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Coming to a Retail Location Near You: The Displays of CES

If you happen to be looking for a great recap of the best TVs to come out of CES, you're going to want to go here. If you weren't misled by this post title and you really are looking for displays that brands will be integrating into their retail and event environments over the next 6-18 months, you won't be disappointed. This year's International Consumer Electronics Show offered a number of new and slightly upgraded display technologies from years past. Here are just a few of them. Glasses-Less 3D This was a bit of a fledgling technology to come out last year. While everyone was spending massive real estate on their new 3D OLED TVs, a few companies showcased glasses-less 3D technology. They may take a few more generations of updates before they become viable consumer products, but just imagine being able to create amazing 3D displays for your product at retail without requiring shoppers to put on clunky 3D glasses. Transparent Screens Imagine you go into a convenient store for a 16 oz soft drink. Right as you reach for the refrigerator door to pick your usual beverage of choice, a high-definition display is activated right onto the transparent door glass. There were a number of brands which showcased transparent screens in multiple forms - some as big as a refrigerator door. Screenless Screen What if a display is no longer inhibited by the physical space you are in? The folks at Displair are answering that exact question by projecting video and imagery on a fine mist. We've seen this technology before, but it now has the ability to interact with user actions. Check out the video below for a demonstration. While a few of these are still a bit off in terms of becoming commercially viable, the possibilities for brands at retail and in the event space are almost limitless.

Early Thoughts from CES

It has been a great start to the 2013 International Consumer Electronics Show - tons of cool devices, next generation everything and a nice look into what we'll see in the next 12 months of consumer electronics. As I sit here trying to sift through all of the 3Ds, LEDs, OLEDs,D-LEDs, and E-LEDs and ponder why the world doesn't look as quite as good in real life as it does in 4K, here are some key themes that have emerged after day 1. Connected Everything It's been an overarching theme the past few years, but this year has blown up in terms of connected items. In the time we were on the floor, we saw next-gen wifi scales, entire homes, cars, appliances, and even a fork. What's slightly different this year is the focus on mobile. In the past, the story has been that these things have been directly connected to the web. This year the story changed very apparently to them being seamlessly integrated into your mobile device. CE Manufacturers as Content Providers Samsung probably best displays this, but there is a growing trend that through Smart TVs, CE manufacturers will be able to completely oust cable providers and broker deals directly with the content creators. Evolution Not Innovation Two cool technologies that we saw last year were Leonar3Do and Dynamics Inc smart credit cards. While both were interesting, they relied on adapting a new piece of hardware (a complete system in the case of Leonar3Do and a new credit card in the case of Dynamics). This year, they have both adopted mobile versions which take away a bit of the barrier of entry. So while not new, they're definitely evolved. We were also seen the next generations of 3DTV, hi-definition (4k and even 8k resolution), and gesture/voice/NFC-based capabilities. Key takeaway is that in the past 5 years have seen the ubiquitous adoption of 2 completely new product segments (smartphones and tablets). The next 2-5 years will most likely not introduce a new device, but instead new ways of using, improving and integrating them into consumers' lives. 2nd Screen Advertising Platforms Samsung and Verizon (through a partnership with a company called Nantworks) both showcased a few cool advertising platforms which utilize tags on commercials which activate added content through a smartphone. As always, follow @AMP_Agency to get live updates from the show floor and the conference tracks and feel free to tweet at us to request details on anything you're interested in seeing. We'll do our best to be your eyes on the show floor.

When Reality is Boring: Augment It!

It's election time which means, among hours of black and white negative campaign ads, it's time for CNN to go overboard with a new technology that adds little value to their reporting. In 2008, it was the Magic Wall that was amazingly spoofed on SNL. This year, their new toy was augmented reality. Now, we can't hate on A.R. ' we love it, we've blogged about it multiple times, and it has even become an office meme to yell out 'Augmented Reality'? in brainstorms without additional information behind it. But, the point of this post isn't to talk about our love (gosh, it really is cool) or hate for A.R., but more to discuss the use of new technology and marketing as a whole. Every year there always seems to be a new 'it'? tactic that brands want to employ. This is great, brands who are constantly pushing the next technology are better for it. However, many times it happens for the wrong reason. It's not because it's an effective vehicle to deliver a brand message, but rather because they saw a competitor use it, or they read an article about it and absolutely need it; NOW. As with anything; using it for the sake of using it without thinking about if it makes sense, or adds value to your consumers, is pointless. Seriously CNN, no one would think less of you if you simply showed a graph with an anchor voice-over. Was there any value added to your viewers by sticking your anchor behind a series of Tetris-like blocks? Absolutely not. So here's the learning. Push your brand, try new technology. When done right, it can create a great consumer experience and have a lasting effect on your brand. But understand that sometimes the best ideas are not simply based on the use of a new medium but come when we execute an older or traditional marketing channel really well, or in a way that no one has ever done.

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