CES 2011: the connected everything

CES 2011 was a watershed year for the concept of an internet connection in an ever growing number of devices and places that previously existed well below the radar of anything remotely associated with “consumer.”

CES saw the introduction of even more tablet computers and the usual run of bigger, thinner TVs but the real story was the concept that everything is connected to the internet now.  On the home front LG introduced Thinq, a system for connected and managing all of your home appliances and entertainment systems, including of course power management to make sure that you are running the clothes washer at the most optimal time in terms of energy cost.

LG Thinq from Engadget

LG Thinq from Engadget

Closer to the living room, it was a big year for the idea of the connected TV.  After the bomb that was 3D TV last year, this year focused on the TV having an ethernet connection and plugging directly into the internet.  It may not seem  like much but this is a highly disruptive development for anyone that makes a box that sits next to the TV or even anyone that is in the business of providing content to those TVs. Now, along with companies like Apple and Google,  the device manufacturer is back in the drivers seat.  The only question is, since its been so long since the manufacturers had any power in the equation, will they be able to capitalize on it against some fierce competition.

Vizio Internet Apps

Vizio Internet Apps

Connected TVs at CES:

In the past, most companies at CES were talkig about the battle for the living room.  This year’s crew takes it up several notches and is looking for the full monty of the connected home.  Companies from LG and  GE to Verizon are looking to provide end to end management of your home, from appliances, to entertainment, power management and car charging.

Connected Home at CES 2011

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4UbTbJdXNDA&feature=player_embedded

Ford Focus iPhone charging app

Ford Focus iPhone charging app

Wait, what?  Car charging? That’s right, 2011 is also the year of the electric, connected car.  With most people spending time between home and work, where they already have internet connections, the car has been the most logical environment to get connectivity for a while now.  At CES 2011, those dreams of internet enabled cars finally started to see the light of day.  Not only will your car be connected, it may very well be an electric only(ish) car that you plug into your home power system to charge at night. Clearly that will require some data management tools that can be accessed via your iPhone.

Key note speeches:

Connected cars at CES 2011:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4gVMTiahx8

CES 2011 was a big divergence from past years and introduced many new platforms for consumer engagement and empowerment. For agencies this means in addition to thinking about how to provide effective advertising and business solutions to computers and mobile devices, now we have to consider TV apps, connected home systems and connected cars as potential messaging and transactional environments.