CES is the ultimate gathering for innovation geeks and technology nerds (just like us). Every year, several companies from around the world gather here to show off and discuss the latest technology trends and more. This year, Bottle Rocket attended the conference (and even spoke there) and we have some great insights on how these trends can boost your brand in 2016.
Several companies demonstrated the power of augmented reality wears for specialized enterprise and field applications at this year’s CES. For a simple and efficient example, Sony showed off a pair of lightweight and stylish glasses that projected basic contextual data on the lenses.
Takeaway: In warehouse inventory tracking, the location and contents of pallets can be seen through the lenses of these glasses. This would essentially decrease inventory management time as well as streamline the entire process in general. For the hearing impaired viewer, a displaced closed captioning solution where the user has control of text placement on screen ensures text can never obstruct the viewing experience and leads to a better experience for the user.
At CES, the new HTC Vive (HTC/Valve VR collaboration) announced their second developer kit. This advancement puts a front facing camera in the HMD, which allows for better detection of obstructions and boundaries. For example, you can walk around in a 15’ x 15’ area and a subtle blue grid will materialize when you are near the edges of your virtual sandbox, alerting you to “mind the gap.” Another note for Vive included the redesigned positionally tracked hand wands that allowed the user to manipulate the space around them and perform some serious triage on a robot from the popular Portal game series.
Regarding retail technology, Lowe’s home improvement displayed a cool in-store demo using Oculus technology where users were able to use an iPad to design an orthographic layout of the store. The layout could then be built in virtual reality for them to preview their design choices, add other products from the Lowe’s catalog to the environment, and visualize how your new product will look in real-time. For those who don’t have the Oculus Rift at home, the software will then output a 360 video that can be used on the device or with a cardboard equivalent for sharing with friends and family.
Takeaway: Virtual reality is quickly finding its way into the brand experience ecosystem. New solutions for solving common problems in visualization (like design choices for a new home) are being tackled by combining the best of mobile technology with the immersion power of the VR medium. As new forms of input from image recognition to hand-like controllers come online this year it will broaden the use cases for doing virtually anything you can imagine on these exciting new platforms in a very natural and intuitive way.
If there is one thing we have seen grown exponentially at CES, it is the vast number of drone technology booths. This time last year, small and bulky industrial drones designed to carry massive camera rigs were in full force. Advancements in drone technology show these little guys can do so much more than carry cameras or packages.
Takeaway: Picture the world’s first drone that can carry a passenger. Imagine a safety conscious drone with no exposed blades. As the world play’s with drone technology more and more, an exponential number of uses unearth themselves.
Unlike VR/AR and drones, IOT (Internet of Things) is already pervasive in consumer culture. Control of light switches, audio/video, security, or even appliances are a broad range of examples already found in homes. At CES, the connected home genre of technology demonstrated a more centralized system rather than a series of one-off implementations. Can you say “meet the Jetsons?”
Takeaway: The idea of full home control was the biggest player at CES. In Lowe’s Iris home control system, homeowners can simplify and gather control of appliances and systems through a single tool – and represented how a mainstream brand can implement this technology on a larger scale than what we have seen in the past.
TVs and displays
Samsung and others demonstrated incredibly detailed 8K televisions (yes, you read right) on more than just the standard rectangle. Even though 4K televisions relate to discussions about content creation and consumer consumption, the next-level television technology was front and center at CES. Curved surfaces, including ones that produced an excellent and translucent image, and ultra-thin surfaces that could be rolled up were just some of the neat features to discuss.
Takeaway: We think the AR/VR world will continue to benefit from these incredible display advancements, which get lighter and higher resolution each year. Our prediction is that 2016 will see some of the first 4K phones, but we are hoping the future holds a head mounted display that will wrap around your entire field of vision – and weigh just a few ounces.
We’re always excited to discuss the latest technology trends and what they can do for your brand. If you’re interested in hearing more on how Bottle Rocket can skyrocket your brand with innovation, feel free to start a conversion.