CES 2022: The innovations that stole the show
Technology-driven emerging trends that will impact marketers over the next year
Despite the pandemic, CES 2022 opened its doors in Las Vegas to more than 45,000 people, across 11 venues, with nearly a third of attendance from outside the United States (from 119 countries).
2,300 exhibitors at the show, including over 800 startup companies, showcased technologies that will drive the way we live, work and do business in the future. Much of this centered around the metaverse, NFTs, cryptocurrency, sustainability, repairability, automobiles, wellness, and the home.
The transformative power of virtual environments is fueling much of the buzz around the metaverse. One virtual world on the Internet for everyone may still be a bit far away, but as CES clearly showed, all the components to build it are already in place – blockchain, cloud, 5G, AR/VR.
We may need better hardware, faster broadband, and some behavioral solutions, but there’s no doubting the excitement and opportunity to blend virtual worlds with each other — and the virtual with the physical. Understanding consumer behavior in these places is everything. Brands must re-learn what community means. They will have to figure out how to engage in metaverse-like environments, and how to do so in addition to the Internet rather than the Internet.
But shopping hasn’t gone away
Every point of contact with the consumer now needs to be enhanced with experience and entertainment. We are in the age of ‘retail’: every physical, digital, emotional and tactile touch point must be accompanied by both experience and entertainment.
This is much more than just a response to the pandemic. COVID may have sparked a shift toward e-commerce, but what we’re talking about here is the digitization of experiences in both the physical and virtual worlds: in stores, in public spaces, and through home appliances.
Increasingly, brands will be able to tell their stories anywhere, anytime with the power of 5G and improved devices indoors and out. Delivering the right experience, seizing differentiation opportunities, driving brand loyalty, and ensuring a safe and seamless experience are all important.
…and they have no work
The business is here to stay, but the way we experience it has been turned upside down. Flexibility and fluidity are words we all now associate with the world of work – and all of this is largely enabled by technology. Perimeter computing – as we move seamlessly between devices and platforms – is enabling this transformation, likely forever.
The opportunities are enormous, with experiences still largely imperfect. Training, building trust, delivering well-being, better collaboration… There is still work to be done.
Wellness is still on trend
Wellness – and beauty in fact – powered by technology is also a trend for 2022. Managing our physical and mental health may have been the first lesson of the pandemic. With no one to rely on but ourselves, technology has brought out-of-home experiences indoors, powered by AI/Augmented Reality. The opportunities for metaverse-esque environments need not be mentioned.
Consumers are responding to the structure and red tape that digital tools provide. We are all looking for something different, to fill a different gap, and to complement our different routines. What consumers are striving for here is consistency – something they depend on.
Stuck at home – make it smart
The 2022 trend for smart homes is smart devices that reduce friction, and that’s not all. Environmental performance is also included in the solutions. What is the danger of all this becoming just too “small”? Standardization of device communications across platforms is enabled by Matter, the smart home protocol from the Connectivity Standards Alliance. This will standardize the way smart home gadgets talk to each other to avoid hitting the ceiling of excessive complexity. The home environment is changing, and the role of technology in it will change as well. The robots would not be for a single purpose — perhaps vacuuming — but for general purposes: companions, health care monitors, not just housekeepers.
New Opportunities for Content Creators
Creating content on the go has never been easier or faster. New opportunities will be provided through the metaverse for content creators to own and monetize their content through NFTs. Authentic content created by the right creators with the right voices is the cornerstone of content marketing, and that content will continue to run. There may be platforms integration, but this will only lead to efficiency and amplification of messages.
control of health care
We have all experienced the epidemic. Our growing awareness of health needs has fueled a desire for remote diagnosis, monitoring, delivery of treatments, and fitness management. Consumers now have a variety of connected clothing, voice technology, biosensors and other integrated technologies to manage any parameters that matter to them.
The shift to home health management won’t slow down. Retailers play a role, not only in offering health and wellness products but in everything that affects health: food, drink, cleaning products, etc.
A full circle for NFTs and cryptocurrencies
NFTs are really about the digitization of intellectual property and value – not so much a trend as it is empowering for content creators. It will bring real value to brands and can be used not only for trading in virtual worlds but also for loyalty programs, for example. Crypto, and the blockchain that it relies on, has real implications for business, particularly in terms of inventory management and sophisticated retail marketing programs. We must stay focused on what the blockchain can offer – real people are investing in crypto and NFTs.
This article was inspired by the CES 2022 wrapper produced by GroupM and Vox Media https://ces2022.groupm.com/home