With the new year come new trends…yada yada yada yes. But there’s no denying, as we try to keep up with the cascading popularity of the annual Consumer Electronics Show or #CES2016, that there are some highlights of this year’s show that hold clear opportunities for the future of content creation and digital engagement. Some aspects we may not have even considered yet.
None of the highlights are particularly new inventions, but the advances of the inventions can be seriously considered for some amazing creative opportunities.
This year, drones have grown from the perception of being a flying remote controlled toy to more complex beasts, with features being introduced like facial recognition, personal tracking and drones paired with their own car models. We’ve already seen the best content producers like Red Bull utilising drones to capture video from new and previously impossible feats; and now comes the opportunity to connect the faces of crowds at events directly with their social profile or live stream your downhill slalom or road trip.
Internet of Things
The internet of things can be a positively discombobulated term. Connected appliances (Smart Washing machines, fridges, coffee machines, even the kitchen sink) are trying to pave the way for us to be removed from the equation of our own domestic servicing. Features like signalling when low on consumables – whether it be detergent or cheese – means Amazon or Ocado could be notified without you flinching.
Does this leave brands and marketers with an opportunity to liven up this potential playground with domestic surprises? Could the Daz Doorstep Challenge get right into your wash room via your connected washer/dryer? Could Nespresso surprise you with a personalised message when you wake bleary-eyed to your first Clooney flavoured Ristretto of the day? The risk of being connected to Wi-Fi isn’t only from domestic hackers, but from eager brands willing to engage with their target audiences right under their noses.
— Brian Crumley (@briancrumley) January 5, 2016
this is not the future i want pic.twitter.com/Dk11OMtz92
— rohit sharma (@rohit_x_) January 4, 2016
With Apple CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto finally working their way into modern car tech, expect big advances in car gadgets, sensors, trackers, connectivity and specifically head-up displays. With the blindingly obvious risk of distracting the driver considered, is there still opportunity for marketers to target car owners/drivers by location or even change of location? Could Shell garages offer travel deals to long distance commuters on a per-outlet/per-driver basis?
Highly targeted and personalised offers and deals could be an option. Or how about car based social networking? Foursquare and Facebook unite with Google Maps to create the first mobile and tracked social network. Could this reduce potential road rage knowing that the guy who cut you up at the last junction buys the same John Lewis chinos as you? Maybe a future option for Ronny Pickering…
VR and augmented reality
This particular area of tech is growing and is inching its way into mainstream everywhere. Expect your mum to be donning VR goggles Christmas 2017.
Plenty of brands and campaigns are already using the combined lo-fi power of larger HD smartphones and cardboard headsets to bring VR to the masses. Only yesterday did I experience the wonder of ‘wonder dog land’ (Daman Albarn’s new musical app: Fabulous Wonderland) and a whole host of other brands guiding consumers through spaces, journeys and visualised stories.
4K display and super connectivity are a big deal this year. Can brands interact with viewers as they watch ads? TV targeting is an option for social advertising, but will it reach true complexity as viewers begin connecting their social profiles directly to their smart TVs? It can only mean greater accuracy and higher relevance for brands eager to target the right viewers, especially where product placement or niche interests are concerned.
Health tech can now determine when your muscles fire, and track your heart rate just from sampling your breath. Are there opportunities for gyms, fitness coaches, health food, equipment brands or even charities that encourage fitness challenge as a means of fundraising, to interact with this kind of data at a social and content level? Whichever run, swim or WOD is burning you up, wearable health tech is getting seriously deep.
From all the hot topics and tech trending at this year’s CES, a wealth of opportunity to create experiences and compelling media is looming. And it’s the responsibility of content creators – whether brand or not – to push the boundaries of this potentially benign tech.