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THE 2015 CONSUMER ELECTRONICS SHOW (CES) FEATURED APPROXIMATELY 160,000 ATTENDEES AND 3,500 EXHIBITORS FROM AROUND THE WORLD, THE EQUIVALENT OF 35 FOOTBALL FIELDS FILLED WITH THE LATEST IN TECHNOLOGY-DRIVEN INNOVATIONS.CES, the biggest technology show of the year, is where brands, startups, celebrities, analysts, marketers, geeks and more kick off the new year in an attempt to understand the devices, technologies and trends that will shape the future. Or at least the next 12-16 months.

This year, saw the launch of C-Space, a partnership between the ANA and Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), with a separate conference track aimed specifically at marketers.

And at The Sands, a new space was opened, dedicated to wearables, health and wellness technology and the Eureka Park start-up convention, which features innovations from over 20 countries.



MEC@CES, OUR CURATED THOUGHT LEADERSHIP EXPERIENCE, FEATURED EXPERTS, DISRUPTERS AND PIONEERS FROM ACROSS INDUSTRIES, SHARING THEIR VIEWS OF WHAT MARKETING IN A CONNECTED WORLD MEANS FOR BRANDS.Panelists & speakers included:Brian Cooley, CNETMick Ebeling, Not Impossible LabsBrian Wong, KiipTony Hsieh, Zappos.comDavid Carr & Meredith Levien, New York TimesElyssa Gray, CitiJim Nail, Forrester Research

Through these powerful minds and influential entrepreneurs, we gazed into the tech trends of 2015: how doing good is good branding, the need to look beyond real-time marketing to address real-time consumer needs, how brands should focus on delivering happiness through culture and customer service among much more.

We also featured our MEC & AT&T Live Experience. This CES installation highlighted our partnership with Mashable and its proprietary Velocity platform, as well the first ever-agency access to Twitters Curator Tool to drive both paid and organic content for AT&T.




Overall, one theme stood outIf 2014 was the year that being a nerd became mainstream, and even something to aspire to, CES proved that in 2015, innovation is mainstream. As cultural behaviors continue to evolve, both consumers and brands are recognizing that much of this evolution is being driven by technology and the opportunities that technological innovations allow. More curious and inquisitive than ever before, consumers want a better understanding of the platforms and tools that are shaping their futures both today and tomorrow. Whether its 3D printing, wearable technology, smart cars or the next awe-inspiring device, consumer curiosity is driving brands to innovate like never before. As a result, CES is no longer about introducing new technology; its about introducing new influences and opportunities to evolve the way we live and engage with the world around us. It is imperative that we continue to track these devices and technologies throughout the year to understand how and why they are evolving, and to determine which companies with whom to build relationships in the future. INNOVATION HAS GONE MAINSTREAM

Virtual Realitys ability to be a part of advertising and marketing became palpable this year. Demos of consumer-facing Virtual Reality (VR) products finally hit the tradeshow floor, including the Oculus Rift and Sony Morpheus. While VR has potential to become as commonplace as smartphones or tablets, it still has a way to go before it seamlessly integrates into everyday life. Brands are working to determine the ideal form factor, content parameters and other key components that can make or break VRs mainstreaming capabilities. It became clear at CES that VR can, and will, offer new communication opportunities outside of the gaming and entertainment worlds, giving people the chance to interact within and alongside the real world via the virtual world.WHY THIS MATTERS TO YOUThis is a new content-centric landscape for brands, whether or not they have already tapped into gaming as a marketing opportunity. Be inspired and learn from brands like Samsung which have made VR experiences customized with products like Milk VR, a VR video service for its Gear VR platform, as well as more immersive VR-driven gaming opportunities.

As consumer interest in VR continues to rapidly accelerate, and companies push to determine the best applications for their VR investments (e.g. Facebooks $2 billion purchase of Oculus VR), new chances to leverage the technology will emerge as the devices enter the marketplace and consumers find practical ways to integrate it into their lifestyles. Consider if developing a relationship with one of these partners could be of benefit to your brand.


