What Happens In Vegas Stays in Vegas…

…in the context of CES however, what happens in Vegas is the window to the world in the future says Ranga Somanathan, Head of Global Network Clients SEA, Australia, New Zealand, India for SMG.

Ranga Somanathan



The canvas of the future at display at CES 2016 could be painted in broadly five themes,
– OTT – video / content distribution via the Internet
– Wearables – moving from just a steps-counter to FDA approved healthcare systems
– Automation of Automotive – smart, self-driven cars
– Automation of Home – connected and smart homes
– User Interface – new user interface through augmented reality and virtual reality

OTT: Start of a Global Revolution: 

CES 16 saw the announcement from Netflix on worldwide rollout, with massive excitement across markets for realtime access to original content at affordable prices. With the introduction of 4K and 8K TVs, much to look forward to the OTT players to create and deliver content in Super Ultra High Definition, as Samsung terms it 4K.

Wearables step into the medical world:
Wearables have gained much traction since the last CES with Fitbit taking the lead with the fitness-driven and Apple, Samsung covering off the fashion-first individuals. Notable development over the last year is the introduction of wearable technology in the area of high grade medical care approved by FDA. As this space gains momentum, it will significantly impact real time monitoring of blood pressure, diabetes and other health conditions with implications for healthcare and insurance sectors.

Hands-free Driving:
This CES in parts looked more like an automotive show than and electronics show, with all the auto majors having huge presence at the convention centre and the keynotes at The Cosmopolitan, Aria – hotel casinos. Their vision for future of Automotive and their investments in the area of connected and self-driven cars, though didn’t seem anything like a gamble. Even as the self-driven cars are a few years away, the work in this area will bring to us, in the near future, much more intuitive user interface in the people driven cars displacing analogue dashboards with touch screens, head up displays, remote climate control. With the auto industry being rather bullish on self-driven cars with the aim to eliminate accidents and increase passenger comfort, the industry is also reinventing the way the cabins are designed for this era of cars. Much to look forward to for a drive in a Connected Car. By the time my daughter turns 16, likely she won’t need to worry about a driver’s licence.

The car with a touch
Never Home Alone:
If cars are our second home in Southeast Asia with people spending long hours on the road due to traffic, our first home is not very far from becoming connected and smarter. At display in CES were some awesome technologies from Panasonic, Samsung to make our homes intelligent, whether the next Samsung refrigerator will scan the contents and alert you to place an order on the local grocer’s ecommerce site via your smart phone or the touch screen display imbedded on its door or you unlock your door to your apartment remotely from your phone, for your friends because you are late, stuck in a traffic jam.


Virtual gets Real:

Although VR & AR have been part of CES for sometime, 2016 saw a significant increase in floor space with the presence of companies like Samsung, Sony, Facebook and NASA. With Virtual reality evolving from Mobile to PC and Consoles, 2016 is expected to see an increased focus on investment in content and accessories. With 360-degree cameras, drones and 3D Sound systems, VR & AR is primed to go mainstream towards the end of 2016. With wearable and Virtual reality converging, there will be a natural evolution to an enhanced user interface between humans and machines in the coming years.


Internet of Things, the key enabler:

Smart Home and Smart Car, combined will be awesome. Intelligence & Data, Battery and Processing Power will have to imbed itself into every aspect of life for us to have a seamless experience. Dominant presence of Intel, Qualcomm was a demonstration of the fact that the wish to play a big role in realising this potential.

For now, the IoT is a tad bit frustrating given multiple vendors and a lack of integration.

Quite a lot of heavy lifting will happen in this area of ‘world changing’ but ‘monotonous’ stuff of enhancing battery life, improving processing power and integrating the various ecosystems in the coming months. From a consumer behaviour perspective, even as we enjoy the benefits of the technology, one will constantly struggle with the question that, “how will this help me and not take over my life?”




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