At the start of January each year, CES or the ‘Consumer Electronics Show’ takes place in Las Vegas bringing together tech companies, big and small, all aiming to display the next wave innovation that will shape the year ahead and the economy of tomorrow.
Despite surging Omicron cases in the US, the in-person show went ahead in 2022, although it was muted compared to pre-covid years and a few big names including Meta, Amazon and Twitter pulled out last minute citing safety concerns.
So, what did CES have in store for us in 2022? And what can this new technology tell us about the world around us and the future of consumer behavior?
OPTIMISED HEALTH AND WELLNESS – A BIG THEME POST PANDEMIC
As the pandemic continues to disrupt our daily lives, it’s unsurprising that a huge focus for tech in 2022 is helping to remove friction from new challenges and new ways of living. After so much uncertainty in the past 2 years, peace of mind around health and wellness is a top priority for consumers.
CES didn’t disappoint in this area and there was a huge range of new devices on display. From face masks that purify your air using UV rays, to 5G enabled sensors that monitor air quality and noise levels and smart lights that use radar technology to measure your biometrics; all of this complimented by a smorgasbord of space-saving workout equipment to optimize your fitness levels.
In short, the wellness space is showing no signs of fatigue- in fact, it’s quite the opposite. Tech advances in the coming years will create a highly informed and invested ‘health aware’ consumer. Growing levels of awareness are poised to have repercussions on a broad spectrum of industries, from food choices to clothing.
EXPANDED SMART HOMES
Post pandemic, our homes continue to be seen as a sanctuary despite easing of lockdown restrictions. We are still spending more time at home versus pre-pandemic and consumers are looking for ways to make home life a little bit better.
CES highlighted the fact that the way consumers utilise their private space has evolved. For example, increased time working from home has meant that there was a crop of new solutions to facilitate remote workers. Noteworthy examples included a 7 foot video conferencing solution pitched as the ‘future of work calls’.
Food delivery also continues to increase in popularity, and one invention you didn’t know you needed is a ‘fresh portal’ – storage solutions at the front of your house that keep your food deliveries at the right temperature until you’re ready to bring them inside.
Robot cocktail makers and WiFi enabled bathtubs to ensure the exact right water temperature and fill level were some of the other new inventions directed at making your time at home more inviting.
At a more macro level, the rise of tech in the home has also created pressure for big tech companies to work better together – essentially becoming ‘frenemies’ to standardize the ways that smart home gadgets network. This will help reduce costs for kitted out smart homes and make them way easier to operate which should have big impacts on the growth of the category – allowing it to become more mainstream.
CARS MOVE AWAY FROM ROBOT DRIVING TO ENHANCED FREATURES FOR DRIVERS
Automotives are always a huge feature of CES and this year was no exception. Car companies have finally moved away from trying to build the perfect self-driving car and instead focused on enhancing the driver experience.
BMW debuted a colour changing car which uses e-ink, similar to what is found in kindles. This means the outside can transform instantly to a different colour and display pictures or text. Besides the ‘wow’ factor, it’s being touted as something that could be useful for the next generation of rideshare cars to communicate if they’re free or not. It is also interesting to imagine future advertising opportunities. These cars could act as a huge moving billboard, essentially giving the old taxi box a huge makeover.
Other features that were debuted included laser sensing technology that ensures you don’t hit anything (…ever) and cars with high res built in camera options to create and upload content while you’re driving. No space is sacred! Given the amount of influencer content currently uploaded from the car, this technology will undoubtedly have a lot of interested customers.
So, if CES has made one thing clear, its that we’re going to need more bandwidth to keep up with all the technology that continues to enhance our lives. Marketers need to strap themselves in for a more fragmented advertising landscape with increased data options and a highly health-conscious customer.
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