CES 2019 Flash Briefing

Written by: on January 15, 2019

CES 2019

CES, the massive consumer electronics show that kicks off a new year, was recently held in Las Vegas. The CES 2019 event attracted about 180,000 attendees and 4,500 exhibiting companies from 150 countries. Because we know that you couldn’t walk 2.7 million feet of exhibit space, we’ve put together a flash briefing with observations regarding what was shown and what was missing, especially when it came to mobile. If you’re interested in discussing how what shown – and not – will have an impact on your brand, please reach out to us at mobile@possible.com and one of our strategists will be in touch.

Download our CES 2019 Flash Briefing here, or read the full recap below.

CES 2019 Flash Briefing

There were 2.7 million net square feet of exhibit space at CES 2019. For mobile marketers and developers, what wasn’t there was more noteworthy than what was.

Nowhere was 5G despite claims made all around Las Vegas. Samsung booth signage actually said “5G is the answer” and “Samsung End-to-End 5G Solutions are Ready” yet the first claim is TBD (and just what is the question?) and the second claim was debunked by a “prototype 5G smartphone” running without a 5G connection.

A Qualcomm executive said that in 3-6 months we will see the first smartphones truly running on 5G at speeds 5X faster than today’s norm. “The use cases are endless,” said Liya Sharif, Head of Global Brand, Content & Creative Services, Qualcomm. “5G will open new audiences for us. Movies will be downloaded in one minute. There will be more complexity in the marketing stack, and it will require a new level of creativity. Branding will elevate. It will happen organically. We’ll need to deliver higher value messaging versus rational messaging.”

Reality did have a more significant presence than in past years. Marketers and developers can dismiss the sight of driving in a moving vehicle wearing a headset – that looked dangerous and was the least viable product shown. There were some interesting displays of augmented reality, but also unbelievable claims that the software is so intuitive, anyone can create an experience.

Voice assistants were everywhere, even in places that you wouldn’t want them to be including smart toilets. This category is not one for the future. Figure out your brand strategy around voice now given the adoption and increased daily activity.

Despite the fact that we saw even larger televisions with clearer displays, other screens were discussed in a talk by Turner President David Levy. “Television is content,” Levy said. “It’s not that screen in your living room anymore.” Levy told marketers and developers to concentrate on what he called the “three A’s of advertising” – audience: know the demo; addressability: personalize; and attribution: measure results.

Brands will soon have a way beyond radio, mobile ads, and marketing messages to reach some in cars. Honda announced its beta Dream Drive program that introduces a dashboard that rewards opted-in drivers and passengers for using the automobile’s connected capabilities. Drivers can earn points for using the dashboard to navigate to their next destination, pay for gas, order food, or make other purchases. Passengers can also get points for listening to the radio or playing games through a Honda app. Whether significant numbers will consent to have data shared with brands is yet to be determined. Honda promises brands “last mile” data showing how marketing led to sales.

In the category of health and fitness, seemingly every booth’s product had a corresponding native app. There were varied product types, but all were somehow wearable (foot inserts, bands, body sensors and some kind of measurement). There was athletic wear to help with not only performance but rehab as well. In addition, wearables showed real-time feedback on running form.

There were products to teach children how to brush their teeth properly through sensors and an app. Also, there were interactive modules to help kids learn how to code.

Surely, there will be some hits and misses coming out of the show. It’s wise to monitor future announcements and plan now for the changes that will come with 5G.

Jeff Hasen

Jeff Hasen

Jeff Hasen is Wunderman Thompson Mobile's Senior Strategist and is one of the leading evangelists in mobile and emerging technologies. He enables brands to get closer to their customers in times upended by new devices and behaviors. The results are increased sales and loyalty and businesses doing the disrupting rather than being disrupted.

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