While I was not able to make it to CES this year, I had plenty of tech-crazed friends who were in attendance. Through their frequent tweets and regular blog updates, those of us back in trenches were kept in the loop as to what products and solutions were drawing the most attention and which were hailed as duds. CES has become so widely popular. What was once a show for the true geeks, CES has morphed into more of a trend-setting event for the tech-savvy intertwined with a more cutting-edge networking opportunity for the biggest names in marketing, branding and PR. More than 150,000 tech brand ambassadors, industry freaks, media reps and PR pros flocked to Vegas for this year’s CES show to get an inside peek at technologies and gadgets that could revolutionize the marketplace and business as we know it. And while some things probably did stay in Vegas (and for good reason…I hear the Adult Entertainment convention just happened to be the same week as CES), there were some products and solutions that did cause a buzz.
I hit up Orange County Register reporter, Ian Hamilton, who covers all things tech to get his thoughts on this year’s CES. Ian was literally up all night while in Vegas for CES (thanks in part to RedBull I’m sure) reporting on the weird, the innovative and the latest tech products and solutions out there. If you check out his past posts from CES, you will see what I mean (note timestamp of 2:50 a.m. for the Sphero clip -- http://ocunwired.ocregister.com/tag/ces/).
CES Wrap-up Q&A with Ian Hamilton
RI: Being that you just attended CES, what do you think is the next big thing to revolutionize the tech industry?
IH: Smart watches and wearable computers. I don't know which company is going to do it first in a really substantial way, but it's definitely coming. Imagine a watch that can tell you the caller ID of the person calling your smartphone. You might even be able to decline or accept the call right from your wrist with your smartphone never leaving your pocket.
RI: Are there any new technologies that you think will change the way that marketers connect with consumers?
IH: The trend here is that marketers need to connect with people in even more personal ways. Thing is, marketers promote brands but social media is about people and personalities. The companies that make a person feel like they've had a genuine personal interaction in social media are the ones to watch. The key here is genuine.
RI: What impressed you most about CES? Which products or solutions stood out?
IH: The things that impressed me most were companies innovating around the devices you already own. Local Orange County companies are building lenses, battery packs and apps that extend the capabilities of the mobile phones or tablets you might already have. Instead of trying to convince us they have "the next iPhone," these companies are instead making the iPhone and other mobile gadgets better in other ways.
* Read Ian's post on local company, Mophie -- just so happens to be a Rhythm Interactive client!
The Sphero - a remote-control ball controlled by your smartphone totally blew me away. It’s cool to think that this is a product that both myself and my 2-year-old daughter would enjoy.
RI: Did you leave CES feeling like something was missing?
IH: Yes, I did leave CES feeling like something was missing: the consumer. The Consumer Electronics Show is about consumers and I get the sense that most of the technology industry is way out of touch with the average consumer. 3D, for example, will always be a niche product until it no longer produces headaches or requires glasses. Yet they keep showing off these 3D televisions again and again. I just don't get it. Check out more CES 2012 coverage from Ian Hamilton. If you are into uncovering the hottest gadgets and getting the latest on new and innovative technologies, follow OC UNWIRED.