CES 2020: What is the Future Now?


CES, the Consumer Electronic Show, is more than just a trade industry convention for appliances, technology and inventors. For over 50 years, this is where the world meets to experience tomorrow today. CES is the showcase for the gimmicks, gadgets and game changers that we can expect to see influencing how brands seek to create iconic moves.

Artificial Intelligence was the central theme of CES 2020. Connectivity of devices and databases has now been achieved through sensor and ‘edge’ computing capabilities. The IoT via Cloud based and 5G capability exponentially increases both the immersive quality and capability of brand experiences. We are moving on from the term ‘Smart’ when we refer to how technology and devices are enabling us to live more seamless and digital engaged lives. On display at CES, enabled by advances of 5G, blockchain, biometrics, quantum technologies and web-based computing the integration of devices, environments, user interface, diagnostic tools and business models is how companies are bringing ‘science fiction’ alive for today’s reality.

As we scan the innovations and inventions on display at CES, what is striking is the emerging ecosystem of collaborations and partnerships. When announcements at CES include brand partnerships such as Blackberry & Amazon; Delta Air Lines and IBM; Samsung & BMW; Hyundai and Uber; Quibi and Google; or Microsoft & LG one can begin to appreciate why CES offers indicators of where the money and effort will be focused in the near future to develop market changing innovations.

Branding today is not about strategy as defined in board room slides or marketing content and channels, branding today is defined at the point of experience. At the intersection of where a brand’s promise and offer meet, the user experience is delivered enhanced and enabled by technology.

Innovation is the pursuit of better by redefining what is both valuable and improved in terms of outcome or results. For business and consumers better outcomes at lower costs is the driver of growth and return on investment. At CES, this is why investors and large corporations are present in force to not only tout their innovations as part of their future growth narratives, but also so that they demonstrate their credibility and evidence of their attractiveness for partnerships, resources and talent.

CES is now rated as one of the world’s top Auto-shows thanks to how the pervasive use of technology innovation is changing how we consider mobility and transport. In combination with Smart City planning and infrastructure build, the way we move in the future will be more seamless, personalized, shared and environmentally friendly. The mobility section of CES is impressive not only because of the integration of so much technology on display in actual prototype vehicles, but also because it demonstrates the convergence of different brands and capabilities present at CES.

At CES, health tech continues to offer unprecedented ability for consumers as patients to better track, diagnose and manage their health re-defining how we think about wellness and the choices we have for diagnosis, treatment and therapeutic support.

Immersive entertainment has always been a part of CES through the gaming industry and its development and integration of screen, audio, haptic and voice activated interfaces. In 2020 this immersive experience for brands is now being amplified by the development of new content and the ability with 5G to experience faster and cloud-to-crowd connectivity.

At CES 2020, this was the year that the Intelligence of Things came to life and when Brand Experience was truly delivered through collaborative partnerships and sensory stimulation to help make better choices. From Extended and Parallel Reality through Quantum computing, the new buzzwords of tech will begin to permeate our consciousness and influence our expectations and behavior for years to come.

Authored by Christopher Nurko, Chief Innovation Officer, Interbrand Group.


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