Top Trends from CES 2017

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My Predictions for 2018, & Impacts on Your Business!

Another CES has come to an end in Las Vegas. If you are not familiar with the event, CES has been held now for 50 years and is simply the largest event on the planet featuring all the latest technology and innovations from around the world. There is way more at the show than one can possibly digest, but I always come away with some key insights, trends, and observations. The following are ten key nuggets from CES as you think about your own innovation imperatives and strategic plans for 2017 and the years ahead. Here are my ten nuggets and what that means for you:

Top Ten Observations from 2017 CES

1. Huawei announced their Mate 9 Pro phone (fully charges in 20 minutes!) is coming to the U.S., and this summer it will also have Alexa integration. They partnered with both Amazon and Google to create this “intelligent phone,” not just a “smartphone.” Intelligent phones perform tasks for you and learn on the fly. Huawei is accelerating their innovations through partnerships and driving higher value to consumers.

2. There is a clear evolution from “smart” to “intelligent” products across all products. Many booths, products, and keynotes showcased intelligent products or integration with intelligent products to create better experiences for users and help them perform tasks easily and on the fly. It’s a strong move from being able to look up data to executing tasks enabled by AI and deep learning algorithms.

3. Carnival Cruise Line set a new standard in guest experience. Carnival has ten different cruise line brands, and they are elevating all of them. Their innovations around a new cruise experience and personalization at scale will be the new standard to chase across travel and other consumer verticals.

4. VR/AR/MR—it’s not just virtual reality anymore. It’s also mixed and augmented reality, and while they are similar, there are differences that have benefits depending on how you use this technology. It’s worth reading up on.

5. VR/AR/MR are all enabled by 5G, which touts 1 millisecond latency, making the transfer of data and graphics come through like you are really there. How we consume sports events alone will change forever. (Imagine watching your favorite player score, then clicking on him/her and looking up stats or other information—all from the viewpoint of the best seats in the stadium while sitting in your living room!)

6. One keynote talked about an evolution of value propositions—companies not just having a product or service, but the product/service that dominates will also have the best correlated database of information—the intelligence age.

7. You know of IOT, the Internet of Things. Here is a derivation: IOMT—the Internet of Medical Things, and it’s going to get huge. Consider bots that do medical procedures. When you have a bot doing a procedure, it leverages all the experience from all the other bots in the network that have done similar procedures and can interpret that data from all prior operations, new bulletins, and research that is available, not just a singular doctor’s experience.

8. Driver assist features continue to get better, and switching fluidly between auto-drive and self-driving will be simple. Mark Fields, CEO of Ford, predicts fully autonomous driving (no steering wheel, brake, or gas pedals) by 2021.

9. We are going to have to address societal impacts of some innovations, such as various bot applications and autonomous driving in the commercial trucking segment as those workers are displaced. While these innovations will certainly create more tech jobs, they will also displace some workers.

10. Security is a primary concern across many of these innovations, especially AR/VR/MR and auto spaces. Moving from detection to prevention and maintaining high security and privacy will be a challenge.

What That Means for You

1. “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.“—an African Proverb.

Partnerships are paramount! Like Huawei’s partnerships with Amazon and Google, look for a greater proliferation of more strategic partnerships to accelerate innovations in your business.

2. AI (artificial intelligence) and deep learning are here and now. 

This is no longer science fiction or moonshot projects. AI and deep learning algorithms will bring autonomous driving to the mass market faster and safer. AI and deep learning will also drive the revolution of “bots” that can execute tasks for us. What jobs in your business can bots add value to through cost, quality, or safety?

3. We are now in the “Intelligence Age.” 

It’s not enough to have a product or service; you need to provide data as part of the offering. Even our clothing (see Under Armour offerings) will be connected and use and provide data. What is your business’s data plan and how do you use, share, and protect that data?

My Predictions for CES 2018

  • You can’t ignore the benefits of autonomous driving, and it’s coming at a faster pace than many predicted.In one year, the lives saved could fill a stadium. While there are adoption and regulatory challenges, the overall value proposition is simply too compelling and the advances in AI are making cars very intelligent.
  • One of the key speakers for Carnival Cruise Line was their “chief experience and innovation officer.” I haven’t seen this title before, but I think it’s going to proliferate. It’s smart to innovate around the experience you give your customers, but to link the two imperatives together is a solid vision.
  • More on medical bots and data sharing. While the health summit at CES has gotten bigger over the years, I predict an epic jump forward. Adoption by patients being operated on by a bot will be a challenge for sure, but the benefits are too strong to ignore.
  • More “non-tech” companies will join the mix. In the same way Under Armour made a splash this year by integrating stronger technology into their “t-shirt and shoe” value proposition via their Recovery Sleepwear (thanks, Tom Brady), other companies will follow suit—the question is, who is next?

If you are not constantly innovating around your business’s value proposition, you are going to be left behind! There are many companies from around the world, some that may or may not even be in your industry, that are focused on creating innovation value right now! What is your innovation plan for 2017?

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About the Book:

Advancing Innovation: Galvanizing, Enabling & Measuring for Innovation Value! (Institute of Management Accountants, 2015, ISBN: 978-0-9967293-07, www.imanet.org/ivs) is a must-read how-to guide for fostering innovation in your organization. The book explains the significance and undeniable need for a yin and yang relationship referred to as “innovation governance.” Patrick Stroh outlines practical execution steps, downloadable forms, innovation insights, and introduces Innovation Value Score® (IVS), a proprietary measurement system to calculate, compare, and improve innovation value creation—which is now a must-have for organizational survival. The book is available at www.imanet.org/ivs.

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