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SUMMARY_ Just two words dominated
CES 2015; “smart” and “connected,” and despite 20,000 products on display, these two terms united almost everything. This is the proof that “the internet of everything” is coming, a new ecosystem around us where digital becomes the connective tissue of everything. Sensors record and share what’s happening, devices respond intelligently, our world becomes a smarter, adaptive environment around us. When things get smarter, when data becomes more abundant and intimate, and where decisions are outsourced to algorithms, what impact does this have on marketing? When big data becomes intimate data, what happens? The internet of things is currently about possibilities, but how do we focus on the opportunities? To find out more about the threats and opportunities at CES in 8 separate themes, read on.
NEW MOBILITY 01 The way
we move around is changing, CES saw the introduction of a plethora of new ways that challenge our assumptions about personal movement. From electric scooters that fold to motorized unicycles, from what looks to be a new Segway to the world’s ﬁrst electronic skates, mobility is about to change; welcome to a new era in transport. Cars are also changing fast, from rapid developments making electric cars more aﬀordable, to self driving car technology coming from all major players. With the arrival of platforms such as Uber and the growing app based car clubs like Zipcar and Hertz oﬀering short-term use, one-way rental, we’re seeing changes in car ownership patterns. It’s not a huge leap of faith to imagine a world where owning cars, and cars even looking like cars, is a distant memory. New mobility impacts marketers in profound new ways. The car is creating a new media environment, now that you no longer need to pay attention to the road. With this comes new advertising opportunities like promoted routes, real time special oﬀers, map based advertising, all taking advantage of your cars’ larger digital screens.
SENSORED SURROUNDINGS 02 CES shows
that the sensor economy is expanding and becoming even richer. The technology is extracting and analyzing data, making improvements to everyday life everywhere. Big data is even bigger now, yet becoming more intimate. From meditation devices to baby monitors, portable 3D scanners, to more advanced wearable health trackers, to fully connected homes, welcome to an age where everything is monitored, recorded, shared and analyzed. Brands can now have access to data they never thought possible. Knowledge of what consumers are doing, feeling, and even thinking becomes possible as sensors surround our bodies. An implication for brands is using this data extraction to create the next wave of products and services. Predictive analytics aﬀord us the opportunity to inﬂuence or predict consumer behaviors favorable to brand initiatives. In an aging population, it also allows for consumers to monitor their loved ones from afar and ensure that proactive measures are taken. As you can imagine, the possibilities are inﬁnite and the CPG, retail and restaurant categories are prime ﬁrst-movers for this trend.
RESPONSIVE ENVIRONMENTS 03 If CES
is about everything being “smart” and “connected,” then sensors become the foundational element. Everywhere we look, we see new types of sensors, new ways to process data and new things to control. From homes that unlock as we walk towards doors or cameras that keep tabs on who is home, to lights that adapt to our needs and to fridges that order food for us, we’re soon to be surrounded by connected devices that work around our needs. Behold an age where cars drive us around, where televisions suggest content we may want to watch, where our belts tell us how to behave. We could call this the connected home or smarter living, but really this is about reducing the thinking we have to do every day and about accepting key contextual suggestions that come to us. It’s about us at the center of a life that just works around us, with technology moving into the background to become ambient and assistive. What’s most interesting about this is what this means for marketers. If machines, algorithms and our toothbrushes are making decisions for us, what does the role of advertising become?
PERVASIVE SCREENS & VIDEO 04
Slowly every surface around us is turning into a screen and every form of content is converging to become video. Soon, from digital signage, wearables, smart TV’s, connected cars, to projected walls, everything is becoming a place for moving images, and our real life is being augmented by another layer of ambient information from the internet. We have non linear TV and Over the Top (OTT) delivery of content breaking down the traditional linear TV model and putting the consumer in the driver’s seat of how they view and engage with content. Content packages are being developed for the cord- cutting generation. The world is now cross-screen, which has implications for greater content and messaging ﬂexibility, and where multiple touchpoints and sequential storytelling (a sort of ﬂow advertising) can provide richer messaging to consumers. With this opportunity comes greater measurement and consumer insights across all synched devices vs. channels for a holistic consumer picture vs. a siloed view. Within this world, we need to stop our obsession with the digital divide and focus on the implication of marketing when everything is digital and everything is video. In this landscape the concepts of TV versus video, online versus oﬄine, mobile versus desktop have zero meaning. There are also huge implications to marketers on their marketing mix and insights into eﬀectiveness, given availability of new data.
