Tapping into trends in tech
Insights from the annual Consumer Electronics Show
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.
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.
The Mycroft Mark II.
The Bose Home Speaker 500.