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What Mattered for Marketers at CES 2012

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The Consumer Electronics Show is a massive labyrinth. As soon as you enter Las Vegas for the event, and especially by the time you reach the Convention Center, you may feel like you’ll never escape.

The good news is that once you get free, it’s possible to put down your 3D glasses and reflect on what happened. If you weren’t there, then it’s all the more important to mute the hype (“Ryan Seacrest joined Steve Ballmer for Microsoft’s keynote!”) and get a sense of what matters.

The presentation is a guide for doing that. Based on that, here are some top highlights for marketers.

5 Things That Didn’t Matter

  1. Ultrabooks: This was one of the big buzzwords. That’s all it is – a buzzword for a thin laptop the likes of which has been on the market for years. Yes, it took four years for PC makers to release a MacBook Air.
  2. OLED: David Pogue said it best: “What’s so silly? Even if you bought one of these screens, you’d have nothing to watch. Nobody broadcasts or sells movies in 4K or 8K resolution.”
  3. 3D TV: The televisions there were gorgeous, and I wish I could watch the Summer Olympics on one of those floor models (or all of them), but they’re impractical and won’t be a big seller. A huge drawback is that while wearing the glasses, one can’t interact with their digital devices — or other people in the room.
  4. Nokia’s Windows Phone: It looks great, but marketers should be screaming, “Show me the market share!”
  5. Social cars: Ford and Mercedes were among the automakers showing off cars with built-in social network access. That’s great that these cars are social by design, but that’s keeping up rather than changing consumer behavior.

5 Things That Mattered

  1. Connected TVs: Sony, Samsung, Microsoft, Nuance, and many others showcased how TVs will better connect with other devices and add voice controls. This has the potential to make TV advertising far more interactive – and accountable.
  2. Interactive gaming: WowWee, Discovery Bay, and Parrot all showed off toys and games where the software runs on a consumer’s phone or tablet, and the hardware seamlessly interacts with it.
  3. Dressing room 3.0Microsoft, Bodymetrics and others are trying to crack 3D body mapping so that shoppers can comfortably find clothes that fit perfectly whenever they shop digitally.
  4. Samsung’s AdHub: Samsung promoted its AdHub ad network to run on Android and its proprietary Bada system, competing directly with Google and potentially benefiting developers with more competition.
  5. Google Indoor Maps: This launched for Vegas at CES, and there may be no better city in the world for this. Expect a ton of competition this year mapping malls, department stores, grocery stores, and other locations.

See the presentation for even more, and share your thoughts with us on what mattered most to you.