CES 2016
CES 2016 — Day 4 Recap
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Drones and VR highlight our final daily recap from CES 2016 in Las Vegas:

Drones: They’re Useful!: It’s no secret drones are everywhere at CES, but this year’s models are much more autonomous and versatile. They feature a number of new capabilities in the areas of photography, video recording, measurement and navigation, making them more practical for consumers than ever before. In fact, Intel’s new model can follow users around while avoiding potential collisions along the way. All of these new advancements are welcome news to companies like Amazon and Google, who are planning to incorporate drones into their distribution and delivery networks. The only hindrance is the remaining uncertainty around the FAA’s regulations.

Anticipation Is Key: Now that virtually every device has an Internet-connected counterpart, companies are trying to determine how these devices will communicate to save consumers valuable time — even if that means a few seconds. For example, Whirlpool has found a way to digitize the cooking experience so that packaged food items are automatically recognized by a camera above the kitchen countertop. Then the item — let’s say a bag of popcorn — will trigger a response from a designated appliance, such as automatically opening the microwave and pre-setting the perfect cooking time. How’s that for anticipation?

Just My Size: Now that human figures can easily be captured via 3D modeling, there are a number of ways brands can use the technology to make their customers’ lives easier (and impress them along the way). For example, Intel recently partnered with Mavi Jeans to show how its RealSense 3D camera could capture customers’ bodies to determine whether a specific pair of jeans would be a suitable fit. If it’s not, the algorithm can suggest another pair of jeans that might be more appropriate. This deep level of personalization is likely to become commonplace as brands continue to build deeper relationships with their customers.

Virtual Becomes Reality: Industry experts agree that the technology behind VR is finally ready for consumer adoption, but one of the largest remaining roadblocks is well-produced content. VR is a tricky beast; it requires the marriage of artful storytelling and technological execution that far surpasses traditional filmmaking. Brands with stories to tell have the power to provide the missing link and deliver experiences that will drive adoption. Pioneers in this space include YouTube and GoPro, who announced that they are partnering to provide the platform and content needed to make the technology mainstream.

Taking Time to Cut the Cord: While headlines might suggest that cable companies are hanging by a thread, the reality is that the majority of consumers are still hooked on traditional television + OTT than digital. This is likely due to the large quantity of popular content (like sports) that is still exclusive to pay TV. Moreover, people can’t yet cobble together all the content they want for a lower price than a traditional TV package. Finally, while digital offers more power, control and discoverability, it remains relatively complex in comparison to the simplicity and reliability of the pay TV model. Once these challenges are solved on the digital front, cable companies will have much more to worry about.

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