A two-hour tour of the CES show floor will never cover enough ground. Nonetheless many agencies curate these jaunts for clients as a way to relieve marketers of the fear that a solo mission would lose them somewhere within Samsung's behemoth of a booth, never to be heard from again. These tours are also a good way for agencies to show off their tech savvy.
SapientNitro led roughly 20 clients and partners, including Chrysler, on such a tour. The expedition concentrated on six of the most talked-about exhibitions: LG, Dish Network, Cisco, Sony, Intel and Qualcomm. Demoed products spanned the requisite TVs that are more expensive than your car to a peek at a perhaps too-connected future.
Here are the highlights, followed by an interview with 4A's Chief Digital Officer Chick Foxgrover on his favorites from the tour.
Curved TVs are the thing to show off this year. Their purpose has something to do with peripheral vision and close-proximity viewing creating a more immersive experience. Or it's simply companies saying, "Hey, we can bend stuff!"
Old-school, stat-averse baseball fans might riot over LG's new smart TVs. The rest of us will ask our fantasy baseball commissioners if overlaying pitch probabilities during live baseball games qualifies as performance enhancement.
LG also had paper-thin but curved smartphone prototypes on hand. They may be our best hope in the fight to eradicate skinny jeans.
Dish Network seems to believe Americans don't already watch too much TV (but do watch too many commercials). Download recorded shows to your computer? Check. A second-screen app for show recommendations from friends? Check. A wall of TVs for reporters to catch up on SportsCenter? Check.
Dish Network even offers a home automation system that puts a camera at your front door and will stream the Jehovah's Witnesses knocking on it straight to your TV. In case that's not yet a reality show.
Cisco demonstrated how the "Internet of Things" might eventually play out. It was perturbingly awesome and creepy and awesome again. The demo involved a mother being able to track -- from her office desk -- a school bus dropping off her son at a friend's house, then being alerted that the boy is reaching for a piece of food he's allergic to. The NSA will love this so much.
At one point a sensor-sporting basketball entered the room and the TV suggested watching an NBA game. I would buy that basketball today.
Sony has really high-resolution TVs. Too bad this photo was taken on a smartphone.
This is how Sony plans to make watching this year's World Cup more social. Because the world's most popular sport needs the help.
Odds this guy is napping instead of "enjoying an immersive entertainment experience"?
It's hard to make processor chips exciting. Still not sure what this is, but doesn't the booth's blue hue make it look super futuristic?
"Minority Report" made it seem cool to control screens with the wave of a hand and check up on bad guys. Intel showed how deejays can use that same tech to drop some sick beats. If Star Trek and Harry Potter and Avicii had a baby…
These people are also napping.
Again processor chips can be a snooze. Formula 1 race cars cannot.