New Technology Trends at CES 2011

Consumer Electronics Show 2011 – What you need to know
In case you missed the International Consumer Electronics Show last weekend, here are a few of the hot new trends/ developments that you should know about as a consumer products marketer. For a more in depth review of trends, visit our website.

1. Remote Control your home.
Smart appliances are coming. Start dinner or a load of laundry from work (or anywhere) through an app on your smart phone.

General Electric, LG and others are working on a variety of smart appliances: dishwashers, refrigerators, ovens, cars, home locks, heat and air conditioners, etc. that have WiFi built in – so you can monitor and control them through the internet. Remote control everything in your home from anywhere in the world through an internet WiFi connection.

2. Your Smart Phone is becoming a remote control for your life.
The majority of smart phone apps today are for entertainment and communication. But the real value from smart phones in the future will be as time savers for mundane tasks. We’ve already seen a glimpse of this, with apps that turn the iPhone into a virtual airline boarding pass or a virtual debit card. There are many more like this on the way…

If you’re working on a new app, don’t waste your time on another mindless game. Think about how you can help save time or effort or dramatically improve your consumer’s overall experience by providing a functionality app

3. Smart Power is coming.
Utilities are installing smart meters to allow for dynamic power pricing. We’re going to need it because we’re all sucking up so much more electricity with our new electronic gadgets – especially electric vehicles (EVs) which are being launched by nearly every major auto maker in the next two years.

With smart meters and smart appliances, we’ll be able to measure electricity consumption of individual appliances and program them to use power more efficiently – buying it at night when it is cheap, and using less (or even selling it back to the grid) during the day when it is expensive. Electric Vehicles (EVs) will not only save resources – they will act as power storage units when not in use to help smooth out demand.

4. Traditional media is fading away – faster than you think.
New premium content options (with no ads) are getting easier and better. TVs and other devices are already available to allow viewers to move effortlessly between paid subscription services like Netflix, and Pandora and traditional TV. This will soon become the norm. More existing free content is starting to be offered in premium versions – because people are buying it. Why hunt around on the traditional TV networks to watch one episode of a show when you can get access to every episode for a small fee – and watch whenever you want, wherever you want.

5. Newspapers never got it – and still aren’t getting it.
Pity the poor newspaper industry. Even as they’ve lost huge numbers of subscribers, they can’t seem to get it right. You would think the Kindle and iPad would be their salvation – but no one in the newspaper business seems to have found a way to use that technology to their advantage.

Even the mighty NY Times, which has a massive technology innovation team – doesn’t seem capable of giving us a complete iPad/Kindle edition. In their booth at the show, the NY Times was still touting its online subscription, which isn’t available on an iPad or Kindle. It forces subscribers to read the entire newspaper on a traditional computer. Argh!