VIRTUAL REALITY IS NO LONGER A VIRTUAL CONCEPTOculus offered its first public demonstrations of the Crescent Bay prototype device. Crescent Bay improves upon previous models, offering a lighter-weight and more comfortable device with better resolution and tracking, functioning at the ideal 90Hz refresh rate for VR.

Oculus has already been testing brand-focused ways to use the technology, recently partnering with Marriott Hotels to provide guests with fully immersive virtual travel experiences, teleporting users to the beaches of Hawaii and downtown London via Oculus Rift devices.Samsung introduced Milk VR, a virtual reality video service for its Gear VR platform, offering free 360-degree videos to Gear VR virtual-reality headset users. The goal is to give users streaming and downloadable video content that makes the most of virtual realitys offerings.VR company Sensics and gaming company Razer came together to launch the Open Source Virtual Reality (OSVR) platform in an attempt to standardize the development of Virtual Reality. A development system (vs. operating system), the goal is to help get VR on different types of hardware, e.g. consoles and head displays. Early supporters include Leap Motion and the International Game Developers Association.


The Internet of Things came full-circle at CES this year. With of a slew of connected devices that can be controlled via consumer-friendly hubs (e.g. smartphone apps), we saw the Internet of Things cross over from a buzzword to mainstream adoption.This is a massive shift. Previous years emphasized stand-alone gadgets, but this year CES hosted a staggering number of connected devices, critical for the evolution of the Connected Home concept.With products such as Google Nest, and platforms such as Lowes and Belkin, theres never been a better time for consumers to begin connecting their devices to different parts of their lives. While standardizations regarding platforms and security are still in flux, we expect providers to tackle these topics in the coming year to ensure consumer safety and confidence.WHY THIS MATTERS TO YOUThe Internet of Things is here, and now is the time to understand a brands role in it. Either highlight smarter capabilities embedded within your brands offering, or find ways to plug into larger connected offerings already in existence. Apples HomeKit development platform, which allows brands to build smart home devices that can be controlled via Apple iPads/iPhones, is an example of the latter. The potential for this market is lucrative in uncovering new ways to be a part of consumers lives and tap into new streams of data to provide improved, holistic experiences.

This is an important time for privacy; as more devices become connected to the Internet and to each other, there are more opportunities than ever for security breaches, with hackers having potential access to sensitive real-time information devices like connected security systems, smart TVs and even pet monitoring devices.The global market for Internet of Things devices and services is expected to exceed $7 trillion by 2020, up from $1.9 trillion in 2013.


SMART PRIMES ITSELF FOR THE MAINSTREAMFor example, WeMos Keychain Sensor serves as a digital tracking device, alerting users when people come and go from a home, and can be used for either tracking children or triggering other connected home actions.

The WeMo sensors connect to a homes WiFi network and works with the WeMo app on both Android and Apple devices.Belkin unveiled a series of WeMo Sensors that fill many home automators gaps, such as single vendor compatibility and improved awareness of what happens within a home via tools like magnetic window and door sensors. The sensors come in an array of sizes to address a slew of needs, and can be attached to anything from a dog collar to a night side table. Nest unveiled a range of new partners for its Works With Nest developers program, including Lutron, Insteon, August Smart Lock and Philips Hue. The new partners will build Nest products into its ecosystem.

For example: When Nest Protect senses something is wrong, a users Philips Hue lights will flash on and off to get users attention.

A user of the August Smart Lock can set their Nest Thermostat to Home when they unlock their door, triggering their house to warm up/cool down. Users can then lock their doors when they leave, triggering the Nest Thermostat to Away to save energy.


