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ARF @ CES 2015

The Gadgets, Gizmos the ARF saw at CES and at CBS’s Television City Labs​

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While we are focused on networking you to the leaders at CES our blog wouldn’t be complete without some mention of the whiz-bang wizardry that abounds at CES.

With a focus on the “Internet of Things”. This year’s Smart-home products dominated. A spectrum of sensor laden gadgets designed to know what you want before you can think to want it. We thank CBS Vision, c|net and our Board of Directors Chairman, David Poltrack to introducing us to a variety of cool things and Virtual Reality, too.

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Day One started for The ARF began at CBS’s Television City live lab where, CBS Vision is immersing consumers every single day of the year in new programming and new technology.

 

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The most fun experience (both for the feeling and for the picture below) was strapping on Virtual Reality gear. Here’s our fashion-forward CEO in the latest Samsung Gear VR

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Virtual Reality has been kicking around CES for a few years. But this year we had truly affordable devices – from Razer and Sony Oculus Rift which just might be that the future of gaming — immersive video. The developments are not just the devices but Samsung’s Milk VR video app which provides a YouTube-like array of programming to watch in 360⁰.

And speaking of content, has OTT (over the top) video truly arrived? The big CES announcement of Sling TV. No set top box, no cables, no provider. Just $20 per month for 12 channels that you can watch live anywhere you have broadband internet. Live TV on your tablet, phone, smart TV anywhere and CNN and ESPN are among the providers on board.

But for The ARF the most exciting part of the “Internet of Things” is not just new tech designed around saving time and minimizing the mundane in our busy lives, not just the automated homes or the newest wearables — it’s the question of whether all the data from these devices will bring us closer to 1:1 communication. Stan Sthunathan, SVP of CMI at Unilever sees 2015 as the year wearables really taking-off and he challenges marketers – what will we do with this? Not just having your wearable talk to other devices, but to pull in messaging just for you.

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From the CES floor . . .

  • Smarter, makers of iKettle, showed the first the practical Wi-Fi coffeemakers scheduled to hit stores March in the UK and May in the US. iKettle will allow you to control what happens with your brew remotely. Or have your coffeemaker take its instructions from the other devices in your home. You make choose to have your coffee notify your music player to wake you gently as your coffee finishes brewing or having your intelligent door lock text you a “welcome home” note asking if you’d like it to make you a fresh pot.

But the real excitement is the data and platform. Can Folgers message on the iKettle app? Will we be able to match every cup brewed in a home with purchase data? Knowing which beans for which brands are brewed and how do we get our beans grinded more often.

  • We saw wearables becoming less intrusive. The Misfit Swarovski Shine, crystal-bejeweled fitness trackers designed by Swarovski crossed into jewelry plus it solar-powered – so you shouldn’t need to ever plug your arm into your laptop. We saw the Digitsole that is half activity tracker and half foot warmer. After you provide the company’s Android or iOS app with information about your age, height, sex and weight, the insole is capable of tracking your steps, distance and calories burned plus it also includes a built-in thermostat and can warm your feet, adjusted via a smartphone app.

Imagine targeting people not by gender/age/location but by average miles  walked each day.

  • We saw the Parrot self-watering planter, the “Parrot Pot” which senses moisture levels, fertilizer, sunlight and temperature. The dirt and roots sit on top of a reservoir that will regulate getting moisture to your favorite flowers.

But it was Margo Georgiadis, President of Americas at Google who imagined

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the interesting question — when will these devices not just report what’s happening, but predict our needs. For example, connecting your wearable wristband with your calendar. Telling you that you have an extra busy day tomorrow and you should build gym time into the day after schedule or manage your sleep on your wristband and adjust the environments to maximize your rest.

Gadgetry is never in short supply at CES from smart to shiny; new to newly     perfected . . . but it is the data possibilities that caught our attention at CES 2015.