That’s a Wrap!

Thank you for following our in-person and virtual coverage of CES.

According to the IPG Media Lab, the consumer technology show featured glimpses into the future of digital innovations and the brand opportunities they may bring. The emerging concepts will evolve to become the major consumer tech trends of tomorrow. The Media Lab recaps some of the most likely themes to develop.

Additionally, we have a couple of events coming up that will provide takeaways from CES:

Updated: Jan. 7, 5:45 p.m.

Wellness for Wherever the Office Is

Over the past two years, people have spent a lot more time at home and have started to notice things that they didn’t see before when they were working away from home. Their home networks and security systems may have been outdated, and their lighting could maybe be better.

There is an overlap and convergence between smart home and well home technologies. Even before the pandemic, consumer demand for home wellness systems, especially air and water quality, was growing and being promoted by top builders. This is often a B-to-B-to-C industry that is top down from the manufacturers, and marketers need to educate them about what home improvements might make them feel better. Products need to be affordable for everyone, and the good news is that prices on devices such as smart thermostats have come down. Many products need connectivity, which is not always available in rural or low income communities, so broadband availability may be an issue for technology adoption.

Personal health data privacy remains an issue, but fewer people have been concerned with collection of data about their air quality. If in the future, everything about the home and every person in it is tracked, people would need a data concierge of some sort to secure data and decide who to share or sell it to.

Well-home technologies can be used beyond the home in commercial buildings such as offices, and in hospitals.

The ideal for home technology would be an extremely high tech house with the technology invisible so that the homeowner would not have to interact with it, but it will be a while before the technology is at that level.

 

Updated: Jan. 7, 5:30 p.m.

Home Intelligence

There is a new Internet of Things standard called Matter that will be released in 2022. Although several Internet of Things standards are already in use, many tech companies are buying into this one. It will reside on top of numerous protocols and allow devices to talk to each other at the local level. In essence, we will no longer have “smart” homes but “intelligent” homes.

A barrier today to consumers buying smart home technology is that they don’t know how to get started or who can help them with it. The technology must be as simple as possible. Every customer has different needs, whether they entertain, work from home, or travel frequently, and their budgets can vary widely. Consumers often start with online research. They are likely to buy one smart device, and once they are satisfied with its convenience, look to add other devices that can solve different needs. The technology should be about problems people want to solve, not speeds and feeds.

Aging in place is a global issue that the smart home can help. A system can be set into place using motion detectors but not cameras, in order to make sure an older or disabled person is safe and well at home, while still maintaining their sense of privacy. Appliances such as microwaves or stoves can be made that can shut off if on for too long.

There was some discussion about issues of privacy and data collection related to smart home technology. It was acknowledged that privacy is an issue that consumers are getting more concerned about. There seemed to be a consensus that the individual would have to decide the balance between sharing data and receiving service, but what wasn’t said was that individual consumers may not really know what they are giving and receiving or have much control over it.

Note: For more information on Matter, see Matter’s plan to save the smart home https://www.theverge.com/22787729/matter-smart-home-standard-apple-amazon-google

 

 

How Innovation Can Tame the Food Crisis

Among the themes discussed, the pandemic showed how fragile the food supply is, but even before Covid, food insecurity existed. More than 150 million people in 55 countries were food insecure in 2020. In the next 30 years it is expected that there will be 2 billion more people born, and current agriculture can’t meet this demand at the current rate. Animal agriculture, especially cattle, make up 14.5% of carbon emissions and are a very inefficient way of feeding people. Farming crops is efficient but uses pesticides, fertilizer, chemicals and is not great for the planet.

Seafood is being overfished, and the oceans are warming and becoming acidic and are polluted with microplastics, all of which are reducing the supply of seafood. Seafood can be replaced using alternatives that might be plant-based or grown in a lab. About 70% of seafood is consumed in Asian countries, making seafood alternatives of special interest to Asians.

Precision agriculture is capturing data to make better decisions. Many farmers today may make big decisions without the use of data but could maybe make better decisions on what and how to grow and harvest if they did have data.

Food waste is a problem that doesn’t need to exist. Some produce remains in the field with no one to pick it. Unused food can be upcycled by being given to those who need it, composted, or used as a source of energy. There are movements at the state and local levels to get food retailers to distribute some food they would throw out to food rescue organizations.

 

Updated: Jan. 7, 10:30 a.m.

Channeling Digital Health’s Growth

Panelists in big tech, software, and health system sectors discussed the opportunities and challenges of integrating tech with healthcare. In the pre-Covid era, the application of tech in healthcare, specifically virtual care, was viewed as an experimental service put forth to attract new customers. However, since the pandemic, digital transformation has become an integral part of the healthcare journey. It is up to the players in the industry to sustain this momentum and integrate the lessons of the pandemic into the existing healthcare delivery system. Using patient data to develop actionable insights may be critical in supporting the digital transformation of the entire patient healthcare journey, from acute care to home wellness management. Dr. Hon Park, Chief Medical Officer of Samsung Electronics, also forecasts that the next battlefield in healthcare will likely take place within the home, in the form of home health management. Furthermore, tech may be used to aid not only patients but relieve the workforce by augmenting care through remote patient monitoring. In this way, tech is critical in rendering the healthcare experience that consumers need and demand today.