Everyone knew that wearable technology would be on full display this year, thanks to the CES Wearables Marketplace feature at the Sands Hotel. However, they may not have anticipated how these devices have become even more useful as a result of becoming even smarter. With many devices tapping into the learnings of the Internet of Things, wearables have expanded, offering far more enticing features beyond health and fitness monitoring. Integrating smart technology into almost anything that can be worn by a consumer, including jewelry and clothing, the wearables marketplace has grown from being a trend to an impending part of everyday life. And as many wearables move from focusing on fitness to a full spectrum of health areas, were seeing new (potentially endless) possibilities.WHY THIS MATTERS TO YOUAs different features (e.g. sensors, cloud computing) come together in new and evolved offerings, while other devices focus on specific industries like health or hospitality, wearables continue to hint at potential for marketers to connect with consumers like never before. These devices provide the chance to be closer (literally and figuratively) to consumers, and uncover new data streams that we never before imagined could be possible.

We will continue to see wearables enter the market and cover almost every possible consumer need, from tracking a dogs daily activities to helping a user meditate. Like with any technology, as consumers test and adopt these devices into their lives, its critical to understand why and how they are leveraging the devices, and find ways to help them make the most of those experiences.Overall wearable unit sales are predicted to reach 30.9 million units (a 61% increase from 2014) and generate $5.1 billion in revenue in 2015 (a 133% increase).

Source: CEA U.S. Consumer Electronics Sales and Forecasts studyWEARABLES HAVE BECOME WANTABLES10

Quell is an FDA-approved medical wearable designed to leverage electrical stimulation to relieve chronic pain. It can be controlled using a smartphone and allows users to track usage and follow therapy regimens. Withings announced the Activit Pop, a smartwatch that keeps it simple, tracking movement and activity and reporting it to Withings iOS app. The $150 watch is among the few wearables currently available that are practical and aesthetically attractive, designed in a slew of materials and colors for personalization.Osterhout Design Groups new, lightweight consumer smart glasses are based on the company's R-6 glasses, already in use in enterprise and government agencies. Powered by Qualcomms Snapdragon 805 chip (the chip Samsung Galaxy Note 4 uses too), and running full Android, the smart glasses represent the market evolution first kicked off by Google Glass.LG and Audi are working a version of LGs G Watch R smartwatch. It is predicted that it will be built on the Android Wear operating system and will support and control in-case operating systems.WEARABLES HAVE BECOME WANTABLES


Cars have always been a cornerstone of CES, and this year was no exception. While we heard about self driving cars in past years, 2015 provided a look under the hood to see where the future of auto technology is headed: towards automation. Some of these smart features are already available in cars on the road today, and more are coming this year.Connected cars are no longer a Jetsons-esque vision for a far-away future. As of today, new ways of integrating consumer-facing technologies such as wearables and smartphones into the dashboard and driving experiences of cars offer opportunities for connectivity and targeting.While there are still plenty of hurdles for automated self-driving cars to overcome (e.g. security and legislation), features like self-parking, adaptive cruise control, and vehicle-to-vehicle communication will be here before you know it (if they arent already).WHY THIS MATTERS TO YOUWhile were still a ways away from owning self-driving cars, the future of automobiles will be driven by innovations focused on connectivity and automation.

With the promise of bringing new experiences, like commerce and targeted radio to cars, connected cars offer personalized ways to turn the driving experience into an infotainment experience.CARS AS THE NEW CONSOLESIncreased levels of intelligence can only improve the consumer experience, and automation alleviate many of the stresses related to driving and commuting. The result is less clutter for brands to cut through, and new ways to capture attention on and off the road.12

Parrots RNB6 offers a device that fits into almost any modern-day car, with a dash camera build into it. The result? Operating system agnosticism and the ability to upgrade any car.

The device features navigation, hands-free telephone operation and on-board diagnostics, as well as a CarPlay/Android Auto feature, ensuring users arent stuck with one operating system. Chipmaker Nvidia unveiled the Tegra X1, its most powerful mobile processor ever, designed for cars. Dubbed "the world's first mobile super chip by CEO Jen-Hsun Huang, the world's first teraflops mobile processor will be used in cars, with the belief that futu...