Interbrand
Thinking
CHRIS NURKO

The customer
view: What
CES 2021 means

















View from the inside
Click to view more

This year, CES2021 will be 100% virtual. An event that normally occurs in the physical space to exhibit, introduce and extol the virtues of technology will now actually occur as a fully digital enabled experience.

The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) holds CES as a showcase of the world’s most innovative brands and organizations who are re-defining our world and society through technology. Increasingly, over the last few years, CES has become less an exhibition of purely consumer tech devices and appliances and more a forum for discussing and experiencing the tech-informed view of the near future. CES is a hub of innovation entrepreneurship sponsored by governments and private industry in the form of Eureka Park (the start-up showcase); the Health Tech exhibition that demonstrates how digital devices and advanced computing is being integrated to all aspects of human healthcare diagnostics, therapies and daily living.

Scaling and redefining

B2B solutions that improve efficiency and re-define enterprise performance now highlight the opportunity to scale new processes, business-models and tech innovations that are redefining categories and shaping new arenas of competition. CES has become a new model for the auto industry as the world’s largest tech-mobility stage for new Electric Vehicles for consumers and for fleet deployment. The corresponding industries for travel and transport in all mediums demonstrates both innovation around energy, telemetry and advanced AIconnectivity, edge-sensor computing and autonomous drive solutions. The combination of robotics and AI-software shows us the way forward to advanced mobility.

Gaming and entertainment innovation is combining the technology of Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality in all aspects of a user experience that heightens both our immersive sensory feelings and our ability to monitor or transform our sentient capabilities. These advances are being re-deployed across Educational tech and Health tech for cognitive development. CES is the foremost forum for connecting technology from an engineering and manufacturing perspective to a consumer perspective.

Smart solutions

As such, this year I was honored to serve as a judge and jury member for the CES2021 Innovation Awards. Focusing on the SMART aspects of technology applied to homes, and therefore SMART living, I was able to identify and contribute to recognizing the very best of innovation being brought to market by the leading brands and organizations of the world.

My overall take, was how quickly many innovations responded to the COVID19 challenges and the need for individuals to work, live and connect remotely with efficiency and safety. Many of the aspects of CES award winning innovations were those that combined the ability of AI engineering to be customized, data secure and automated.

This trifecta showed up consistently where brands and products provided solutions that enabled individuals to personalize, manage and monitor for efficiency as well as be reassured about the safety and security of their data, their homes and their personal health.

Likewise, the development of fully integrated ‘hub’ systems that provided greater convenience, simplicity and seamless management of home lifestyles was to be admired. From managing home security and ambient living requirements (Air, Light, Water, Energy, Sound and Temperature) to bandwidth speeds, data use, storage and control functionality, the CES 2021 innovations and winning ideas show how important technology innovation is to allowing us to live, work and connect remotely from not only our homes, but wherever we choose to move to or while on the go.

Bringing it all back home

In almost every aspect of home life and across every sector of tech at CES2021 we see a customer-centric dedication to quality and innovation. From SMART home construction materials, fixtures & fittings to décor and design installation. For hardware systems and software protocols, AI infused experiences allow consumers to manage, monitor and customize experiences with ease and simplicity.

The COVID19 pivot to home has meant that our homes have become the most important investment we can make for our health & wellbeing; for our ability to work, study, socialize and relax; and to improve the quality of our everyday lives. Every aspect and space of our homes can now be infused with technology that offers us greater control, efficiency and heightened sensory experiences for every member of our household. The ability to harness digital tools and applications for all aspects of home management and maintenance has profound implications for the brands we choose to purchase in our ecosystems of lifestyle.

The great integration

Brands that help us unify and integrated tools and systems also add value to our home equity as an investment. These brands redefine the home services we will seek to use and benefit from on a transactional or subscription basis. These systems and tools will also translate into credible platforms for retail, commercial and social application in the out-of-home environment experience. As businesses deploy these same tools for their on-line and in-store or in-office experience, we will begin to see a true re-definition of work-life balance that is seamlessly integrated into a tech-enabled, highly flexible and mobile lifestyle.

The sheer variety and beauty of how technology is being seamlessly integrated in both form and function, as showcased by the CES innovations, is admirable. Brands are collaborating to establish interoperability platforms and protocols making it easier to adapt and connect devices, systems and product utility choices. At the core of many innovations and brands we see a conviction of purpose, ethics and commitment to the use of more sustainable materials and production; to purpose led organizational commitments and contributions to society; and to the importance of customer-centric user design with ergonomics and visual aesthetics.

Best Global Brands 2020: Connect in the decade of Possibility









Download the full report
Click to view more