How marketers can avoid a tech monstrosity

Marketing Week 04 Feb 2019 07:00

When Joan the cavewoman rubbed two sticks together and made fire for the 100th time, she groaned. All she wanted was for the sticks to light up digitally and tell her tomorrow’s weather forecast so she’d know whether to pack an umbrella for her hunt.

Throwing them into the flames and cursing, she dreamed of a day when humans would have sticks with interactive user interfaces, before falling into a wild and fantastical dream about a world filled with walking cars, super-speed toothbrushes, self-lacing shoes and smart sex toys.

Little did she know that she was actually dreaming about 2019’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), which saw hundreds of thousands of marketers and tech enthusiasts descend upon Las Vegas to find out what the next big thing in tech might be (or at least play around with some cool gadgets).

Skin printers, artistic robots, bendy phones, shape-shifting TVs, breath-test gadgets that tell you what to eat, clever doorbells and, yes, a ‘smart’ plank of wood called Mui; this year’s tech on show ranged from ‘wow’ to ‘why’ to ‘WTF’. And again the global event has sparked the debate around what is actually worthwhile innovation and what is just tech porn.

As we have seen time and time again, turning the shiny and the new into a meaningful consumer proposition is a whole different ball game – especially when people are becoming increasingly apathetic with technology unless it actually adds value to their lives.

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