While driverless cars, jetpacks, and robotic pet-feeders are an annual punchline at CES, looking at what has been showcased in Las Vegas this week, it’s abundantly clear where the real future of technology is going.
This year is Smarter’s fifth straight showcasing at the world’s largest consumer electronics event.
In that time, we’ve witnessed a tidal shift of the latest technology trends on show being pulled further and further away from its ‘pure gadget entertainment’ origins and being increasingly utilised towards the functionality frontier.
How will we shop.
While CES doesn’t traditionally go down this path, the gradual shift towards connected home devices is facilitating the emerging D-Commerce or digital commerce, a new hybrid that combines both e-commerce and m-commerce, from being online to omnichannel to on-demand.
Bringing to the fore the ethos of ‘shop where you want, when you want and with minimal fuss’, is envisaged by most innovative brands who have packaged and presented this during the week at CES.
That includes our own highly anticipated Smarter FridgeCam and the replenishment, computer vision and deep AI learning capabilities of the new-to-market wireless fridge camera.
The rise of AI shopping and auto-replenishment is becoming more prevalent in connected devices, with ground-breaking products like the FridgeCam placed to allow the user to see what they need and make purchases from their grocer of choice while on the go, without ever having to step foot into a supermarket.
While D-commerce has been a significant hit with retailers initially, it’s the supermarket sector that is beginning to show signs of reinventing itself, with AI shopping looking more and more like a viable option for us in our kitchens.
How we shop in 2017 has changed vastly over the last few years with most of us preferring our smartphone rather than physically walking into a store.
Consumers expectations have shifted to personalisation, on-demand shopping information, real-time deals, and unprecedented personal customer support.
Voice assistance is just the beginning.
Amazon vs Google.
Yes, it’s been firmly established now that it’s down to a two-horse race. The question is which of the two will we allow to enter into our homes.
CES 2018 was another focal point in this ongoing battle between the two tech giants. The success of voice assistants (especially the Amazon Echo Dot, which was the highest-selling product over Christmas) is an early indicator of the shifting nature of consumer technology.
And while Amazon currently leads the chase, its limited language support and geographical reach may swing towards Google’s favour in the long-term.
In saying that, Google had one of the largest exhibitors at the 2018 show this week, showcasing its Google Assistant-powered devices, coupled with new AR-enabled mobile devices for virtual show-rooming and a variety of IoT devices that can enable a retail experience from a small screen or button.
The move will see any new devices released by both Google and Amazon impacting on consumers behaviour, content consumption, and commerce conversion.
This technology is no longer just a delivery mechanism for communications but also enabling the entire decision-making process. It will then, in turn, go onto redefine the industry’s other smart devices that are also working with the hugely popular digital assistants.
There’s no place like Home.
The ultimate place for all this new technology is home, however, it’s also the place for where most resistance is met.
When the idea of the connected home and IoT first began, it brought many ‘interesting’ concepts, and still often does. Over time though more useful devices and practical appliances have emerged in the market in which consumers are demanding.
The home is the intended destination for most new tech on show at CES, and where we will see the most radical changes being made.
Be on the lookout for technology that has a purpose to enhance your everyday life and not just another gimmick that sounds cool in theory but will inevitably end up in storage.
On that note here is a taste of some of the bizarre at CES 2018…