Tech with good intentions: Key takeaways from CES 2024

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CES 2024 was always going to be special, but this year saw a number of key shifts that have set the agenda for where global technology goes next.

Here Dan Pike, CPO, Covatic digs deeper into some of the top trends that surfaced at CES 2024 …

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Dan Pike, Covatic

CES 2024

The innovations showcased at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) exemplified the accelerating industry-wide shift towards AI implementation, consumer-centricity, and smart automotives.

The world’s biggest technology event was also a testament to the rising trend towards using tech for good.

Whether this be through solving accessibility challenges, addressing privacy expectations, or increasing personalisation, CES demonstrated that pioneers within the technology and advertising industries are increasingly aligned on their intentions.

AI is driving real change in everyday experiences

As we move past the initial buzz of AI and towards its real impact, the versatile technology is quickly becoming integrated into consumers’ daily lives to enable more responsible, and inclusive consumer devices.

Samsung, for example, unveiled a new TV set that can be controlled with sign language – using advancements in identifying and understanding human gestures. It can also turn text subtitles into spoken words in real time.

The smart device employs a built-in AI processor that automatically upscales low-resolution content into 8K quality media and sharpens moving images.

Samsung also showcased significant updates to its AI-powered companion robot, Ballie, which can now project images and videos on walls; allowing users to access information, enjoy personalised services, and interact with other smart devices.

The tech giant affirmed its commitment to helping its devices learn how to understand and support users’ daily lives better, particularly by enabling improved AI integration through the use of spatial AI and Light Detection and Ranging (LiDar) technology.

Amid conversations about the risks of AI to jobs, wellbeing, and even humanity itself, much of the technology showcased at CES demonstrated that AI can also be a force for good, for example, by addressing the accessibility needs of audiences who might otherwise be excluded from the benefits of advances in media and technology.

Image by Lukas from Pixabay
AI Robot: CES 2024 saw much talk of AI’s promise.

Letting the customer lead

Brands and media companies are cognisant that understanding and responding to customers’ needs and behaviour is the path to delivering better experiences.

Many attendees demonstrated this approach throughout the event.

For example, Disney presented its latest research, Generation Stream, which reminded us that most families (77%) watch specific shows, seasonal content, or sports together as a communal rather than just an individual activity.

Even though streaming allows for a highly personal viewing experience, certain types of content do regularly still bring families together.

The challenge for advertisers is how to target and measure these co-viewing groups among family, friends, and households. This is a very different context to mobile, for example, where you can assume a single user is behind the screen.

Brands that understand the need to work with these viewing patterns, will be able to maximise engagement with their target audiences.

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Streaming in: Marketers need to keep innovating around TV content.

Marketers must continually test, assess, and adopt innovations that enable them to optimise their operations.

Leading advertising technologies, including those powered by AI, will play an increased role in automating and streamlining the customer experience.

By understanding consumer behaviours with granular precision, personalised ads can be implemented at scale in real-time.

Smart auto tech is making moves

Thanks to the increasingly connected nature of modern cars, in-car infotainment has evolved from passive audio offerings that advertisers could use only for generic radio ads to a rich environment, enabling marketers to tap into location-based and personalised offerings.

Now, the in-car experience is as connected as the in-home experience with audio, video, text, and images used to reach audiences.

These opportunities can be targeted to highly engaged users, right down to the type of car they’re driving, where they’re driving it, and their specific interests and needs.

Research from Futuresource, presented at the event, found that Apple CarPlay is currently installed in 98% of new cars sold in the US, while Google’s Android Auto is in 200 million cars worldwide.

A total of 60% of all cars sold in Western markets in 2024 are projected to run an Android-based infotainment system.

As cars incorporate these smart technologies, further opportunities will open up for advertisers to reach audiences with targeted and contextually relevant content.

One technology already pushing the boundaries of in-car infotainment and interactivity over the past five years is voice assistance, which has rapidly grown in popularity in that time.

Image by Lee Rosario from Pixabay
Info-driven: In car infotainment a major talking point at CES 2024.

In the automotive sector, marketers will also seek to tap into seamless experiences where consumers can enter their vehicles and become fully immersed; able to choose and enjoy what they want to experience, whether that be gaming, video streaming, music, or online shopping.

The event proved that tech and advertising leaders are increasingly aligned on their intentions: to make it easier for consumers to decide what they want to engage with, to provide streamlined, interconnected customer experiences with smart devices, and to drive AI innovation that helps users with everyday tasks.

However, while consumers will be excited by the new technologies available to them, they will still have concerns about if and how their personal data is being used to achieve a more connected experience.

This needs to be at the forefront of marketers’ minds if they want to make the most of new tech opportunities; finding a balance between reaching the right audience and doing it in a responsible way.