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Here’s what you missed at the first CES Asia

Three days of incredible energy on the packed show floor came to an end as CES Asia promised to return in a bigger and better avatar in 2016. The CES Asia official website noted that the equivalent of 85 per cent of this year’s show floor has already been sold for the 2016 show, which will see the event space double up.

To be honest, the seemingly endless rows of gadgetry does leave you slightly dizzy. It also generates a great deal of buzz around a host of products which may never see the light of day but truth be said, shows such as CES does set trends. It is the show to discover the gadgets of tomorrow. It is the show that connects tech vendors from across the globe and triggers business deals and it is the show that ultimately inspires.

As a debut visitor to the show, a few observations stood out.

The Internet of things (IoT) is moving from being a buzzword to a concrete reality. It certainly did dominate the show. We are moving one step closer to a vision of the future in which all things are connected. However, manufacturers need to be thoughtful and utility is the key. No one wants a smart Alec of a fridge.

Automobiles and healthcare are the two biggest areas to be impacted by IoT and rightly so. Connected to IoT is the emerging the wearables industry. Wearables are here to stay with improved aesthetics, smarter functionality, and greater accuracy.

The IoT and content enabled objects are making every object a potential media channel and unleashing a new wave of data owned by non- traditional data owners. This will provide an opportunity for brands to anticipate and predict consumer needs, segment based on behaviour and throw off the shackles of demographics and personalise messages.

The speed of business transformation is happening faster that we think. The TomTom booth showcased the TomTom Runner & Multi-Sport Cardio GPS watch targeted at athletes. Traditionally, a navigation company specialising in GPS, the company has transformed from a hardware business that sold a personal navigation device into a tech brand, as the market for navigation shrank due to the availability of free online maps. The message is clear. Business need to be agile and diversification is key to survival.

While, there were a plethora on innovation on display from Chinese exhibitors, language and proper articulation of the product benefits were barriers. Marketing and branding are two critical areas that needs to be looked into for future success of emerging Chinese brands.

And last but not the least for every piece of innovation, there is a Chinese version. For example Cool Glass One, a product from Chinese company Beijing Palo Alto Tech, looks similar to Google Glass and will be available online from August.

Arundhati Saha

Arundhati Saha is the Marketing Communications Director, APAC of the Omnicom Media Group.
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