Last week, more than 3,900 exhibitors gathered in Las Vegas to showcase their latest technology innovations. With over 2.75 million square feet of exhibit space across Las Vegas, CES 2018 was the largest show floor in CES’ 51-year history.
Like years past, CES showcases everything from futuristic robots, autonomous vehicles, and artificial intelligence. This year, however, the true stand-outs were those who invested in real-life application.
We've put together our key takeaways from CES 2018, which cover the most groundbreaking trends and what they mean for brands, marketers, and consumers.
CES has served as a global stage for breakthrough technologies for 50
years. It’s where next-generation innovations are introduced to the
marketplace. As the largest hands-on event of its kind, CES features all
aspects of the technology industry.
In recent years, the Consumer Electronic Show has introduced
significant emerging technologies like Voice, Artificial Intelligence,
Connected Home, FitTech, and Augmented Reality.
This year at CES was so intense that they lost power. Literally.
What emerged on the scene in years past has become streamlined in
2018 to better engage with the modern consumer’s lifestyle.
Shock-value and flashy gimmicks are out.
Usefulness, design, and aesthetic are in.
Behold: our key takeaways from CES 2018.
2018: THE YEAR OF INTELLIGENT, INTEROPERABILITY,
AND CONNECTIVITY OF THINGS
Things have started to heat up for digital assistants as new devices emerge with voice enabled skills and integrations. It’s not just about speakers; TVs,
cars, home appliances and more are voicifying their content and humanizing their overall experience. At CES, Amazon proved a leader in Voice with
Alexa, which has over 4,000 partner devices. Google trailed closely behind with a revised strategy of 3rd party integrations.
What does this mean for brands?
Consumers are becoming more and more screenless as these technologies develop, giving brands an exciting opportunity of assigning their products
a personality through speech, tone, and language patterns.
The Havas Innovation Lab is building branded voice skills, talents, and content design experiences. We’re leveraging strategic partnerships with
Amazon and Google to build scale across their ecosystems from design to execution to media.
IoT is projected to have 30 billion objects connected to the internet by
2020 (McKinsey). As consumers are looking to enhance their
connectivity, major brands such as LG, Kohler, Sony, and Samsung
showcased fully connected or AI powered devices at CES:
Kohler presented a smart shower, which learns your preferences to
reduce water usage and simplify your mornings. Their kitchen sink, on
the other hand, can accurately measure out water for recipes.
The next big thing is an emphasis on design. LG, for example, has
already reimagined the aesthetic of television with their Wallpaper TV:
an ultra-thin screen that mounts to your wall to mimic fine art.
The future of homes is “connected first,” where voice and artificial
intelligence are considered when creating new products. There will be
more emphasis on first party data setup, which is no longer considered
a desire, but a necessity.
Our Havas Innovation Lab has the ability to design data strategies, tech
partnerships, e-commerce systems, and content engagement on
owned assets to reflect new consumer behaviors.
#LGxCES: CREATING NEW POSSIBILITIES FOR HOMES
LG was the first major global brand at CES to host a press
conference- showcasing their visionary new line of ThinQ
home appliances, consumer electronics, and services that
utilize artificial intelligence with deep learning capabilities.
Analyzing weather changes, adjusting washer cycles, and
expanding TVs with natural language voice control are just
a few of the hundreds functions LG offers.
An important aspect of their presentation was their
approach to the IoT compatibility devices that are not
made by LG. By embracing an open platform, functionality,
and compatibility with other brand devices, the consumer
gains freedom to integrate their own solutions. Ultimately,
LG showcased respect and understanding of the autonomy
that consumers desire by investing in smarter devices.
#KOHLERxCES: TRANSFORMING ROUTINE TO REMARKABLE
Kohler unveiled a new addition to its faucets, toilets, and
shower devices that have Alexa and HomeKit integration.
The vision presented by Kohler as part of their
Kohler.Konnect ecosystem allows consumers to turn
water on and off, dispense to a measured volume, or use
their voice to control functions like flushing the toilet or
having a mirror display your daily schedule.
Kohler was named a CES 2018 Innovation Awards
Honoree for its new Verdera Voice Lighted Mirror; a
significant honor for their debut at CES.
According to a Gartner study, by 2020, some 230MM homes
worldwide - roughly about 15% of all homes - will be intelligently
connected by 2020. With the exponential growth in IoT space, the
landscape has gotten more complex and intricate than most
consumers would prefer. This is particularly true for smart home
appliances, where they are used everyday but the variability in the
schedule lends an additional layer of complexity.
According to some of the research presented at CES, on average there
are 30 connected objects per home, 70% of them are never used by
the owners and 82% of the consumers expect more from IoT. As
consumers are looking to enhance their connectivity and eliminating
around individual system hubs, there is a general consolidation toward
moving away from the hub model and towards an interoperability,
At CES, Ween.ai presented their autonomy of Things technology,
Homey showcased their ultimate smart controller and Enki brought
their hardware and software open platform from France to the
Connected Home floor.
