CES 2015 Day One: A Kiwi in Vegas...

VMob Business Strategy Director Christopher Dawson offers his thoughts on the Consumer Electronics Show - live from Las Vegas...

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is being held in Las Vegas this week and you could be forgiven for thinking that the C stood not for consumer but for connected; maybe one day it will if B.K Yoon, the head of Samsung’s Consumer Electronics Division gets his way.

In a keynote speech to open the conference he stated that by 2017 90% of all Samsung electronic products would be connected, supporting the expectations of experts like Jeremy Rifkin that the Internet of Things is set to start ramping up.

Rifkin joined B.K Yoon on stage during the keynote telling the audience that we are on the cusp of a great economic transformation and that the Internet of Things will improve the lives of billions of people.

IoT is already unquestionably the biggest theme of this years show. Exhibitors will need to do a great job demonstrating the value that consumers can get from connected devices.

While a fridge that knows you’re out of milk is good in theory there are well documented challenges relating to universal standards, security and data privacy.

The more value that businesses and consumers see in connected devices the more demand there will be and the more incentive there will be for manufacturers to quickly address these challenges.

I’m here at CES, to see how some of these connected devices could help marketers improve customer experience and increase sales within the travel, retail and hospitality sector.

I spoke to a great team of guys from a start up based in Milwaukee. Their technology can be used to manage energy more efficiently.

And that seems to be a pretty big market judging by the amount of energy these Las Vegas hotels consume. Their connected thermostats help optimise energy consumption for hotels. Their technology detects occupancy and turns off the temperature control in unoccupied rooms, which can save hotels a lot of money apparently.

That’s all well and good but this isn’t the Connected Electronics Show, it is still the Consumer Electronics Show.

So what’s in it for the consumer? How does it benefit me as a guest? How does it improve my customer experience? I’d be really interested if it could recognise me and automatically set the room to my preferred temperature? Unfortunately it can’t. Not yet anyway.

Over the next couple of days I’ll be looking at some of the innovations on display here at CES and offering my thoughts on how marketers can best take advantage of the single biggest theme at CES this year – the Internet of Things.

By Christopher Dawson - Business Strategy Director, VMob