Daily Dose of iQ: A Look at Upstream's 2012 CES Trend Guide

Jan 11, 2012 — Nancy Yu Wen Sun

Upstream, an Austin-based tech and marketing consultancy, put together a pre-show guide for the 2012 CES, currently happening in Las Vegas (Jan. 12-13).

Upstream identified five trends worth following at CES 2012 and throughout the year:

  1. Quantified Self & M-Health: "Personal biometrics and digital enabled behavior analysis will increasingly let consumers discreetly track and manage their lives more effectively."
  2. Gestural Interfaces & Augmented Reality: "New natural interfaces based on movement will allow more intuitive control of tech, increasing access to information and digital content."
  3. SoLOMo Content + Data Exchange: "Mobile 'geo-awareness' technology, will create dramatic paradigm shifts to how we shop, socialize and how we are marketed to."
  4. Television Socialized: "Integration of Social Media and The Cult of Influence into the TV experience will transform it from a media consumption device to a content curating experience."
  5. D.I.Y. and Digital Objectification: "The 'appification of everything,' open source tech and accessible manufacturing merge the tangible product and digital, online worlds."

Upstream has done a good job of covering the key trends for CES 2012. Electronics are continously blurring the lines between tangible and the digital world, increasing incidental communication and connectivity, and promoting data sharing and tracking. 

As a result, consumers can experience a more extensive and enriched shopping experience where all the information they need is at their fingertips. The challenge for stores and businesses is to capture consumers' attention and compete will all the distractions such technology presents.

Quantified Self: The Jawbone's Up is a wristband that tracks a user's movement, diet and sleep patterns. It syncs with an iPhone app, sets reminders, and offers a social component that lets the user compete with friends by completing activity challenges. The idea of having to wear a product seems odd, but it's interesting to learn the benefits of having one of these devices around. A timely product release, since we all need to find ways to keep our New Year's resolutions.

D.I.Y. and Digital Objectification: Upstream identified some interesting products that allow people to connect tangible objects with our digital lives. Things like Berg's Little Printer, which allows the user to read information curated from the Internet that is better consumed on a physical piece of paper -- such as news, puzzles or gossip from friends. GreenGoose wireless stickers are sensor that allow you to track the movement of objects you stick 'em to (say, a frisbee) and transfer the data into digital form. We are now able to consume data and gather data faster and easier than ever.

For wireless retailers: SoLOMo Content + Data Exchange. "SoLOMo" means Social, Local, Mobile. The new retail experience needs to be an "easier" experience. Consumers want information to be easily accessible and a quick, convenient checkout process. With smartphones and shopping apps, wireless consumers often know more about products, pricing, and service than you may think. It's up to the retailer to use social media, location-based, m-commerce and shopping app technology to attract customers and drive sales.

Topics: Retail Operations, Mobile Industry, Customer Experience, Retail Marketing

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