CES Observations And Some Picks For 2014

“Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life, or do you want to come change the world?” — Steve Jobs to John Scully, on deciding to stay at Pepsi or to join Apple as CEO

I have always loved that quote from Steve Jobs to John Scully. Who could have said no to that? In the same vein, there are a lot of young and established companies showing their wares at Consumer Electronics Show (CES), and doing their best to change the world of entertainment and technology. 

The masses are flocking to Las Vegas for the annual show to see and touch the latest innovations in the marketplace. 

As always, there is a cacophony of tweets and updates storming the social network pathways, ranging from pictures of the insanely long cab lines, opinions on has the best party, who is the best party crasher – this year that award goes to T-Mobile’s CEO John Legere for his stunt at AT&T’s bash and, finally, who is doing something truly innovative, disruptive and what the trends are for the future. Here are some of my observations and my picks for CES 2014.



Wearables: The wearables marketplace is exploding, and the number of companies entering the space is dizzying. Yes, this space is going to continue to bring some great products to the marketplace. Even Disney offers wearables for visitors to Disney World, via MagicBand. Of course, the usual suspects, Nike Fuelband, Jawbone Up and Fitbit, will continue to evolve and bring even better products to the marketplace. If you haven’t invested in a wearable, you need to do it this month and resolve to use it and then figure out how it can apply to your business. 

Sensors: Sensors are being imbedded in all sorts of devices, clothing and, in the not too distant future, medications. Sensor technology continues to evolve and shrink and help power data coming from the countless wearable devices coming to market. Now is the time to start experimenting with sensor technology and determining if there is a role for them in your marketing mix, especially if you have physical locations, or have a play in the family room via a gaming device, game or appliance. 

Wearables and sensors will have an increasingly important role in marketing evolution. And combined with the open APIs that will support this area, they will help speed development of offerings and services for smart marketers who know how to cultivate experimentation at that intersection. 

Here are five picks from across the CES that I think are very interesting and have a lot of potential. Will they all win? No. Will they all lead to some amazing development in the marketplace? Absolutely. 

1. LGwebOS TV

LG continues to aggressively push boundaries for platform adoption. No longer limited to smartphones, they are using this platform to build a bridge to smart TVs

2. Netflix 4K and Sony

4K content is coming to a TV near you, sooner than you think. Netflix is helping speed this by producing the next season of “House of Cards” and other original programming in 4K. Lookout, HBO, Showtime and legacy networks. 

3. Owlet

The world’s first consumer baby vitals monitor. Again back to wearables! This ankle-worn bracelet and accompanying app give parents a dashboard of their child’s health at any time. Owlet tracks heart rate, oxygen levels, skin temp and rollover alerts during sleep. 

4. Steambox

Valve and Steam have partnered to deliver games through several new consoles. Love the idea and that fact that somebody is challenging the big boys – Xbox and Playstation. Lets the games begin! 

5. Samsung Overlay

This display enables viewers to stream live tweets on screen during TV viewing. Here’s a sure way to drive more engagement during live sports events and reality shows.

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