Was there loveable technology at CES 2014? Tom Coombes, Cognito's CEO was in Vegas last week to find out what’s in store for us
There are many good reasons to attend trade shows that are not in your sector. Inspiration and ideas above all. With these motivations in mind, combined with some important client meetings, I flew to Vegas last week to see what we should learn from CES 2014. Heralded as one of the largest consumer technology shows in the world, I wanted to see how the world of trade shows is changing, what lessons we should bring to our financial services and tech sectors, and to understand how technology will be changing our lives in the coming years.
My overriding impression was just how large CES is. Despite numbers being down from its heyday, (200,000 plus visitors to 135,000 today), the event is massive and the swarms of people make huddles around the most impressive technology inevitable. In no particular order, my main takeaways were:
Wearables are here to stay, but not that compelling yet
Unlike your first iPhone or iPad encounter, none of the wearables on show delivered love at first sight for me. There was nothing that was really going to change my world, although there is so much momentum behind wearables (glasses, watches, etc) that its hard to see we won't all be wearing something in the future. I am not compelled to buy a fitbit or similar today, but I acknowledge that as a clear leader emerges, I probably will do so in time.
Curved TVs, 4K will come and get cheaper
Some massive screens, 3d and high res, served to demonstrate that the hardware manufacturers are working hard to get us to replace and upgrade. Our screens will become more curved and higher definition, but these are variations on a theme, not radical innovations. There was nothing so massive as to be the overriding new TV experience, though some incredible presentations and experiences from Panasonic and LG, to name a couple.
Social media should play a central role in tradeshow participation
It was helpful to see the role social played in promoting and facilitating dialogues for hundreds of thousands who couldn't be at the show. Some nice media analysis and a cockpit from a social partner meant we could see the dozens of hashtags that were used alongside CES2014. Reach was measured, audiences tracked and impact assessed in a very quantifiable way for many participants. Social media has now become a fundamental part of any firm's participation in a tradeshow. The opportunity for extended reach, engagement and dialogue is utterly compelling. For the finance industry, the main takeaway is that social participation should receive a lot more attention in the planning process.
All in all, a very useful visit to keep abreast of what is new and happening. Nothing earth shattering and a great shame that the world's greatest innovators, Google and Apple, were not there, but useful also to see the marketing tips and tricks the world's electronic firms are using.
Other notable takeaways
- 3D printing is here, but not that useful at the moment
- Our devices and appliances are finally getting connected to the web
- Audi's Traffic Light Assist is the next bit of really great, and imminent, car technology
And as Michael Bay showed, the best presenters are rehearsed and trained and can talk convincingly in public, even if the autocue doesn’t work....