 

The articles below discuss the ongoing digital transformation in healthcare

Digital Health Takes Center Stage as CES 2022 Opens | HealthLeaders Media

Updated: Jan. 6, 6 p.m.

IPG @ CES: Innovation Conversation 2022 – Women in Sports
At this year’s IPG Innovation Conversation, an R/GA Ventures Global Sports panel explored how the representation and visibility of women in the professional sports landscape has grown. The discussion was timely as this summer will mark the 50th anniversary of the Title IX law that helped transform equal access for female athletes.

CEO of Athletes Unlimited Jon Patricof discussed the growing drive for sports fans to follow individual athletes over teams. Embracing this idea, Athletes Unlimited has developed a model where players are not committed to specific teams, allowing for player-driven organizations that empower athletes more than team owners or investors. Furthermore, the organization has taken a step away from big stadium experiences and toward more digital fan engagement and robust online experiences.

This New Yorker article discusses Athlete Unlimited’s model in more detail

Expanding on the model, the Sports Innovation Lab explores the concept of fluid fandom, which features fans who are less focused on one specific team and celebrates the individual athlete. Working to drive investments in women’s sports, Sports Innovation Lab has collected data on fans of women’s sports, learning about how this community engages with the industry and is evolving alongside technology. Research has revealed that fans of women’s sports are the most fluid fans of all and are more tech-savvy because they have often been corralled into the digital space.

Learn more about the project: The Fan Project Report: In-Depth — Sports Innovation Lab (sportsilab.com)

Ilana Kloss, CEO of Billie Jean King Enterprises, discussed how the organization is working with companies to build a more inclusive culture that fosters equality across the board and an environment without gender labels. In discussing her work, Kloss highlighted Starbucks and Salesforces among companies that are “walking the walk.” Touching on the women’s sports landscape, she emphasized the importance of telling authentic stories to resonate with audiences.

Find out more from this study on the experiences of women of color in the workplace funded by the organization: PowHER Redefined

Watch the full panel here

Updated: Jan. 6, 3:30 p.m.

Cash(ing) Out

Many of the rising trends in digital payments accelerated amid the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting social-distancing measures. The session highlighted the following concepts that were among the top trends in 2021:

DIY purchases: Contactless, self-checkout, and unattended checkout are here to stay. Concepts like connectivity, data, and trust are converging around and driving the adoption of contactless payments. Neha Wattas, Head of Strategy & Insight at JP Morgan, discusses this idea in her report: Payments are eating the world

Leave wallet and keys at home: There is a growing consumer preference for contactless payment options. Convenience is an obvious contributing factor, but COVID-inspired safety precautions remain a factor for many. In addition, there has been a rise of digital wallets and varying forms of digital IDs, and an emergence of digital car, home and office keys.

Personalization: Consumers want hyper-personalized experiences and receive unique services and recommendations. Many successful brands in the digital payments space are using data in real-time to adjust and respond to customers’ exact needs.

Customer-centric retail: More consumers are interested in capabilities that will allow them to order through any means, including apps, social media, virtual assistants, and wearable devices. In addition, customers are looking to pick up or deliver anywhere, ranging from in-store, curbside, lockers, or direct-to-home.

Payment alternatives: There has been a rise in interest in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, platforms like Samsung Pay, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and biometrics-reliant payment systems (voice, face ID, and fingerprints). Michael Terpin, CEO of blockchain PR firm Transform Group, predicted that 2022 will be a major year in which cryptocurrency will intersect with consumers’ everyday payments. This is partly due to institutional adoption led by large financial corporations’ adoption and leveraging of blockchain and DeFi.

Updated: Jan. 6, 1:30 p.m.

The Tech Trends That Are Now Required Knowledge for any Business

Don McGuire, CMO of Qualcomm, shares how Qualcomm is expanding its mobile technologies beyond smartphones. This year, Qualcomm’s exhibit showcases its digital chassis strategy, specifically the Snapdragon processor system that delivers driver assistance via vision technology. Qualcomm recently forged partnerships with Volvo, Honda, and Renault to bring onboard connectivity and entertainment systems to vehicles. In addition, McGuire also discusses how the pandemic has accelerated brands’ applications of digital and mobile-first solutions in logistics operation and consumer engagement. He forecasts that this accelerated adoption will continue to transform homes, workplaces, cars, and cities in coming years.

 

Watch the press conference here.

 

Read more on Qualcomm’s plans here

Updated: Jan. 6, 9.30 a.m.

