While the floor opens to the public on Wednesday, the Consumer Electronics Show kicked off on Tuesday with high-profile press conferences and sessions. Here are our takeaways from the day:
Let’s Get Together: On Tuesday, it was rare to listen to a press conference without hearing the words “We’ve partnered with…” A number of high-profiler companies announced partnerships with other industry leaders: Ford and Amazon, LG and Google, Microsoft and a number of car manufacturers, TCL/Roku and Dolby, and many more. Many new technologies take a long time to get off the ground. Perhaps the number of major partnerships unveiled this week will prove to help spur along adoption at faster rates.
Consumer Auto Show?: Are we sure this is still the Consumer Electronics Show and not the Consumer Auto Show? Cars are everywhere. Of course, the “electronics” is covered by the technological advancements happening in the auto industry, whether it’s to the infotainment systems inside the vehicles or to the automation coming to the cars themselves. Faraday surely made noise late Monday night with its eye-catching FFZERO1 concept car. On Tuesday, Mark Fields, CEO of Ford, mentioned that there have been a lot of “stunts” surrounding autonomous vehicle innovation. One need not apologize for taking this as a dig at Faraday and other self-driving unveilings we’ve seen, and are yet to come later in the week.
5G: Opinions differ as to when the next generation of wireless connectivity will hit the market. Early projections say 2017, while others (likely more realistic ones) tab 2020. Everyone agrees though that 5G will soon sorely be needed as more mobile devices, and thus more data, flood the network. One of the other unique properties of 5G is that it’ll have software that intelligently prioritizes devices (especially IoT devices) connected to it without compromising performance. For example, healthcare and transportation devices will take precedence over smart tennis racquets. 5G is “not about everyone being connected anymore,” Glenn Laxdal of Ericsson said. “It’s about everything being connected in the most efficient way possible.”
All The Screens: Is the proliferation of screens helping or hurting? Marketers should embrace the fragmentation but use it as an opportunity to provide additional value and reap insights across platforms. At IBM, they think about experiences as 4D — the extra dimension is the element of the physical world into the digital world, a successful manifestation of which is Alexa by Amazon. Is interactivity here to stay? Yes, but it needs to be initiated by brands, which need add higher levels of personalization and relevance to their communications to encourage people to pay attention. In the future, this will all happen in real-time. TV is an inherently passive experience. How can it be turned into a more active experience? Whoever figures that out will no doubt have a leg up.
ROI for AI: Artificial Intelligence is finally proving its value, graduating from flashy science experiments to being trusted by brands. It has ROI for enterprise by allowing companies to anticipate their customers’ needs, and it aids consumers to piece together data in new ways.
— We’re not just imagining what’s possible, we’re doing it
— Applications are becoming more pervasive, and adoption is growing
— Consumers will likely lead the way and create demand, driven by IoT
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