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4 Hot Trends at CES That Will Continue to Take Off in 2018

Advertising Agency
New York, USA
Droga5's Amy Avery and Dean Challis return from Vegas with some nuggets of insight

CES 2018 has recently come to a close, where 184,000 people descended on Las Vegas to learn about the newest innovations and trends in the tech industry, ones that will shape our future. Droga5 sent us to CES to understand the biggest emerging trends and what they mean for our industry going forward. 

After spending five days in Vegas fully immersed in the latest and greatest technologies, we identified how existing innovations such as AR, voice recognition and AI will be leveraged and most useful for advertisers.

1. Coming of Age for Augmented Reality

Augmented reality is about bringing the physical and digital worlds closer together and by no means is it a new phenomenon. Snapchat has been utilising this feature to give users animal-eared, smoky-eyed and rainbow-clad selfies for some time now. The new year, however, looks to be the start of a growth in augmented reality, going beyond entertainment and into utility. 

By the end of 2018, it is expected that there will be over one billion AR-compatible devices globally, with many brands beginning to see how they can make the most of this potential. For example, the application of AR for e-commerce is huge, in which product return rates are approximately three times more than in brick and mortar - an app that can show that a rug on the website is capable of fitting in your apartment through your camera could be a big cost saver for marketers.

2. Integration of Voice into Everything

You couldn't go anywhere without hearing about potential partnerships with Amazon Alexa and Google Home and how using voice will revolutionise how we engage with products and brands in the future. From speaking to your home security system to your car to your toilet, the expectation is that voice commands will become a behaviour that more of us will be accustomed to as these integrations continue.

For advertisers, this space is really in its infancy, but platforms will undoubtedly try to find ways to monetise it. For example, hearing an advertisement for pizza delivery through your connected speaker with a call to action to simply say 'order now' is likely just around the corner.

3. AI Becomes Pervasive

AI was arguably the top theme of the show. It was present in so many of the displays and presentations. From the connected home to autonomous driving, it was clear that decision making is being taken out of the hands of humans and put into the 'hands' of computers. There are some really interesting conversations happening around collecting the amount of data needed to make AI truly effective and the privacy requirements around that. Not only that, but the governance over AI decision making was a hot topic, covering questions like how does an autonomous vehicle make a split-second decision when it experiences a new situation. The general consensus is that the rollout will have to be phased.

4. 5G Is Desperately Needed

Walking through the show, so much of what was shared is reliant on Internet access: self-driving vehicles, breakthroughs in healthcare and smart cities, AR/VR applications, content and entertainment opportunities, IoT data applications—the list goes on.  Though 5G is still more than a year away, companies talked about how they are building toward that goal and how they are partnering to get it done, while politicians also spoke to the need for 5G lines as they update other parts of city infrastructure.  

Of course, these were just a handful of trends that were buzzed about during this year’s CES event. As the year progresses, we look forward to the transformation of more technologies that will best enable us as advertisers to cater to our ever-evolving audience.

Amy Avery, Chief Intelligence Officer and Dean Challis, Group Communications Strategy Director at Droga5 New York

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