To say that “audio is having a moment” would be an understatement. Every year, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) introduces us to new gadgets and identifies important tech trends. This event isn’t just for tech junkies though, thousands of brand marketers and advertising agencies travel to Las Vegas as well to discuss new trends and what they mean for reaching consumers.
"As technology weaves more intricately into our daily lives and consumer adoption continues to grow, CES’s packed show floor—clocking in at 2.5 million square feet across 11 venues, to be exact—has become a bit of a running joke for marketers in recent years. Advertisers know well that 90 percent of the products (think smart litter boxes or noise-canceling devices connected by Bluetooth) they see during the weeklong event won’t go mainstream. But this year, they’re particularly bullish on the other 10 percent, namely voice and artificial intelligence." — AdWeek
Amazon and Google showed up this year, as well. It’s no wonder why marketers are rushing to figure out voice strategies. Reaching consumers in a screenless world is a whole new ballgame for many, but smart speakers and digital assistants are taking over making audio driven advertising more important.
Highlights from the show floor:
Here are a few CES highlights from our SVP of Product and Engineering, Torsten Schulz, who spent a few days roaming the show floors.
Cars become a consumer electronic
You know it’s a big deal when CES dedicates an entire hall to it, right? Everybody has embraced that the connected car is coming. Several major auto brands announced partnerships with Amazon and Microsoft to put AI systems into vehicles.
Last fall, Ford went a step further, allowing drivers to order Starbucks using Alexa. “We don’t want to distract drivers,” said James Buczkowski, who heads up advanced engineering at Ford. We don’t want to annoy drivers, but we do want to create value for consumers—what they need and when they need it.” — AdWeek
Every speaker is smart
Similar to recent years, CES was full of audio, but this year the audio was extra smart. Smart is almost a synonym for Internet of Things at this point. It was everywhere, from speakers with AI assistants to talking robots.
While the growth of smart speakers is a given, the Consumer Technology Association issued some shocking numbers in a forecast from CES. Sales of voice-controlled speakers (think Amazon Echo or Google Home) increased 279% last year and are projected to reach sales of 44 million units this year. That’s a 60% increase!
AI and robotics are almost mainstream
We’re starting to see more robots too, but it’s still a fairly small scene at CES. We think that’s going to change. In a few years, we think robots will have their own hall at CES like cars did this year.
2018 is shaping up to be a big year for audio and we’re excited to be riding the wave. Did you attend CES? If so, we’d love to hear your audio predictions? Connect with us on twitter!