Four days, approximately 55,142 steps, and a whole LOT of “wow’s” later, I’m back in sunny California after attending the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. CES brings out the best of the best in tech innovation. From human carrying drones to Bluetooth-savvy pregnancy tests (you heard me!), it’s nearly impossible to narrow down a top three, but I’m up for the challenge and you, my readers, deserve an inside look at this year’s most talked about convention. So here it is…a breakdown of the tech that wow’d me at CES.
1. The WSD-F10 Smart Outdoor Watch by Casio.
This watch was a clear stand out from the rest. It was built for the active, outdoorsy person in mind. Besides telling time (how vintage!), Casio’s Smart Outdoor Watch comes preloaded with apps that display relevant information for any hiker, fisherman, or cyclist. Statistics regarding air pressure and altitude, sunrise and sunset graphs, and tide charts are available with one quick swipe. All of this data syncs with a companion mobile app for easy tracking. The battery life is also worthy of mention. In normal mode (smart features activated), the battery lasts approximately 24 hours and in timepiece mode (traditional digital watch features only), the battery remains powered for more than one month! Oh and did I mention the watch is US military grade certified? In other words Casio’s newest tool can survive high and low temperatures, humidity, and radiation. It may not be the sleekest looking gadget, but Casio’s Smart Outdoor Watch delivers on utility and convenience and garnered a pretty big wow.
2. The Family Hub Refrigerator by Samsung.
Samsung is known for supersizing its booths at CES and 2016 was no different. The multinational conglomerate filled its space with smart home products, VR enabling devices, and wearables. We can file the Family Hub Refrigerator under smart home products, as this kitchen tool will surely change the way the house and its inhabitants operate. Unlike the tradition fridge, Samsung’s newest innovation features an exterior WiFi-enabled touch screen, allowing users to access the web, search recipes, and even place orders directly from major online grocers. In addition, these Family Hub Refrigerators are fitted with cameras so busy mothers and fathers can check the stock of their fridges via a partnering smartphone app remotely. Finally, with access to the Samsung Smart Things platform, owners can turn off lights and lock their front doors directly from their Family Hub fridge.
3. I Vision Future Interaction concept by BMW.
BMW’s newest vehicle takes the best features of the i8 Concept Syder, removes the backseats and roof, and adds gesture-based controls and three different driving modes. The German carmaker is calling the gesture-based controls AirTouch, and unlike the way one navigates their iPhone, this system does not require any physical touching or swiping. AirTouch operates through hand motions recognized by imbedded sensors. In terms of the plethora of driving modes, owners can choose from Pure Drive (driver takes the wheel), Assist (think an elevated cruise control, lane maintenance included), and Auto Mode (i Vision takes on full responsibility). Naturally, this vehicle is an extension of the smart home, and thus, operators can lock doors, turn on lights, and turn off alarms from inside the car. Finally, BMW did away with the traditional rearview mirror, replacing it with three cameras and an interior display that has the captured content overlaid. Did I mention the look and style of the car is show stopping? It even makes my Saab 9-3 Aero look a little sad, and as a loyal Swede that is really saying something.
So there you have it, the three things that truly amazed me at CES 2016. Also interesting to note- Virtual Reality was virtually everwhere at CES and I attended an interesting session about its cousin Augmented Reality, entitled, "What's Next for Augmented Reality?". Read my thoughts on both forms of media and how they can apply to brands and activations that we do at Alcone here.
Finally, if you have any questions or want to learn more about how new tech and innovation can work for your brand, contact us at Alcone...we're ready for you!
~Amanda Rooth is a Retail Lab Analyst at Alcone Marketing Group.