#CES – Top 3 Insights (The Rise of the Machines)

Manolo Almagro, Q Division Managing Partner

Sadly, my attempts to live tweet/post from #CES this week were severely hampered with limited access to fast internet on my lame T-mobile 4G hotspot, not to mention finding a good mobile signal in some of the exhibit hall zones was an epic fail.

Good news is: I’m back from Vegas and uploading all of my pics/vids from the show to my tumblr, feel free to browse my gallery at your leisure.

The “internet of things” is heading our way fast and there’s nothing we can do about it…

  1. The Korean’s (Samsung, LG) are having a field day making super smart home appliances that talk to each other – and our smartphones. These connected appliances will anticipate our “every need”. Imagine a world; You’re hungry – you ask the fridge what’s for dinner? – and it suggests some recipes; based on what it has (inside) – it picks a meal based on your favorites, and the fact that you have to take the kids to swim practice in 1 hour. (by accessing your mobile calendar) then calculates your travel time (Google Maps) – and tells you that you have 15 minutes to prep. – The fridge then talks to the smart oven to pre-heat.-now, if it only could move the food from the fridge to the smart oven…
  2. Sony's consumer configurable NFC tag system

  3. Car makers (Audi, Mercedes, Kia, GM) are pulling out all the stops on making your next car a giant smartphone that you can sit in. You guessed it, app markets for every brand of car. Stuck in traffic? -Use the apps to stream Hulu or Netflix to the multi-screen dashboard or head rest monitor. You can create your own personal station with Pandora or Spotify. You can get a special Facebook app in your Mercedes; that lets you post a status, read your friends status, check in and find out where your friends are. Your car can then talk to your friend’s cars and map out the fastest route to meet up. Just what we all need, more distractions while we drive…
  4. Wearable tech brings us closer to becoming cyborgs. Motorola, Microsoft and Vuzix were some of the many companies creating connected snowboard helmets, clothes and glasses that talk with our mobile devices – giving humans super human abilities with richer augmented reality experiences. Health + Wellness wearable devices monitor our workouts, sleep habits or health conditions – providing unique opportunities to ‘hack’ ourselves by understanding how our body works better.

The trends I’ve outlined lead to one inevitable conclusion, the brave new world of smart devices and connected wearables –  will promote a behavior where consumers will only tolerate digital shopping experiences that don’t make them “think” anymore. They will expect intimate, personalized, hyper-targeted conversations with brands and retailers. Shoppers will expect the same convenience and customization options that they get with their Smart fridge, Connected car and augmented reality eyeglasses.

In each of the 3 insights the one connecting thread is: Connected systems will continue to facilitate more “frictionless” sharing of personal preferences and behavioral profiles.  In order for Digital OOH experiences to keep up with the quickly evolving consumer behaviors – solutions need developed that access these profiles and create new opportunities for on-demand, personalized ways to “talk” to shoppers.

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