Join the IPG Innovation Conversation Today

At 11:30 a.m. EST today, IPG will host a conversation moderated by Fielding Jamieson, R/GA Ventures’ Global Sports Venture Studio, with Ilana Kloss, Billie Jean King Enterprises, Jon Patricof, Athletes Unlimited and Megan Perry, Sports Innovation Lab, to discuss why women are the future of sports.

We are nearing the 50th anniversary of Title IX, the federal mandate that provides equal access to women in sports. We will show how the innovations behind digital technology will be crucial to women as they further make their mark in the industry.

Click here to register for the live virtual event. If you can’t attend, come back to this space for a recap.

Updated: Jan. 5, 5 p.m.

The Sounds of Social

Industry experts discussed how the community-based nature of social audio platforms makes them appealing to users. Social audio is reminiscent of the dynamic and engaging nature of Web 3.0, in which users are talking with people instead of at people. Social audio apps possess both storytelling and marketplace qualities that have led to items like NFTs gathering reactions within the space. In this sense, these platforms may serve as valuable tools for brands to explain, entertain and engage consumers.

In this article and accompanying radio spot from this past summer, National Public Radio discusses the potential for the format.

Updated: Jan. 5, 2 p.m.

Keynote Notes

General Motors

On Wednesday, with the competition around electric trucks heating up, GM officially revealed its Chevrolet Silverado EV pickup, built on its Ultium battery platform. As part of the brand’s “All-Electric Future,” GM also outlined plans to ramp up electric vehicle production and expand its portfolio of electric models. The company will continue to invest in its autonomous and driver assistance technologies, including its self-driving car division Cruise. In addition, GM’s transport unit BrightDrop will collaborate with FedEx and Walmart to provide electric fleets for delivery services.

Click here for more information on the GM plan.

Samsung

On Tuesday, Samsung closed out the media day. The tech giant focused on such areas as sustainability, gaming, the Gen Z market and smart homes.

Sustainability goals are table stakes these days, but notably, Samsung highlighted its plans to continue to reduce the use of disposable batteries in some of its products, especially the various remote controls it produces for its TV sets and other home appliances. Last year, the company introduced a solar-cell remote control, which recharges itself from the lights in your home. This year, Samsung is upgrading this technology by incorporating wireless signals to help recharge the remotes.

To attract the Gen Z consumer, Samsung showed Freestyle, a small portable projector that is designed not for high-quality home theater experiences, but to accommodate a customer who is continuously on the go. Perhaps this $900 projector could serve as a cool accessory for influencers and content creators alike to spice up their visuals.

Samsung closed its presentation, showing plans to make its smart home hub more accessible. The company aims to make every new monitor and TV screen in the home a display for its smart home hub to manage its fleet of SmartThings appliances.

Updated: Jan. 5, 12 p.m.

Join the IPG Innovation Conversation

On Jan. 6 at 11:30 a.m. EST, IPG will host a conversation moderated by Fielding Jamieson, R/GA Ventures’ Global Sports Venture Studio, with Ilana Kloss, Billie Jean King Enterprises, Jon Patricof, Athletes Unlimited and Megan Perry, Sports Innovation Lab, to discuss why women are the future of sports.

We are nearing the 50th anniversary of Title IX, the federal mandate that provides equal access to women in sports. We will show how the innovations behind digital technology will be crucial to women as they further make their mark in the industry.

Click here to register for the live virtual event. If you can’t attend, come back to this space for a recap.

Updated: Jan. 5, 9 a.m.

Innovating in a Changing World

From a marketing perspective, it is fortuitous that many CES 2022 exhibits will focus particularly on technology that caters to marketers seeking innovation-inspired opportunities that make the most of our increasingly virtual world.

Exhibitors this week in Las Vegas are innovating on the fly as they adapt to a hybrid event that has become much more virtual than the hoped-for physical due to the COVID Omicron strain. Regardless, IPG will be present  — physically and virtually —  this week to highlight the latest developments from the conference where innovations in technology and media meet. Be sure to visit this space regularly to see the latest updates.

Among the themes we’ll be watching:

The creator economy: This sector is estimated to have a $100 billion economic ecosystem. Look for how machine learning and artificial intelligence tools will help creators more easily and efficiently develop media content as well as monetize digital assets such as NFTs and make them more accessible.

The home: This year we will see more gadgets designed that make the home even safer, more interconnected and more efficient. How do you knock on a smart door? What will you do if you never have to replace your TV remote’s batteries? Will your TV kick you off the sofa?

Immersive entertainment: Is it time to ditch the VR headsets? Maybe, soon. As people are looking for deeper and more connected experiences at home, such devices as immersive “media chairs” for both entertainment and workouts are becoming more practical.

Sustainability: Look for continued development in mobility options as well as devices that help capitalize on mass transit to ship goods. Also, keep an eye on technology that help facilitate urban gardening and help solve clean water needs.

Metaverse: In 2021, narratives around the metaverse took deeper root. To be sure, devices that help set the stage for future development of this strange new world will be present.

Click here to see the complete outlook from IPG Media Lab

Real-time updates will follow here!

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