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CES Internet of Things

How brands can use the latest tech to come out of CES

By Mike Reynolds, senior mobile executive

January 12, 2015 | 4 min read

There is no real surprise that the main theme to come out of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this year is the internet of things (IoT).

Storedot's 30-second charger in action

The term IoT is one which has been talked a lot about over the past 12 months and something which I touched on in a blog about where mobile is headed in 2015. What it means is ‘things’, or ‘everything’, becoming a computer. There is an argument to suggest that actually everything doesn’t need to become a computer, and I’d have to somewhat agree with this train of thought. However, what is really exciting is developments in areas which have genuine benefits to people.

One company that launched its new health monitoring wearable device at CES was Masimo. Coined the MightySat, the wearable device which fits on the end of the user’s fingertip measures oxygen saturation as well as blood flow and pulse. Having a personal device that keeps a track on your health could prove invaluable from a medical perspective, with the view to having a proactive approach to the prevention of illness.

For brands to start leveraging the IoT opportunity there needs to be widespread consumer adoption. There are a few reasons why I think this hasn’t happened yet. The main one is the fact that we’re not quite there yet from an ‘it just works’ perspective. At the moment everything sits in isolation, which unless you’re a very early adopter, means becoming more connected isn’t as simple as it sounds. Making it easy for consumers is key, and I think will be the logical next step for IoT. When this happens we’ll see more and more brands incorporating technology into their products.

In other CES news, something which caught my eye was a new battery charger which can refill an empty phone in just 30 seconds! That’s pretty impressive and something that could further our love affair with mobile devices. It’s been developed by Israeli start-up Storedot, which is backed by Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich. One area I think it could prove to be a catalyst to is enabling people to take more selfies...sorry, I mean mobile payments. Battery life of smartphones has always been a barrier to the growth of mobile payments, however this piece of kit solves the battery life problem. Could 2015 see mobile payments hit the mainstream?

Another notable announcement came from Samsung with the release of its Tizen operating system for all of its new smart TVs. For me, the most interesting evolution from the old operating system is the emphasis on making it easier for consumers to connect their TV to smartphones and tablets, giving people the ability to watch live TV on their devices even when their TV is turned off. I think it’s a really ‘smart’ move from Samsung and further highlights the migration from traditional media consumption into a digital world.

So it’s been another brilliant year for tech innovation at CES. It’s going to be really interesting to see just how many of these new products cut through and hit the mainstream over the next few years. I’m looking forward to seeing how the digital advertising industry, and brands in particular, embrace this new wave of technology to further enhance customer experiences.

Mike Reynolds is senior mobile executive at the IAB

CES Internet of Things

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