Key trends from CES 2016 worth a second look

The latest CES 2016 concluded last week, with a lot of consumer technologies being showcased. Unsurprisingly, as one of the largest technology exhibition, there comes a truckload of reporting from various publications.

Here's a list of favourites we picked for 2016.

360-degree Videos 

Cover every angle. Tell every story. With Facebook supporting 360-degree videos on its platform, we will likely see a trend in this area moving ahead, gaining even more momentum from last year.

Ahead of this, YouTube has also supported 360-degree videos. More new 360-degree cameras, in different form factors will be available soon for eg. the Giroptic 360-degree-view-camera and Nikon’s new 360 camera. This could lead to a new/other form of Selfie, into a SelVid, perhaps?

Couple of months back, we have created a 360 video for Future of Us exhibition:


Brand New, First Ever 360 VideoBeing all about the future, The Future of Us has sought to break new ground – and we did it! We’re the first exhibition in Singapore to showcase an immersive 360 video experience on Facebook.Try it: Play the video and watch it from different angles. If you’re viewing on a computer, click and drag with your mouse. If you’re a mobile user, you can simply tilt and navigate with your device.For a start, we’re “teleporting” you right into one of our domes – Home Tomorrow. Be our guest and get a preview of some of the interactive exhibits we have. Here's what other visitors have to say:"I was very amused and curious about the floating houses in Home Tomorrow. That is something that you only see in sci-fi movies. But the guides then shared with me that the floating houses were an artistic interpretation of a child's drawing of flying HDB. It was great to know that the exhibition isn't just what experts and professionals saw for the future, but also what children hope for their future. Visiting the exhibition, I think Home Tomorrow was about having a place for the future - young or old, rich or poor. You get to see all sorts of people drawn in the dome. You also see all sorts of people in the exhibition, interested about what the future holds."Sam, visitorThis video took our crew a lot of experimentation and hard work, but we think it’s all worthwhile if we can bring you a fresh new way to explore our exhibition. Of course, nothing beats the real experience, so hope to see you here at The Future of Us!Get your free tickets at the door or book now at*Do note that video is not viewable on Safari or Internet Explorer.

Posted by The Future of Us on Thursday, December 10, 2015

360-degree videos should not belong to only retail, property, tourism and hospitality industries. It can be a compelling story-telling tool for other brands.

Virtual Reality (VR) 

Anything is virtually possible. Things will likely get heated up with Facebook launching the Oculus Rift for pre-order and several other products already in the market: for example the launches of Samsung Gear as well as HTC Vive.

Several reviews claimed HTC Vive brings so far the best experience for VR. With the inception of computers, users have so far interacted on a flat (or curved) surface. VR is set to significantly change content creation and design.

With this, plus the already launched consumer edition Oculus Rift and upcoming Microsoft Hololens, VR equipment is getting more accessible for everyday consumers.

While the different hardware become more affordable, content remains the crucial to such new offerings, leading to more potential for agencies to create innovative content.

Health and Fitness/Wearables

It’s the future to watch. With many nations around the world, especially in Asia experiencing ageing population, the next few innovation demonstrated by several brands will make possible many solutions for this one specific target users, the senior citizens.

The Withings Thermo takes about two seconds to read your temperature once it's pressed against your forehead. Your body temperature reads out in a dotted LED display. A small light on the front will blink green if our temperature registered as a healthy rate. On the other hand, a red light flashed will notify that you're in a less healthy condition. The companion app keeps track of your temperature over time. With a bit of different form factor, it can be used for senior citizens while integrating other apps to ease the recording/history as well as allow direct access by healthcare providers and family members.

Several health and fitness technologies are emerging with new and practical form factors and gaining more recognition from professional health organisations as well.

With the hardware getting smaller and more wearable, we have more opportunities within health and fitness space for more solutions through software integration. Several of the products are highly friendly for older users and senior citizens, and I can see this being a big part of Singapore's Smart Nation drive.

Smart Appliances and Internet of Things (IoT) 

Opening doors to smarter living. Smart Appliances and IoT may likely to be two concepts getting even closer to each other. While there has been many home security-related products we have seen over the past years, one which was reported at CES 2016 was Netatmo.

Netatmo Presence is a security camera presented by Netatmo can detect the different between a vehicle, an animals or a person by using a deep learning algorithm and alert home owner if one of those is seen.

If it’s reliable enough and it connects with your home hub, it could open your house gate when authorised via image recognition.There is possible use for a similar technology in retail such as for crowd monitoring.

Smart appliances are also widely seen to be demonstrated at different technology events. Maybe it’s not the technology itself connected to the web or apps, but more so on the trending needs of consumers trying to resolve their daily problems.

We see this leading to a trend towards the consumer needs for automation of their digital lifestyle for daily groceries through e-commerce.

There’s the LG Signature Refrigerator as well, but it’s more of a “Friendly” fridge that allows you to peek through the glass doors, or automatically open the door for you.

Brands other than Samsung and LG will join or are already on this route. Possibilities are there for more widely developed solutions that can adapt into any brands of fridge/appliances, accompanied with mobile app to fulfill the consumer’s demands and needs.

The aim is to create convenience for the consumer (without visiting the supermarket), issuing daily reminders or notification on replenishing “stocks".

We are looking forward to the day when supermarket chains partner with electronic brands and delivery services to make groceries shopping automated.

Digital and Out-Of-Home 

A whole new kind of canvas. While we pick our favourites, few other product innovation that caught our eyes relating to our own industry of digital marketing and advertising, are in the areas of potentials for Digital and Out Of Home (OOH). The advancements can be seen in Digital OOH advertising where such a medium might expand into other surfaces like cars, furniture and aircraft.

Smart Automobile/Intelligence 

The journey to the future has arrived. From Smart Home to Smart Nation, we see Smart Automobile technologies improving as we speak. Smart Automobile is already here, in different forms. Singapore LRT is one early form though not with overly smart features, but it is driverless. Gardens By The Bay is seen to be trying out more complex ones.

It’s a potential technology for tourism spots with guided/fixed routes. It’s also possible to be used for less speed-related purposes as the speed is still controlled.

The consumer electronic innovation is increasingly exciting over the past few years and it will continue to be.

While this serves as one of our sources of ideation focus, we have also embarked on several prototype sand proof-of-concept developments using several of them as part of our ongoing research and development activities in the agency.

The writer is Yeo Wee Lee, head of technology, TribalWorldwide Singapore.