Published on January 17, 2014
CES 2014 3 Days in 3 Minutes Matt Colangelo, Senior Brand Planner
3,200 EXHIBITORS AT CES 20,000 NEW PRODUCT ANNOUNCEMENTS 160,000 TOTAL ATTENDEES SUMMARIZED IN… 3 PRODUCT TRENDS 3 INDUSTRY TRENDS 3 IMPLICATIONS
Y&R CES OVERVIEW | JANUARY 2014 3 Product Trends
TREND #1: WEARABLE DEVICES Products to watch: Razer Nabu, Misfit Shine, Google Glass (of course), Sony Core (removable chip) Wearable devices were the “next big thing” at CES 2014, according to CNET, Wired, and almost everyone else in Las Vegas. We saw new activity-tracking wristbands (LG Lifeband, Sony Core, Misfit Shine), smartwatches (Pebble Steel, Intel SmartWatch, Neptune Pine), combo devices (Razer Nabu), headbands (Muse), and of course glasses (Google Glass, Epson Moverio, OptInvent ORA). Which form factor and use case will win is anyone’s guess – it depends on our appetite for information overload and how brands design around it – but one thing is for sure: wearables are the future.
TREND #2: CONNECTED ECOSYSTEMS Products to watch: Belkin WeMo Maker Kit, Sen.se Mother, Goji Smartlock, Canary Home Monitor Before we can build a connected world (which won’t be possible until universal WiFi), we have to build connected ecosystems: living rooms, bedrooms, kitchens, and cars. At CES this year, we saw many new devices designed to talk to each other and, more importantly, talk to you. The most awarded products were Belkin’s WeMo “Maker Kit”, which allows you to create your own connected home with Belkin products, LG and Samsung’s smart home appliances, and Sen.se’s “Mother”, a motherlike home-sensing system that lets you monitor various things in your home (e.g. motion, location, temperature).
TREND #3: DIY CUSTOMIZATION Products to watch: Formlab printer (precision), Da Vinci printer (cheap), Sculpteo (offsite, cloud-based 3D printing) 2014 is the second year of a 20-year revolution in DIY customization and prototyping. Behind this trend is a new generation of digital natives and makers who want to 3D-print their own coffee mugs and connect their own home appliances. Online communities will drive this trend forward, as they share files (e.g. 3D CAD files, Arduino script, how-to guides) and best practices. Some of the myriad technologies powering this trend are activity trackers, Bluetooth, Smart appliances, 3D printers, and open coding platforms like Arduino, Rasberry Pi and IFTTT (If This Then That). Don’t be surprised if we see Etsy-like DIY stores where we can buy blueprints and CAD files and construct the products ourselves (like Ikea, but for anything and everything).
Y&R CES OVERVIEW | JANUARY 2014 3 Industry Trends
INDUSTRY #1: HEALTH CARE SPORTS & FITNESS at CES: increased 30% DIGITAL HEALTH at CES: increased 40% The healthcare industry is being turned inside out by two converging trends: smart technology and wearable technology. Smart technology, which has been around for several years, is responsible for the digitization of up-to-now analog measurement techniques (e.g. check out the Ekoscope, an electronic stethoscope and EKG monitor). Wearable technology is responsible for the enhanced tracking and sharing of our activity. Soon our wearable devices will be able to predict health problems, like heart attacks, and help us take proactive action to stop them from happening.
INDUSTRY #2: HOME APPLIANCES Billions of dollars Google just paid for Nest Labs: 3.2 Billions of dollars GE just invested in three kitchen appliances: 1 Home appliances like refrigerators, ovens, and ACs have always featured at CES, but never have they generated so much discussion. That’s because these home appliances are different; they’re both smart and connected, which means that they track relevant user data (e.g. food supply in your fridge) and communicate that data to you and other devices (e.g. your cell phone to tell you to get more milk). Major tech brands like LG and Samsung are poised to undercut established home-appliance brands like Frigidaire and Maytag as the technology gap between them widens.
INDUSTRY #3: 3D PRINTING 3D Printing at CES: increased 25% Distinct Product Categories: 15 Though the professional 3D-printing industry is nothing new – engineers and designers have been using 3D printers for years – the consumer 3Dprinting industry is just now catching fire. What we’re seeing is a virtuous cycle of increasing supply and demand: affordable 3D printers are captivating a new generation of amateur makers and tinkerers, who are in turn demanding more solutions. As a result, printers are getting cheaper (XYZ’s Da Vinci is $499) while the market of interested buyers is getting larger. As the technology becomes even cheaper and easier-to-use, and the applications for it broaden (3D System’s ChefJet is already printing food), we will see 3D printing go mainstream. (Total industry sales are $1 billion annually, but projected by the Freedonia Group to grow at an annual rate of 21%.)
Y&R CES OVERVIEW | JANUARY 2014 3 Big Implications
“INTERNET OF A COUPLE THINGS” "One option is that [tech companies] will bang their heads together in a brutal war until one becomes the dominant design. Another is that they all declare a truce and decide that they need to set standards. If that's the case, smart homes could be only three years away.” – Dr. Sanjay Sarma, Director of Digital Learning at MIT Today’s Internet of Things isn’t an “Internet of Everything” (as Cisco likes to call it); it’s an internet of a couple things. Several companies (e.g. LG, Cisco, Belkin) introduced connected-home appliances at CES: refrigerators that monitor your food supply, lightbulbs that turn on when it gets dark, even tennis rackets that coach you on your swing. The problem with these devices isn’t that they don’t work - for the most part, they do - it’s that they don’t work together. Until the major brands adopt an open standard (e.g. some combination of Bluetooth + IFTTT), we won’t realize the utopian dream that is the Internet of Things; we’ll only see individual companies’ proprietary versions of that dream.
REVOLUTIONARY TECHNOLOGIES STILL “EVOLVING” Stephen Pierce, IBM Medical Devices Leader: "Now we're spending 17% of US GDP on healthcare in a highly inefficient system focused on episodic care that will take care of me after I'm sick. [We should] focus on preventative care, being able to understand genomic, personal, and vital data. Those types of data sources could drive quality of care and financial efficiency." Wearable devices and consumer 3D printing are revolutionary technologies that will transform how we live our lives, but they are evolving technologies. Because of high cost, low ease-of-use and the current lack of game-changing applications (even the CEO of Misfit admits this), these technologies are still 5-6 years away from being mainstream. When wearables and 3D printers do become less expensive (e.g. $50 for wearables and $200 for 3D printers), easier to use (more predictive and automated) and develop game-changing applications (e.g. able to predict heart attacks and print out working heart transplants), they will be our generation’s internet.
WHAT YOUR WEAR vs. WHAT YOU OWN Only 5% of US adults currently wear a device to track daily activity. And only 28% of US adults would be willing to wear a sensor device on their wrists, even if it was from a brand they trust and offering a service that interests them – Forrester Consumer Tech Survey 2013 The devices we wear on our bodies are inherently different from the devices we buy for our homes, not just in terms of technology but in terms of our willingness to purchase them. What we wear on our bodies (clothes, accessories, devices) define us in social settings more directly and loudly than our external devices. For example, wearers of Jawbone Bluetooth earbuds are commonly referred to as (excuse the crassness) “Bluedouches” because of the loud statement that wearing them makes (I’m always working and willing to take a call), whereas owners of Jawbone Jamboxes suffer no such abuse. To address this difference, tech companies are cozying up to fashion brands and adopting their focus on making things we want to wear, not just are able to wear. It could be five years before this problem is solved.
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