Las Vegas is bonkers enough as it is, but add the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) into the mix and you’re in for a truly surreal experience. CES – the tech trade show that takes place in January every year – is a bizarre festival of robots, corporate fanfare, Vegas nightlife, and an unfathomable army of iPhone accessory manufacturers all seemingly hawking the same product.
But there’s a lot more to it than that – and it’s fair to say that amid all the 3D printers and iPhone tat, CES is a big deal for the ad industry
. It’s a great opportunity to see what’s coming next in terms of consumer behaviour, and think about how new technology can enable brands to engage consumers.
So with that in mind, here are a few thoughts on CES 2014…
Previous years at CES have seen the tech industry pushing products the consumer really didn’t want (3D TV being one recent ‘next big thing’ red herring). But CES 2014 saw the breakthrough of a technology category that might actually catch on – wearable gadgets.
From fitness monitors to smart watches
to Sony’s LifeLog app
(which creates a daily multimedia diary), this feels like something that might actually be a part of the future.
After all, Google (as the world leader in digital advertising), is setting the pace with its Glass headset – leading us towards a future in which we wear technology as a matter of course.
Watch this space as marketers begin to work out how these devices will help them reach and engage with consumers.
So that’s the future. But as for the now, CES 2014 proves beyond doubt that consumer demand for tablet devices has changed the technology landscape. From the hordes of budget tablet devices to some new high-end offerings, there is now an astonishing choice for consumers looking for that all-important mobile screen.
If we’re to take away one thing from the CES show floor this year (aside from a little figurine from a 3D printer) it’s this – that the lines that define your computer, smartphone, and tablet are becoming ever-more blurry. Consumers are device agnostic and content crazy, and touchscreen devices present the biggest marketing opportunity we’ve seen in decades.
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