CES finds a way to blow me away every single year — and this year was certainly no exception. Amongst the gigantic sea of new technology and innovative electronics that scattered the floors of CES, there were three particular products that genuinely stuck with me. These products are more than just “Cool New Gadgets to Look Out For In 2016”, these are revolutionary electronics that will eventually change the game in consumer’s lives and marketers strategies indefinitely.
But it’s not necessarily the final product that I feel is the actual revolution, it’s the ingredients inside the products. These ingredients have the ability to create completely different products which can lead to different services, and vice versa. These products and services will bleed into day-to-day rituals which will trigger new lifestyles and habits, and eventually — be the norm.
Below I broke down the three technologies I found at CES that will affect not only consumers, but marketers alike. It can be difficult to look behind the glitz and glam, especially at a fantastic trade show like CES, but let’s take a moment to look deeper into the innovation that was introduced to us and what this all can mean for the future.
360 Degree Cameras
What this means for consumers: 360 degree cameras are usually reserved for professionals. But now that these cameras have hit an affordable price range, this allows the everyday consumer to produce and consume. More moments will be captured which will lead to creatively produced visuals which will lead to unique and fresh perspectives to share. The big key here is that this will easily enter into the world of social media, especially for the platforms that are already video-friendly: Instagram, SnapChat, Facebook, and YouTube.
What this means for marketers: Once consumers are trending the idea of a 360 degree visuals, companies will jump on the bandwagon and begin to build out immersive ads with fresh content creation.
Brands can also leverage on what consumers have already created. This will only encourage more participation and heavy brand engagement. Imagine sponsored experiences (ie: sports, concerts, trade shows) being shared by thousands of guests and participants and the brand being able to have immediate (and delayed) access to this footage all via social media. I can already imagine 360 degree videos of Coachella all over my newsfeed.
What this means for consumers: Imagine flying to LAX from SFO and simply having your car wait for you right when you exit the baggage claim — driver not included. In the past few years, there has been a mass acceptance of computers running the show. Siri’s answering your too-lazy-to-Google questions, iRobot is vacuuming your home better than you ever could, and —unlike your dog Spot — flying drones boomerang right back to you. It was only inevitable for technology to catch up to self-driving cars. There are extreme benefits of self-driving vehicles for consumers: the convenience of having a car come and go based on your schedule — essentially an automated personal chauffeur, no longer needing to search for parking on your own once you reach your destination, a dramatic drop in drunk driving, and a decrease in traffic congestion.
What this means for marketers: Self-driving cars will inspire brands to create sponsored intelligence. When taking a road trip to the Grand Canyon, expect big car brands like Ford or BMW to recommend which restaurants or shops to stop at along the way. As this becomes the norm, businesses will learn to leverage from artificial intelligence and service at the moment. For example, instead of asking questions at the front desk hotel staff downstairs — robots will be able to arrive right at your hotel room and you can have a chat with them, whether you need more towels or dinner suggestions — you’ll be covered. I discuss this topic more in a Mindshare interview below. (Begin at the 1:15 mark.)
Rollable & Flexible Displays
What this means for consumers: Flexible displays are often seen in science fiction movies like Minority Report. But now they’re actually here — and ready to satisfy today’s binge-watching generation. Not only will this innovation create more everyday living space at homes and offices, but rolling up televisions will create more mobility for entertainment needs. Watch the big football game in the living room and when it’s time for dinner, easily transition to the dining area so no touchdowns are missed. Have special company over and want to Netflix and chill in your bedroom? Roll up your TV from the den and bring it upstairs. Pack the displays into your car and create a makeshift “drive in” movie night with your friends. Soon, just how iPads and tablets are portable and easily accessible, our main tv displays will be too.
What this means for marketers: There will be never-ending ideas of where to place brand awareness. Electronic billboards and advertising displays will be less expensive to run. Animated campaigns and content will be much more accessible to consumers. Font and images will be much more dynamic. Brands will learn how to create displays where consumers can be interactive with it. We will begin to see animated bathroom signs and more video content showcased in store fronts. Brands will have more affordable opportunities to create animated content where we see still-image advertising today.
It’s exciting to know that all the potential changes I mentioned above will happen a lot sooner than later, if not already. What was your favorite technology or electronics you saw or read about at CES 2016 that you believe will change the future forever?