that are time-tested, simple, and emotional? How can we re-energize classics? How can we reinvigorate the old? Even traditional media could face a strong comeback — or at least not die, as fast as many predict. Kodak Super 8

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HYBRID PRODUCTS We’re all user experience experts now 09 Increasingly, our experiences of products are now a combination of both hardware and software. Delight from televisions now comes from better navigation, on-screen menus, and content discovery, while car purchases are now driven more by in-car systems than performance. In fact, older Tesla cars can be improved with a software update to park themselves, pass new safety tests, or even self-drive and learn. But not all companies are thinking this way. Unveiled at CES were the best televisions the world has ever seen — with outdated remotes. There were products made simply because they could be, rather than any sign of consumer desire. We’re at a time of incredible innovation, but the consumer experience is lagging behind. Increasingly, every product is becoming an interface. And because your product is your brand, marketers are now user experience designers. MARKETER IMPLICATIONS: We should take more time to think in terms of customer experiences. We need to use creativity, empathy, and experience design skills to create products and customer flows that suit user needs. We need to think of touchpoints in terms of how hardware and software come together and re-think what’s possible based on new technology and behaviors.

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BUSINESS MODELS ARE CHANGING You don’t have to be a tech company to be a tech company 10 Technology is pervasive across almost every category of business today. With the collision of hardware, software, and platforms, we’re seeing entire categories rethinking business models and moving higher up the value chain. Car companies are no longer in the business of selling cars but in the business of personal mobility. Netflix has moved from content distributor to content creator. Go Pro moved from camera maker to owner and publisher of extreme sports content. By moving up the value chain to higher order benefits, companies can now broaden their consumer base, own more of the category, seek higher margin, and defend against future disruption. MARKETER IMPLICATIONS: Our clients need to focus on how they can leverage their experience, unique products, and consumer base to move from products to services — and to higher emotional ground. Advertising itself can move away from making marketing messages toward improving client products and creating experiences around people seamlessly across products, services, and platforms.

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