Tap­ping into trends in tech

In­sights from the an­nual Con­sumer Elec­tron­ics Show

Sunshine Coast Daily - - BETTER BUSINESS -

THE start of a new year means the an­nual US Con­sumer Elec­tron­ics Show (CES) has taken place. Jeremy Hull, se­nior VP of in­no­va­tion at iProspect, shares the key trends of this year’s show.

Tech­nol­ogy em­pow­ers us all to im­prove our lives – to achieve more, to learn more, to en­joy more.

At the an­nual Con­sumer Elec­tron­ics Show in Las Ve­gas, more than 4000 com­pa­nies demon­strate the fu­ture of tech by show­cas­ing their new­est de­vices and prod­ucts.

While it’s fun to get caught up in the ex­cite­ment of big­ger screens and smarter homes, CES also pro­vides a win­dow into the next evo­lu­tion of con­sumer be­hav­iour for savvy mar­keters who look be­yond the buzz.

These are the key tech trends to watch out for.

1. Look for the dig­i­tal as­sis­tant to be­come more help­ful

For the past few years, con­nected de­vices have been a cen­tral fo­cus of CES. Ama­zon’s move to open the Alexa ecosys­tem to third-party ap­pli­ca­tions re­sulted in con­tin­u­ous buzz from the many de­vice man­u­fac­tur­ers that in­te­grated the dig­i­tal as­sis­tant into their prod­ucts.

In 2019, in­te­gra­tions with dig­i­tal as­sis­tants are no longer a dif­fer­en­tia­tor. Brands will need to show­case what peo­ple can ac­tu­ally do with these in­te­gra­tions to make their lives eas­ier and help them get things done.

How this trend can help you: Ask your­self, “What role does my prod­uct or ser­vice play in a per­son’s daily rou­tine, and how can a dig­i­tal as­sis­tant in­te­gra­tion sup­port that rou­tine?”

2. Watch for in­no­va­tion around health and well­ness ini­tia­tives

In 2019, the most pow­er­ful sto­ries will come from brands that make peo­ple hap­pier and more suc­cess­ful at meet­ing their goals. Ex­pect plenty of wear­ables around health track­ing, but also look for brands to build health and well­ness func­tion­al­ity di­rectly into the de­vices peo­ple are al­ready us­ing.

Mar­keters can tap into this trend by ask­ing them­selves, “How can we im­prove peo­ple’s phys­i­cal and/or men­tal well­be­ing in an authen­tic way?”

For ex­am­ple, both Google and Ap­ple have added fea­tures to their phones that help peo­ple mon­i­tor their screen time and thought­fully “un­plug” at spec­i­fied times. These fea­tures mod­ify up­dates and alerts to en­cour­age peo­ple to de­velop health­ier habits, and ul­ti­mately ful­fil the prom­ise of tech­nol­ogy im­prov­ing lives in­stead of fur­ther com­pli­cat­ing them.

3. Ex­pect AI to play a big­ger role in pre­dic­tive as­sis­tance

Us­ing AI to make our lives sim­pler has long been a hy­po­thet­i­cal and in­tel­lec­tual dis­cus­sion but it is fi­nally be­com­ing a more tan­gi­ble op­por­tu­nity for brands.

This year, there will be a lot of buzz about how AI is em­pow­er­ing data an­a­lyt­ics, pre­dic­tive tech­nol­ogy, and in­puts be­yond text and voice (for ex­am­ple, Google Lens for im­ages and Mi­crosoft AI for faces and emo­tions). And that’s all be­ing built into de­vices that learn as they are used and be­come at­tuned to peo­ple’s be­hav­iours. We’ll see this come to life as AIpow­ered dig­i­tal as­sis­tants don’t just an­swer ques­tions or ex­e­cute sim­ple tasks, but also an­tic­i­pate needs and act on a per­son’s be­half. It’s here – lev­er­ag­ing in­sights to pre­dict needs – that brands and mar­keters should lean in.

The prod­ucts that aim to help peo­ple in their ev­ery­day lives and em­power them to be­come the best ver­sion of them­selves will be the most im­pact­ful. Count on these to shape con­sumer be­hav­iour and el­e­vate ex­pec­ta­tions of brands this year and be­yond.

Pho­tos: CheJianYi/Con­trib­uted

SMART: The Dee­bot 900 ro­bot vac­uum cleaner fea­tures in­tel­li­gent map­ping abil­i­ties so it learns a home’s lay­out and can be con­trolled us­ing voice com­mands and a phone app.

Google Home.

The My­croft Mark II.

The Bose Home Speaker 500.

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