Ten CES 2015 Companies that Prove – Everyone Is In The Tech Business
Just 3 to 5 years ago, CES or Consumer Electronics Show that takes place annually in Las Vegas was considered a ‘must-visit-event’ for those directly connected to – you guessed it – electronics. It was all about LED and HD TV’s, cellphones, PC products, software and technology-enabled cars.
At that time if you were in the healthcare, sports, beauty or food industry – you didn’t have to know or care about CES. Now with digital, Internet of Things and big data transforming all areas of a company, including retail experiences, product distribution, services, packaging and the products themselves – you can’t afford to stay uninformed.
Because the massive digitalization that has taken place over the past decade has directly impacted the way consumers research, buy and interact with your brand or your product.
Whether you’re designing furniture, manufacturing pharmaceutical products, selling sport’s equipment or launching a beer-brewing start-up – you’re in the Tech Business. And if you want to maintain a stable sales growth, stay ahead of your competition, increase conversion rates or win the admiration and loyalty of the digitally-savvy Millennials generation, CES 2015 is the right event to help you do that.
Need more proof?
Companies such as L’Oreal, Adidas, and Timex were present at CES for the first time this year. Typically, skincare, sports and watch-manufacturing were considered “analog” industries.
Now their reality is profoundly immersed in digital. To the point of being pioneers in leveraging connectivity to expand their core business beyond traditional manufacturing and to anticipate the emerging expectations of their consumers. It’s probably not a coincidence that Adidas, L’Oreal, and Timex are amongst the best known brands in their categories.
Here is a list of just some of the forward-thinking companies present at CES 2015 that do an outstanding job at innovating and leveraging new technologies to enhance their products and services.
1. L’Oreal: Makeup Genius
Using RT Track 64 facial-tracking-algorithm (patented by L’Oreal), they’ve developed what they call “The World’s First Virtual Make-up Tester”. In short, Makeup Genius is an app that allows a person to apply make-up on their own reflection in real-time.
It’s also a great way to empower more people to try L’Oreal products all over the world.
2. Adidas: miCoach SMART BALL
Selected as 2015 CES Best of Innovation Award Honoree, miCoach SMART BALL is a Bluetooth-enhanced, sensor-integrated and app-enabled soccer ball. In short, it allows athletes to track a ball’s speed, spin, flight path and receive impact points.
Why is it cool? Adidas has done a great job leveraging the self-tracking trend without entering into the densely-populated sports wearables market.
3. NewMatter: MOD-t 3D printer
This is another great example of a brand that is looking beyond selling a 3D printer. I’m sure that you’ve heard that 3D printing is going to explode in the next few years. CES is solid proof of this, with over 55 companies showcasing 3D printing and scanning technology.
NewMatter stands out, because they focus on the building community, not just on technology. They’ve created a connected marketplace that allows designers to sell their 3D designs that can be quickly downloaded and printed in 3D.
4. Parrot: Flower Power H2O
This sensor pared with an app, allows the highly-innovative French company to tap into the trend that I call “instant skills”. Thanks to hidden sensors and an autonomous irrigation system, you can leave your plants for as long as 3 weeks and monitor them remotely.
Even if the only plant that has ever survived in your house is a cactus, Parrot’s Flower Power H2O will change that.
The real question is – How can YOUR brand leverage new technology and connectivity to minimize the hassle for your consumers and allow them to acquire ‘instant skills’?
5. Jins Meme: Smart Glasses
Jins Meme is a great example of how tech industry can benefit by collaborating with fashion. Designed by Japanese Satoshi Wada, the same man behind Audi A6 design,
Jins Meme glasses look more like a pair of Ray Bans than the high-tech gadget. Yet they are packed with activity-tracking and eye movement technology, warning you when your fatigue level starts to rise.
There are other signs of fashion and tech working together in making technology look stylish.
Misfit partnered with Swarovski to help them design Shine Activity Tracking Crystal. Guess has teamed up with Martian Watches to launch a smart watch for men and women, that will alert wearers to calls and texts and enable voice command for replies.
There is a lesson to be learned here: Design is the decisive factor of whether your product will succeed in highly competitive tech market and stand out from a series of “me-too” devices.
6. BellaBeat: Smart Tech for Baby and Mother Care
CES 2015 has featured surprising amount companies and start-ups focusing on baby and lifestyle technology for mothers. BellaBeat is probably one that stands out the most.
Their ‘naturally smart tech’ products, such as BellaBeat Balance a high-sensitive smart scale, a beautifully-designed Leaf activity tracker and BellaBeat Shell – a smart pregnancy monitor that allows parent to capture baby’s heartbeat; incorporate advanced, non-invasive technology in a seamless way.
Natural materials like wood, absence of high-tech displays and intuitive app are some of the practices that many forward-thinking companies can apply to their products or services.
7. WiTricity: Wireless Power
WiTricity is an innovative organization that aim to enable organizations to implement wireless charging into different products. Imagine the true potential of this technology for electronics, home appliances or furniture industry.
Soon we will be able to recharge our cellphone just by putting it on a counter or have home appliances work without plugging them into the wall socket. I don’t know about you, but if tomorrow cords, wires and plugs disappeared, I wouldn’t miss them at all.
8. 3D Systems: CocoJet 3D Food Printer
I’ve already mentioned 3D printing affecting a vast number of industries. Food is not an exception. ChefJet 3D printer uses such edible materials sugar, chocolate or candy, to create unique food designs that previously were impossible to make.
Naturally, companies prone to innovation started to take note. For example, this year at CES 3D Systems announced development of CocoJet chocolate 3D printer in collaboration with The Hershey Company. Now from professional chert to housewives will be able create elaborate shapes from white, milk and dark chocolates without altering the taste.
9. Sleep Number: Sleep IQ Bed
Sleep has become another ground of innovation and new technologies. CES 2015 featured numerous products, from Withings’ Aura that features multi-color LED to regulate melatonin to Sleepace RestOn smart sleep tracker, designed to help us sleep better and sounder.
Sleep IQ is actually a smart bed, designed by Sleep Number that monitors person’s berating, heart rate and movement, without the need for a wristband or other wearable device.
10. Footmarks: iBeacons and SmartConnect Cloud Solutions
When it comes to retail space there are a number of tech innovations designed to improve customer experience. At the moment, beacons seem to most widely known and to hold the greatest potential. The beacons company that stands out the most are probably Footmarks SmartConnect Solutions.
Rather than just focusing on perfecting technology, Footmarks have created an impressive, secure, entirely cloud-based platform. The platform allows retailers, museums, stadiums, etc. enhance their mobile marketing efforts, activate in-store analytics, and create more compelling experiences for their consumers.
With the massive expansion of digital, connected products, Internet of Things, and big data every single company will be in tech business in one way or another.
These are just some of the examples of how established tech corporations, innovation-oriented brands and lean startups leverage emerging technologies, establish new trends and anticipate and meet expectations of an always-connected Millennials generation.
Call to action: If you’re interested in a particular company(s) of trend(s) showcased at CES 2015 that are relevant to your company or your brand, shoot me an email or leave a comment below.