What happens in Vegas…doesn’t always stay in Vegas. No, I’m not talking about blurry nights that end up on Facebook, I’m talking about the International Consumer Electronics Show, better known as CES. This event sponsored by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), broke records and inspired dreams. With an astounding 3100 exhibitors, 1.86 million square feet of space, and 153,00 attendees this showcase was hard to keep under wraps. One has to wonder, with all of that technology…how in the world do you set yourself apart? Some critics say that the show was over populated with 3D TVs, smart-phones, solar power, and tablets. Be that as it may, that does not discredit any of the technology or talent present. One presence that surprised many of the attendees was the automotive industry. Not a usually a front-runner, this industry caused quite the scene…on your dashboard, that is.
Mercedes-Benz showed off their newest technology that creates an augmented reality using icons and pictures similar to holograms. With the simple and natural gesture of pointing at a business or landmark, drivers will be able to receive more information. This could range from the history of a bridge to the table availability at a restaurant. Users will be able to make reservations and view venue details without ever leaving their car. Other players such as Ford, are developing technology that will benefits drivers in a more holistic approach by monitoring the health of their users. Kia is also testing a product that uses infrared LED cameras to determine driver alertness.
These types of new technology now make a consumer’s car a new place to get information. This could mean serious competition for smart-phones and in-dash platforms (let’s hope people aren’t using their tablets in the car). This could also mean potential for innovative advertisers to find a way into this space once the general public accepts the technology. Who knows, maybe we’ll never see a real billboard ever again, just augmented heliographic ones in our windshields. Welcome to the new age of auto-mobile marketing.
Contributed by Kara DeLost, Marketing Specialist