Editor's Note: Once again, we hang out with some ad agency friends around the virtual water cooler and get their takes on a burning question. With the Consumer Electronics Show coming up next week, we just had to ask them, "What products and technologies will steal the show at CES 2013?”
Phil Rzepka, VP, Group Director of Digital, Carat
We’re very excited about this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, and there are several key trends that we’re closely watching from a marketing standpoint. These trends will have a material impact on how we communicate with consumers in the near future. We predict that we’ll see three of these trends showcased at CES this year:
Context-aware devices: The promise of location-based targeting is taking hold, but the promise of contextual awareness seems equally exciting. How would we market differently if we knew our potential consumer was in their car, home, or office? Or if that potential customer is currently with their kids or spouse?
Control: We’ve been saying that the “consumer is in control” for what seems like a decade, but now they really are in control. They’re not only controlling the conversation, they’re connected to and controlling important things in their lives, such as their Nest thermostat, their home automation system, and even their vehicles. Their mobile device is the epicenter of this control.
Cars: Automotive manufacturers are an ever growing force at CES. Consumers are increasingly interested in sophisticated in-vehicle technology and remaining connected. In-vehicle connectivity + location + context = endless possibilities.
Alastair Green, Executive Creative Director, Team One:
This year at CES, we’ll continue to see consumer electronics get smarter and more connected. However, how we interface with these gadgets and how they interface which each other will change. We expect to see more uses of NUI (natural user interface, the best-known examples being Siri and Kinect). Also, we will see smart televisions that recognize different family members and serve them the appropriate favorite channels and shows that the DVR has recently recorded.
How those smart TVs talk to and with tablets has huge implications for advertisers, and one of the holy grails (and broken promises from technology companies) is the ability for consumers to see an advertisement and react seamlessly and effortlessly. Microsoft’s SmartGlass technology uses IP to ‘pair’ and communicate, and some of their early tech demos show the promise of truly linking and syncing a second screen in real time. This technology will make a big splash at the conference, as the current image and sound-based triggers are, in my opinion, “weak sauce.”
On the back end, collecting and analyzing data sets will allow advertisers to understand usage patterns and help create a seamless and useful experience for the end consumer.
Stacey Mulcahy, Senior Developer, Big Spaceship:
The quantified self will continue to be a powerful theme in mobile health, with a focus on data accumulation and assessment driven by devices and data visualization. Home automation and the Internet of things will start to become consumer friendly and accessible, perhaps even affordable as witnessed with the Nest and the Philips Hue. Mobile devices and tablets will not only be part of the multi-screen ecosystem and stand on their own; they’ll be the keys or controllers that augment many of these experiences.
Kenny Lauer, VP, Digital Experience, George P. Johnson, a Project: WorldWide Agency
Here are three things to expect at CES …
Personalized engagement: It's all about "you" marketing. We'll see technology brands at CES demonstrate capabilities like facial recognition, wearable computing, haptic sensing, augmented reality, and projected media to enable attendees to use products as they would at home, at work, or on the go. This means everything from building custom playlists on smartphones that play out across a branded amphitheater to green-screen technology that allows attendees to capture photo or video of themselves using the product in a fun, shareable way, to quantified-self capabilities able to measure every aspect of yourself. No matter the method, the result is the same: giving people a way to internalize the brand and develop deep understanding and affinity.
Outside in, inside out: Expect to see a lot of real-time social media play out at CES, with tweets, photos, posts, pins, and more from inside the event pushed out globally. We’ll also see CES-related content from across the globe being pulled in and integrated into the experience for attendees (and exhibitors). No longer are four walls a limiting factor to sharing an experience like CES. Technology has upended the traditional time-space-matter constraints of how we interact with brands and content at events, making for some very new and interesting mash-ups between the physical and digital realms.
The second screen at work: Keep on the lookout for how brands will enable attendees to have a "transportable" and deeper experience across multiple screens during CES and after. Media, software, and hardware makers won't just sell technology and experiences that live across every screen. They’ll be demonstrating how a traditional television experience will be augmented through the use of tablets, smart phones, and other devices (and vice versa) in real time. Specifically, look at Xbox SmartGlass from Microsoft and the new Nintendo Wii U. As technology capacity grows, CES will be the platform to demonstrate second-screen innovation.