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#sowhoknew: Leaving Las Vegas – CES 2015 highlights

The insanity of CES in Sin City is over for another year and now we are left to mull over the dazzling array of shiny kit that is about to be launched in an electrical store near you, very soon.

Was it a breakout year? I’d say, not really. More evolution than revolution. Personalisation was a huge macro theme as was smarter, more relevant technology.

So beyond the five coolest bits of tech, what else was on offer?

There were lots of car manufacturers this year. In fact 165,000 square feet was dedicated to them with all the main manufacturers present (which given there were not only four years ago is somewhat astounding). The most incredible piece of kit was from Mercedes Benz F015, the self-driving car which is basically your living room on wheels. It will never likely see the light of day as a production vehicle, but mark my words this is the future of automotive travel and we have just seen its genesis. In terms of other car related tech, I loved the Remote Valet which is basically an enabled smartwatch/car combo that can go find a parking space after dropping you off and then return the car to you when you need it. Got to me one of those for when I’m trying to park in Vivo on a Saturday night.

As predicted in my preview of CES, the Internet of Everything was massive this year. Beyond the smart kettle I mentioned in that post, we saw the Adidas MiCoach Smartball (a football that is packed full of sensors to measure how hard you can kick a ball, at various angles with what amount of curve etc.). I don’t think Sergio Aguero needs one but us mere mortals might. There was the slightly bizarre Edyn, which is a probe that analyses the soil in your garden and tells you what nutrients you need to add to make it more fertile. Then there was Child Angel, basically ASBO tagging for kids that are apt to wander – it is GPS / Wifi / GSm connected and so your little gems can never truly escape your clutches. And what about the Polaroid reimagined? Then try Prynt, the iPhone case that will instantly print pictures that you have just taken. Cool huh?

As for TV’s not much to report really. They inevitably get bigger and slimmer and with even more High Definition – the 16K TV was rolled out to a slow hand clap. We haven’t even got sufficient content for a 4K screen yet so why we need one with 4x the resolution is beyond me. Interfaces are getting more sophisticated and Sony launched their Android connected TV range which promises to be super smart and highly connected to all other Android enabled devices.

And the same story with mobile phones really. Nothing truly fresh out of the box, just more sophisticated versions of bendable phones with more computing power. The only real innovation was the world’s first holographic smartphone although I’m still trying to think of applications for it beyond a starring role in science fiction movie.

And the main highlight of CES for me? Snoop Dogg. Not actually meeting him (though that was fun) but the fact he retweeted my DMA article about his OMG session. Gizoogle it. That happened. But that’s Vegas for you, Baby!

Steve Blakeman

Steve Blakeman is the Managing Director - Global Accounts, OMD Europe. Previously, he was the CEO, Asia Pacific – OMD. Prior to that, he was Global Chief Integration Strategy Officer (Asia Pacific) for IPG Mediabrands (Initiative & Universal McCann). He has also had stints as worked as Managing Partner at Omnicom Media Group owned media agency, PHD where he successfully launched their second office in the UK. He began his career at JWT and has over two decades of experience in advertising, media and marketing communications.
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