Opinion

The ten ideas from CES I wish I’d had

Jonathan Pease

With over 3,600 exhibitors and hundreds of speakers there were a lot of new ideas and inventions at the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas this year. Here Jonathan Pease distills them to the ten he’s most jealous of.

B BOOTH – They call themselves ‘The Talent Discovery Company’ and the concept is simple. Imagine a casting booth where anyone can audition for anything they like – modelling, acting, reality TV, singing, etc.

There are two B Booth locations in LA and there are big plans to pop them up at malls all over America. This is not a brand new idea but what I like about this execution is that they appear to be hooked into Hollywood with a highly experienced executive team and real casting directors onsite at every B Booth. At scale, B Booth opens up endless opportunities for content development and creation.

BELTY – Emiota, a French-based startup, launched a great looking prototype device. It’s a smart belt that automatically loosens when you sit down and tightens when you stand back up. With embedded technology, the belt connects to your smart phone and will tell you when you’ve had enough to eat and when you’ve been sedentary for too long. You can easily imagine brands like Weight Watchers, Fitness First, or even health insurance companies jumping on the back of an idea like this.

AIRDOG – An auto-follow ‘air leash’ for your go-pro drone. In plain English, it’s basically a wristband that makes your Go-Pro camera (when attached to a drone) automatically follow (and film) you everywhere you go. If products like Airdog gain traction I imagine we’ll see an increase in branded content featuring extreme sports, as this type of footage is going to be more cost effective to produce than ever before.

CHILD ANGEL – A stylish tracking bracelet for your kids (don’t worry it doesn’t look like a home arrest anklet at all). Maybe it’s because I recently became a dad but I really liked this idea. Using your smartphone you can track your kids, set ‘safe zones’ and be alerted if the bracelet ever gets removed.

Feels like overkill for everyday use but highly relevant when you and your kids are in a new city or unfamiliar surrounding like an amusement park.

EDYN – I wasn’t expecting to see much gardening innovation at CES but this idea really stuck out. Edyn is a super smart gardening system that taps into data from the local soil, weather conditions and general environment to optimise your ability to garden. Edyn is beautifully designed and 100 per cent solar powered. Like everything else at CES, Edyn syncs with your smartphone and allows you to control your garden from anywhere. With all that data Edyn has the potential to connect brands like Bunnings and Mitre 10 with avid gardeners just when they need those brands’ products the most.

PANONO – A soft, nerf-like ball with 36 embedded cameras. When you throw the ball in the air it automatically takes 36 photos when it reaches its highest point. A fun way to capture your experiences in all their full 360-degree glory, this idea has great applications for sponsors of large-scale events.

FUEL3D – As expected, there were lots of 3D printing ideas at CES. This full colour 3D scanner caught my eye because it solves one of the big limitations of 3D printing – not having a big enough scanner. FUEL3D is handheld and allows you to scan large objects in seconds.

PRYNT CASE – A smart phone case that prints photos instantly. Think of it as a new age take on a Polaroid camera. From a marketing perspective, Prynt Case presents a simple way for brands to distribute printed material via a smartphone. I’m calling it Mobile Direct Mail.

STOREDOT – This was one of the most exciting things I saw at CES. It solves a universal ‘first world problem’ by charging your smartphone battery in under one minute… mind blown. StoreDot is an Israeli startup that already has backing from Samsung and Russian businessman Roman Abramovich. The technology hasn’t been proven and is not yet available to consumers but based on the demo I saw, it’s a red-hot idea. Interestingly, the technology was discovered during research into Alzheimer’s treatments.

MERCEDES F015 ‘Luxury in Motion’ – Only a concept car at this stage, it was inspiring to witness how Mercedes see the future of driving. The F015 is a self-driving car that feels more like a luxury living room on wheels. The interior is unbelievable with wood flooring and egg-like swivel chairs. It really flips the concept of car travel on its head. Mercedes are clearly pushing the envelop with this car, so much so that after it’s global unveiling on the Vegas strip, we watched the car self drive itself through a red light and narrowly avoid a four car pile up. It happened about five blocks down the street from the PR launch and out of media eyeshot… lucky!

Based on the variety and breadth of exhibitors at CES this year, it’s clear to me that every business now needs to consider itself to be, at least partially, in the tech business. Car manufacturers should no longer be building cars, they should be programming them; fashion designers should be thinking about the connectivity of their garments; and gardeners should be equipped to use the data they can now get from scanning soil. The game has truly changed.

Jonathan Pease is managing partner at Tongue

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