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The Internet of Things: GfK commentary from CES 2016

by Frank Longo , 15.01.2016

Didn’t have a chance to attend CES 2016? Lucky for you, four of our experts: Rob Barrish, Lloyd Wood, Ryan Carney and Heather Rakauskas, attended and have shared their impressions and insights.

Rob Barrish: “Making lives easier through technology”.

Everyone is going to CES to see what the future holds. Tech marketers are proclaiming that the future starts today. It’s about everything seamlessly working together. The Internet of Things (IoT), one of the biggest themes of the conference, makes that happen. However, it wouldn't be possible without all of the amazing collaborations announced at CES.

Samsung highlighted several, including one with Microsoft. They will use Microsoft’s Windows 10 software in their tablets and Cortana for their Smart Home voice interactions. Lowe’s partnered with a firm to develop a home remodeling app, enabling customers to design their own kitchens or bathrooms and see them in Virtual Reality. Finally, Intel's technology will enable users to place themselves in video games.

These are great advancements in personalization and making lives easier through technology.

intelAs originally seen on CNN Money.

Heather Rakauskas: “The key for manufacturers is to ensure that the technology enhances the experience”.

Everything is internet-enabled. I mean everything! Toothbrushes, personal groomers, suitcases, belts and clothing and pregnancy tests. Oh my! Seemingly everyday items are tracking your use and providing real time feedback. While we can debate the need for a Bluetooth-enabled pregnancy test, the key for manufacturers is to ensure that the technology enhances the experience by being easy to use, efficient and satisfying. Testing with consumers early and often during the development lifecycle will help to ensure usability issues are worked out before these products launch.

Lloyd Wood: “The next challenge for manufacturers is figuring out how all this technology will fit together”.

At CES, the large focus was on the IoT: convergence of all products to be controlled by your phone. This was evident in appliances, which are now becoming mainstream, wearables and in cars. Sony had devices that produced scents controlled by any Android device. Many consumer electronics companies have products that are part of the Internet of Things ecosystem. However, what’s missing are the standards and ability to control different brands of products with a common application. And the next challenge for manufacturers is figuring out how all this technology will fit together.

Sony at CES
As originally seen on Avax News.

Ryan Carney: “Demonstrate not only what the IoT is, but also why consumers need it”.

While the Internet of Things and Smart Home sensors have been at CES before, a more cohesive vision of them was presented this year. Several manufacturers went beyond showing the sensors’ features and their capabilities. Instead they talked about how the sensors will improve one’s life. It became more about the experience of owning the sensors and their integration with daily life. Whether it was a Virtual Reality simulation or a model home tour, manufacturers went to extra lengths to demonstrate not only what the IoT is, but why consumers need it.

Have you been to the CES 2016? We would like to hear about your experiences too.

For more information, please contact Frank Longo at frank.longo@gfk.com