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Nerd Nirvana at #CES2014: The Internet of Things and other warming trends

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As this post uploads, my weather app tells me it’s -20° outside. Ugh. With a wind chill that makes it feel like -44°. Double Ugh.

weather -20 Tomorrow I’ll be on a plane to a magical place that’s nearly 80° warmer: Las Vegas, home to the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show (#CES2014).I gotta be honest:  I’m nearly as excited for the break from this horribly cold Minnesota arctic blast as I am to see what 2014 has in store for us on the technology front. But make no mistake, the reason I’m headed to CES, and why I’ve been excited for this trip for weeks, is that I’ll be smack dab in the middle of nerd nirvana, on the look-out for new technologies and trends that can help our clients stay ahead of the curve and drive business growth via digital marketing.

The Internet of Things

The biggest trend that we should see, and which you’ve probably noticed in the trades, is the Internet of Things – a concept where even the most mundane of objects contains a chip that allows it to connect with a PC, tablet, or smart phone to extend its usefulness beyond its core purpose.

A recent analysis by Cisco projects there will be 50 billion connected devices by 2020. That’s a little more than seven internet-connected gadgets for every person on the planet. My first reaction to that was “WHOA!” Then I looked around my house and thought, “Yeah, sounds about right.”

Because my primary client is General Mills, one of the world’s largest CPG food companies, I’m most interested in finding out how the Internet of Things continues its advance into the kitchen. While I don’t think there’s ever really going to be a sizable market for a connected fork or a refrigerator that tells you when you’re running low on eggs, there’s a ton of potential value in having connected appliances and objects in the kitchen. From gadgets that analyze the health qualities of the food you eat to ovens that pre-heat via SMS while you make your way home from work, there seems to be a ton of really cool, and useful, things on the horizon.

For the Gadget Geek

Other things I’m interested in seeing are, of course, more tailored to the gadget-geek side of me:

  • Smartphones — Rumors of several curved and/or bendable phones are all over the blogs
  • Wearables — I’m guessing I’ll see lots of new connected watches during my time in the desert
  • Gigantic UltraHD and 4K TVs — I’m bound to return to Minnesota with a huge case of television envy
  • Connected Cars — Sounds like Audi & Google will be announcing an extensive partnership that will put the Android OS inside cars

On Privacy and Sharing

Finally, I’ll be attending several panels and events with my colleagues at McCann Worldgroup, including our signature event, in collaboration with AdAge magazine, called “From Selfies to #Hashtags, a Modern Perspective on Privacy & Sharing in a More Selfish Age.” Should be a very interesting discussion.

 

If you’re interested in following along as I explore the exhibit halls, sit in on panel discussions, and look for the next big things, please check back here for random updates. I’ll also be posting more regular updates on the Campbell Mithun Twitter feed (@cmithun) as well as my personal Twitter account (@snibbor), if you’re so inclined to give me a follow.

I’ll try to focus on the cool stuff I spot rather than gloat about the temperature.

 

 

This is the first post about CES 2014 by Shane Robbins, group account director; find his other observations here:

 

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