Remember how TESLA just launched that Falcon Heavy Test Rocket? The way those boosters landed? Wild stuff. It’s a reminder just how in the future we are living these days. While we gaze and wonder at the stars, let’s take a step back and take a look at the tech we all may actually be getting to use in the next couple years.
Every year, almost 200,000 people converge on the Las Vegas Convention Center to get a sneak peek and hands-on opportunities with the newest innovations coming down the pipe. The show has been the home for huge consumer electronic announcements – like the very first home VCR in 1970!
Now, why are we talking about it here? Aside from our own innate love of gadgets and new tech, we need to pay attention to the intersection of technology and advertising. Consumer electronics is a big umbrella, covering many tech that may become (who are we kidding, they will be) avenues for advertising.
Several trends stick out, aside from the usual iterative upgrades to TVs and phones. Larger, clearer, more pixel-dense screens are to be expected each year but those don’t speak to any sort of new or burgeoning trend.
They’re cool, absolutely, and you can bet we want to see that rolling TV screen, booming Razor phone, and drive the newest in Hydrogen cars – but they aren’t the most interesting products to come out.
AR, drones and autonomous vehicles, and wearables. These are the things that are being developed in drastically different means but clearly the core behind a lot of new work. We have AR games, AR glasses, and helmets
The Vuzix Blade smart glasses bring Tony Stark’s day-to-day style to the masses. Keep your phone in your pocket as the smart glass will display all the info you need, from directions to detailed information. Built with a touchpad, internal batterie, dual haptic feedback, HD camera, MicroSD Storage, noise-cancelling mics and more. Amazon’s Alexa will be supported as well to provide us with the Jarvisesque experience we have been wanting since the first Iron Man.
The potential for AR for our industry is enormous. It would create an entirely new avenue for advertising. For instance, let’s say you are a restaurant in a metro area, littered with restaurants. You want to stand out? Create an AR advertisement for your business that pops in front of the building. Or automatically display ‘Today’s Special’ in front of your signage. That’s just the basics of course. Just the start. Remember how Pokemon GO blew up? That had an AR facet. The technology has been introduced to the masses even if they aren’t aware of it yet. Mark my words, it’s going to be huge soon.
An example of the new autonomous vehicles on offer is the volocopter.
Flying cars are here. Or at the least, passenger drone helicopters. The Intel CEO Brian Krzanich showed off the Volocopter, an autonomous flying passenger drone. He described it as ”extremely simple…quiet and when running on its batteries emission-free.” It’s not available in the US yet, and it won’t be until the FAA gets around to approve it (or not).
Here’s why that’s crazy. The autonomous vehicle blitz between companies hoping to implement them best has the ability to shake up, not just driving but all the industries that exist in the periphery. Asphalt, street signs and lights, city planners. It has the huge implications if that industry gets on its feet.
As for drones, Dan Newman had a smart assessment in his piece over at Forbes about the drones that saw the most fun, ‘If there’s a lesson to be learned here, it’s that UX always wins…’ That’s a takeaway we can apply to digital marketing easy.
Wearables are still the purview for fitness and health industries. Fitness bands, heart rate monitors and the like are all still rolling out. But the range is expanding with devices like the Google Glasss or the previously mentioned Vuzix Blade. Another cool piece came from a surprising (to us!) place: L’Oréal’
This tiny 9mm wide and 2 mm thick dot measures UV exposure. You simply place the adhesive dot on your sunglasses, shoes, or even a thumbnail! Any surface that gets the sun when you are out and about. It then sends the gathered data through NFC chip to your smartphone. You can then analyze it and determine if you’re getting too much sun. While they haven’t settled on a price they are looking for a roughly $40 tag. The L’Oreal UV Sense will only be available through dermatologists to start.
Wearables tie in with alternate reality so well. Just imagine, having all of this raw data about your daily surroundings. Wearing glasses that list restaurant reviews as you look down the street, having in-view directions, meanwhile an alert pops in the corner of your view: Blood sugar Low. The future, the sci-fi of the past is almost, almost a reality.
Some of the stuff that really excited us were updates to products and industries that don’t see much innovation. Nanoleaf gave us the coolest example of that.
These may not fit in with the rest of what we are talking about, but damn aren’t they sexy? Nanoleaf debuted new square variants of its light panel system. You can turn each panel on and off, dimmed, or even change color with a touch. Nanoleaf has not announced a price, availability, or even a name has been announced yet, but you can be sure they’ll be lining the walls of our Mars-partment.
It’s like looking through the prop department from Black Mirror, really. Let’s just hope everyone making these devices do so for the betterment of all, and not just to install cartoon dictators or social media based societies.
Cody Eastlick is a writer at Helix House. He has a B.A. in Literature from Arizona State University and actually uses it – take that doubters! He loves writing, and crafting compelling copy that converts is essentially sorcery. He’s a wizard. When he isn’t writing about technology and advertising for Helix House he watches movies, runs too many D&D games and wrestles his dog Freya.