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don’t miss these CES 2017 highlights

Every January, over 150,000 people make the pilgrimage to Las Vegas to attend International CES (previously known as the Consumer Electronics Show.)  Far from being an expo of electronic gadgets, it’s an exciting, inspiring, and (over)stimulating way to experience all things tech.  There is so much to see (new products on the show floor like the OLED TV from Sony), to hear (keynote presentations from execs such as Ford Motor Co. CEO Mark Fields), and to learn (from sessions including “The Challenges Facing an Artificially Intelligent World”).  But beyond all the typical announcements, demos, and content, I’m always on the lookout for technology that consumer marketers need to know about.

Here are three picks for International CES 2017 highlights you don’t want to miss:

1. Automotive highlights at CES 2017

As consumer electronics brands have become quite predictable, automotive brands have become the most exciting innovators at CES in recent years.  You can find exhibits for most of the major brands including Ford, Toyota, and Mercedes-Benz on the show floor in the North Hall.

BMW will be introducing its HoloActive Touch system, a Minority Report-like free-floating touch and gesture-controlled display interface between the driver and vehicle.  Be sure to check out the booth from Faraday Future, where the highly anticipated high-performance electric vehicle production car is set to be unveiled.  The brand seems to be mounting a direct challenge to Tesla, so Faraday Future will likely make for juicy tech news in the weeks to come.

Also check out the Self-Driving Technology Marketplace just outside the North Hall, where you’ll be able to experience innovations from Hyundai, NVIDIA, and more.

2. Health and Fitness Highlights at CES 2017

Whether it’s activity tracking wearables, IoT devices, smart fabrics, or enhanced training systems, health and fitness technology continues to invade the lives of mainstream consumers, so it’s always interesting to see the latest developments at CES.

There are several venues to discover new health and fitness products and hear speakers and panels discuss trends and case studies.

  • FitnessTech Summit — Check out sessions on topics including how the technology that fueled Olympic athletes is being integrated for consumers, what AR and VR can bring to the world of fitness, and fitness as a company initiative, and then head over to the exhibit area in Sands, Level 2, Halls A-D to try out cool tech that will help you exercise, play, perform, sleep, eat, and live better.
  • Digital Health Summit — This summit covers the role of technology in advancing modern medicine, healthcare, and wellness.  You can hear execs from Philips, UnitedHealth Group, and GE Ventures talk about the big business of digital health.
  • The Sports Tech Conference — Learn about the impact of big data and how athletes have been connected on and off the field and how sports training has been aided by technology.
  • Plus, there’s the Lifestyle Technology Conference Track, WearableTech Marketplace, BeautyTech Marketplace, and the keynote by Under Armour founder and CEO Kevin Plank discuss his brand’s learnings from the 180 million members of its digital health and fitness community — the largest of its kind in the world.

3. Marketing Highlights at CES 2017

Brand marketers have attended CES for years as hawkers of their companies’ products, but a couple of years ago, they started participating in and advancing the conversation about technology and how it has transformed the way companies reach, connect with, and engage their customers.

C Space, located at the Aria hotel, was created as a venue for agencies, social networks, digital publishers, entertainment professionals, and marketing executives to share best practices, new capabilities, and challenging ideas.   This year it features a keynote by Barry Diller, media mogul and chairman and chief executive of Expedia, and includes a new Chief Digital Officer Brand Summit conference track which looks like it could reveal some insights about the new marketing landscape, which sessions on the sharing economy, AI, and 5G.

More CES related content:

To Stay Relevant, Professional Associations Must Rebrand
Wearables Keep Consumers Fit
Three of the Coolest Things I Saw at CES 2015

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