The Whirlpool kitchen of the
future projects messages, recipes and even next steps on to your kitchen work surfaces. 04PERVASIVE SCREENS & VIDEO
05 HUMAN TECHNOLOGY / VANISHING
INTERFACES We’d imagine becoming a cyborg would have looked a bit more futuristic than purple smartwatches, bluetooth headphones and Fitbits. But slowly and surely we’re augmenting our being with a variety of electronics that makes us a little bit superhuman. We’ve got wearables becoming popular by morphing into potentially luxury fashion items, ceramic necklaces that beam notiﬁcations on your skin, t-shirts that measure our vital statistics and smart belts that judge your food intake beyond the likes of any judgmental friend. If that doesn’t work, we can place Thync’s electrodes on our head and let restful pulses “induce a preferred mental state.” We’re also getting closer to technology with the way we navigate content and control devices in more tactile, natural and gestural ways. Amazon Echo was the ﬁrst device to bring voice activation back in trend, but now we see small startups such as Cubic trying to bring technology to life using our voices. Whether it’s the variety of eye-tracking companies such as Tobii, gadgets such as Ring that let you point and control using ﬁngers, or Myo and Bitbrick the trackable armbands, or even the beloved Leap Motion, technology is becoming more physically bound to us. Marketers need to be open to new ways to make immersive products, to explore new UI's and ﬁnd new ways to create richer buying experiences and remove barriers to purchase.
KID TECH 06 All parents
want the best for their child and new tech advancements showcased new ways to be even smarter and more involved from health to education. Many tools were present to help with monitoring such as the re- imagined paciﬁer (Pacif-I) updated to pair with a phone sharing a child’s temperature and location; and SleepIQ, a bed that has sensors monitor breathing, movement and heart rate. Improving literacy, math, and science was also a focus for technologists this year. Innovations such as Ozobot, Dash and Dot teach kids basics of programming in order to further develop logic and critical thinking. This is a new and developing area in which media opportunities will emerge. For now, it appears key partnerships with tech developers would be advantageous. Opportunities to understand the needs for smarter parenting by brands to provide solutions could be largely successful. Imagine a pharmaceutical company partnering to provide medicinal solutions to child or parent in times of need.
EVERYDAY ROBOTICS 07 Robots have
been around for many years now, but always behind the scenes in distribution centers and factories, hidden away from most people. CES this year saw a whole new range of robots that are designed to aid our lives in more personal ways than ever. We of course saw a huge range of drones, but most diﬀerentiation was by size and little else, and we don’t see much in the way of real life problems they can currently solve, at least not until regulatory controls and battery life improve. Home robots saw most of the coverage, from a range of personal robots designed to aid our everyday lives, to a much greater array of machines that excel in single purposes. From ﬂoor to grills, solar cells to gardens, it’s hard to ﬁnd anything that can’t be cleaned by a robot, but even harder to ﬁnd a robot that can do more than one thing well. Robots in retail seem to be the most obvious new frontier for robotics in business, but how many people would prefer the human touch? And what are the longer term implications for the labor force when everyday tasks become automated?
DEMOCRATISATION OF CREATIVITY 08 We’ve
never been more empowered to make things for ourselves, what we consumed was once dictated by expert strangers, they’d decide what media we could consume, what products we could buy and makers were selected by editors, A&R people and design committees. Now we’re empowered with 3D printers, additive printing, cheaper professional cameras, 3D scanners, home recording studios; we’re now all able to create on a level playing ﬁeld. Along with the hardware comes the software and services, from online destinations to upload patterns for the maker movement, for parts makers and concepts like Arduino. We’ve also burgeoning distribution channels like Etsy or Quirky and funding infrastructure like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, today it seems like truly anyone can make it, so long as they can make it. The eﬀects are considerable: We once relied on middle men to control, publish, replicate, distribute and sell to use, but now everything is disintermediated. When anyone can make anything, in any quantity, when people can sell direct to the masses, when success becomes truly democratic, how can retailers, brands and media owners embrace this new dynamic and become enablers of creativity?
Ultimaker 2 Go, it's the
hobbyist's ultimate dream. The $1,450 printer is small, compact and portable. DEMOCRATISATION OF CREATIVITY 08
Go Pro Hero 4, now
putting 4K high frame rate capture in anyone’s hands for less than $500. DEMOCRATISATION OF CREATIVITY 08
We’re about to enter the
next stage of the internet -‐ the "thinternet," if you will. Here, the internet becomes a thinner, more pervasive, more tactile, ambient layer that surrounds us. It connects us to everything, while becoming predictive and personalized. In this world everything is digital, so let’s shift to think about contexts not pipes. We’re about to enter an age where Everything Becomes Smart. Our fridges, TVs and watches all make decisions for us -‐ or at the very least they make key contextual suggestions. What can or will become of advertising when we, individuals, are no longer in as much control? We’re about to enter an age where everything around us collects our intimate data more abundantly than ever before. The question for brands, advertisers and consumers now becomes "If my watch knows where I am, what I am doing and how I am feeling, what new targeting opportunities come about?" FINAL THOUGHT