CES – adding some new colours to our creative pallette

So, once again we find ourselves in January; the post-Christmas gout aching in our feet and another three months until the merest rumour of sunlight.

But let’s not get depressed by our Mordor-grey skies and doomed attempts at New Year abstinence, for shining like a sunset strip in the Nevada desert of January is CES, the mother of all tech trade shows taking place in Las Vegas this week.

As well as providing any gadget lover with enough titillation to last at least 12 months, CES also provides a preview of some of the innovative tech that could be put to use for creative comms campaigns in the year ahead.

So let’s set our January salads aside for five minutes and take a look at some of the cooler gear winging its way to your creative toolbox.

  • Clever timing  – OK, so smart watches made a splash in 2014 but for the most part they were a bit too clunky to really catch on. This year new, much cooler designs like those launched by Withings might well see these clever timepieces make the big time (pun intended) and that means us communicators have a whole new channel for reaching our audiences. 2015 could well be the year that we see brands incorporate smart watches into their campaigns for everything from data collection to gamification, so watch out (that one was an accident)!
  • Getting customers in the mood – One very interesting/potentially terrifying piece of technology to come out of CES this week is from Thync. Looking like something from a cross between Buck Rodgers and 1984, this bit of kit promises to put people in a good mood by signalling to relevant parts of the brain. Now, while IW will stick to the traditional means of altering its mood (whisky), Thync offers easy coverage to any brand that wants to be the first to use it. I can see, for example, an air carrier launching it on flights to keep cattle-class customers entertained, or a cinema chain using it as the first true ‘4D’ experience. The possibilities are endless…
  • Robo-comms– At the close of 2014 IW covered the first tentative PR fumblings into the virgin territory of robotics. As the tech continues to mature there are going to be an increasing number of ways we can use this technology for PR campaigns. Take these awesome robotic screens from CES – while intended for concerts there will be plenty of applications for grabbing attention in large public spaces.  With a huge variety of automata and drones being launched at CES we can expect to see a range of companies putting our metallic friends to a wide range of PR uses next year


The output from CES suggests that whatever your communications requirements 2015 will open up a new and exciting range of possibilities. So here is to a creative (and prosperous) New Year!