#WEEN.AIxCES: THe ‘MIND-OFF’ EXPERIENCE
WEEN.AI is a specialized real-time predictive planning tool
for living spaces. It’s an AI-based solution that makes smart
Unlike standard learning systems, Ween learns the users
habits in every place they frequent. Every 10 minutes the
system recalculates the patterns according to the location
or habits of the users. Their AI adapts to the user’s everyday
schedule, that can change significantly in real-time and
builds new patterns based off those actions.
#HOMEYxCES: A FULLY CONNECTED HOME
Homey connects all of users’ devices at home from
different brands and technologies into one single system.
Users can create decision flows, play their favorite music,
and get insights into their energy consumption all within
the same app.
All of the data is stored locally, giving users the protection
of their privacy. The solution only develops meta-data on
the consumer insights within the back end system and
stores no PII information.
With over 20,000 devices supported, Homey learns new
devices by installing their apps within its own system.
With prices point at $299, it is scheduled to launch in the
US during Q3-Q4 2018.
#ENKIxCES: SINGLE APPLICATION FOR INTEROPERABILITY
Enki was launched in 2017 by Leroy-Merlin in France. A
home automation control application that aims to unify
the connected home landscape. The product will launch
globally in 2019.
The move is a strategic one from Leroy-Merlin as they
already market a lot of the connected home devices
through the 140 retail stores. In addition to offering a
simplification to the consumer, Enki also offers a solution
to its shelf, store, and product merchandising issues by
stalled products on the shelves.
GO GO GADGET
Fitness trackers have been a relevant health and wellness technology
for years, but CES 2018 proved that they are no longer dedicated to
your wrist. Smart equipment and accessories like headphones, jump
ropes, shoe inserts, clothes and more are revolutionizing FitTech for
the consumer as brands are integrating their technology into a
significant number of devices.
Under Armour, for example, released a new pair of connected running
shoes, Philips released a SmartSleep headband, and L'Oreal released a
UV-sensing wearable that protects against skin cancer.
What does this mean for Health and Wellness brands?
There are countless opportunities to work with new entrants for
strategic integrations. For example, an allergy portfolio could connect
with athletic wear to calculate pollen count for consumers: helping
them to plan their activities in order to breath and live better.
#MATRIXxCES: REAL TIME POWER
Matrix Industries introduced PowerWatch at CES 2018: a
smartwatch that is powered by the user and does not need to
By using Thermoelectric Body Heat Conversion, the device is
continuously powered and eliminates the need for additional
The best part?
As the watch doesn’t need to be removed for charging, it
monitors calories expenditure, activity, and sleep 24/7.
Additionally, users are less likely to misplace the device or
forget to put it on.
Priced at $169 the PowerWatch will be available winter 2018.
Cleer launched true wireless headphones with Alexa. The
headphones strike the ideal balance of on-the-go form and
function for complete listening freedom.
With up to four hours of playback and water-resistant design, these
headphones afford secure long-term wearing comfort.
The most innovative part of the technology?
When an earpiece is removed, playback auto-pauses. Additionally,
tf the user wears only one earpiece, the headphones are smart to
shift from stereo to mono for best performance.
#RUNTOPAxCES: WEARABLES MIGRATE OFF THE WRIST
New to FitTech this year are smart shoes
designed to offer superior comfort, style, and
durability along with smart sensors to improve
running form and prevent injury.
The shoes are connected to the Runtopia app
to provide customized training plans along
with other coaching functions.
Some of the key features include:
• Real-time audio coach
• Smart tracking chip
• Training plans
• Data tracker
AR WINS OVER VR
IN REALITY (PUN
CES 2018 featured the typical virtual reality gadgets with which we are
already familiar: smart glasses, head mounted displays, and helmets.
This year, however, AR and VR developments went well beyond the
launch of new hardware.
Offerings included intriguing solutions like healthcare training and 3D
messaging as well as retail-based solutions from brands like Perfect
#PERFECTCORPxCES: AUGMENTED REALITY
CAN POWER RETAIL REVIVAL
Perfect Corp., the maker of the YouCam makeup app, revealed the latest update at CES 2018
with cutting edge AR and AI beauty solutions. Users who upload photos of makeup looks can
virtually “try it on” using the AR app.
Extending beyond cosmetics, YouCam will also showcase real-time AR hair coloring that allows
users to experience true-to-life shades, making selecting a new hair color fast, easy, and fun.
With over 525MM downloads globally, they have brought true omnichannel opportunities to
brands within the beauty category.
The world of retail has been going through an accelerated disruption and transformation, and
technology has redesigned the shopping experience both online and in-store starting from
showrooming as the first strike to the traditional model. Augmented Reality and AI can be
powerful tools for any retail brand to get their consumers re-engaged in a meaningful
We will continue to see integration of multi-assistants in the connected
Voice shopping will establish itself as the fourth key sales channel in
2018, joining the ranks of physical, online, and mobile.
Smart speakers will continue to see stellar growth and market
adoption. According to Strategy Analytics, global sales of smart
speakers are projected to nearly double to 40-45MM units from just
under 28MM units in 2017. That number was 6.6MM in 2016 and
1.1MM in 2015. IDC estimates there will be 200MM smart speakers
globally by the end of 2020.
The challenge that marketers and industry practitioners must deal with
is identifying compelling use cases, experiences or partners to focus
product development and marketing on, and then package the
capabilities so consumers find them meaningful and easy to