Eight Hours at CES 2019

February 27, 2019

By Nick Jones, Jim Carlton

Carloscastilla/Getty Images

We came, we saw, we returned. With only eight hours at the expo, we're reporting back to you from CES with what's new, what's next and what we need to pay attention to in 2019, all condensed in this snappy read.


Trend No. 1: Mobile Goes 5G

5G is a connectivity technology solely focused on delivering "more" to consumers. 5G (the fifth generation of wireless cell networks) promises that our smartphones and ancillary devices will have the ability to stream 4K video, download a movie in seconds and allow developers to write bigger and more robust apps.

Best in Show: Samsung's Bixby Voice recognition

Living Commerce Lens: 5G helps us as marketers support programs that are frictionless and seamless. Anything and everything can be connected. The speed of 5G is invaluable to us. It will be everywhere, especially in-home appliances: voice activation of lighting, heat, A/C, car starting… the list goes on.


Trend No. 2: When it Comes to AI, Intuition is Everything

This year AI was 'under the hood' of the most impressive technologies. Utilized for a slew of product benefits including image enhancement (via smartphones), speech recognition (via home assistants and smart cars) and health benefits (via diagnostics & monitoring), AI was a power player in terms of helping tomorrow's technologies provide maximum human impact. But note the flipside; consumers still want their privacy. "Private AI" is meeting this need. Many AI enabled products are allowing only limited access to their owner's information.

Best in Show: Electronics Brand Furrion brought AI to the high seas with its "Adonis" yacht, the worlds smartest yacht with its own "Angel" AI system.

Living Commerce Lens: AI is normalizing interaction with our devices more than ever. AI connects devices seamlessly to one another and to our surroundings, so they can anticipate our every need. As marketers, take note- AI can be leveraged to analyze everything from consumer metrics to pattern recognition, finding ways to apply it beyond basic targeting.


Trend No. 3: Nostalgia, the New Hotness

Many brands are throwing it back to a simpler time design-wise, adopting a vintage design but keeping all the mod cons.

Best in Show: Record player Victrola did this expertly with its Bluetooth Record Player, while Kodak took advantage of its nostalgic charm to develop Smile Instant Print, a new retro-styled instant print lineup.

Living Commerce Lens: Consumers are yearning for a return to humanity. They are longing for a degree of nostalgia in their lives as an antidote to the exposure of constant technological sophistication in the products available to them.


Trend No. 4: New Robotics: The Augmented Human

This year there was a definite shift from the traditional, command-based robot to a more collaborative device. Robotics were presented as augmented humans and robotic assistants. Devices are taking the intelligence and sophistication of the human and combining it with the strength of a robot.

Best in Show: LG's CLOi was presented as your perfect smart home companion that can complete almost any household task, while the CLOi SuitBot has been developed to help lower body movement.

Living Commerce Lens: Anything and everything can be connected. AI is making things seamless again, connecting us to devices.


Trend No. 5: Zero Waste Wanted

Waste reduction, environmental impact and catering CPG products for easier shipping, was a huge topic for brands this year.

Best in Show: DS3, a breakthrough technology from P&G, is a waterless personal care product line that delivers the right amount of body wash and shampoo dispersed in water-soluble pads —eliminating the need for plastic in packaging.

Living Commerce Lens: The consumer is immersed in the buying process, including how products are presented and packaged for them. Unpackaging represents a desire for less barriers to the final product, in addition to catering to the increasing nature in which consumers receive them — through delivery.


Trend No. 6: Tech for Good

Every brand has an obligation. Just as every human has a moral imperative to give back and make the world better, so, too, do brands to find ways to support when crisis strikes (or find ways to prevent them from happening). So, it made sense that we saw many companies using their tech capabilities toward efforts to solve major world problems.

Best in Show: Intel is leading the way. They have collaborated with National Geographic and conservation nonprofit RESOLVE on AI anti-poaching camera systems in Africa. They are also transforming the future of health care. New technologies are fighting cancer, AI is enabling early detection of illness and VR systems are easing patient anxiety.

Living Commerce Lens: Technological advances are enabling seamlessness in corporate social responsibility efforts.


Trend No. 7: Technology Continues to Wow

AI, 5G, robots, and more, all come together to create jaw-dropping tech.

Best in Show:

    1. Bell Helicopters
    2. LG: foldable, rolled-up TV screens and 8k!
    3. LG: Automatic clothes press
    4. LG: Beer brewing system with pods!
    5. Byton: Electric cars
    6. Intel: Self-driving cars and entertainment

Living Commence Lens: Consumers can still be wooed and wowed by amazing technological breakthroughs, and the technology that arrives in the consumer landscape will soon be a part of marketing.


The views and opinions expressed in Marketing Maestros are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the official position of the ANA or imply endorsement from the ANA.

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