What CES2015 tells us about the future?

By Tom Kelshaw (@tomkelshaw), Director of Technology at Metalworks by Maxus 

The stand-out emergence for #CES2015 for me was the further development of ecosystems around tech from previous years. Yes, we saw more wearables, smart home devices, Virtual Reality (VR) accessories and drones. But now there are significant ecosystems being developed around this technology that ensure they'll accelerate beyond prototype to early adoption in 2015.

Next-level storytelling via Virtual Reality (VR)

Oculus Rift, Samsung's GearVR  and no-frills option Google Cardboard started creeping into entertainment campaigns in 2014. In 2015, the ecosystem around immersive experience tech strengthened via:

* HEXO+: 360 degree stereoscopic cameras, which shoot VR-ready footage


* 4K drones by Parrot & DJI, for use in GearVR-ready animation: http://www.dji.com/product/inspire-1

* Binaural surround sound headphones & software, which adjusts as you move your head, creating a realistic sound-stage: http://realspace3daudio.com/demos/

* Youtube announced a 360 degree Immersive function: http://gizmodo.com/youtube-will-soon-support-360-degree-video-uploads-1677627074

* Samsung's Milk app includes Immersive Video as standard: http://www.samsung.com/us/showcase/milk-video/


Add-ons for upgrading everything

I was impressed by "add-on tech" this year. It can be significantly cheaper, and thus reach a higher audience, to upgrade existing ecosystems with technology through add-ons. 

* Kairos Smart-watch-band: Smart watches were everywhere at CES2015, but many people like their old dumb-watch. Upgrading via a Smart-Strap adds NFC, Bluetooth, Notifications, Fit-bit-like sensors... all whilst keeping your classic timepiece.


* ConnectedBike pedals: Don't throw away your perfectly good bike! Just add these new pedals that offer performance tracking sensors and theft protection via GPS.

* Seek thermal camera: Aimed at home-owners who want to avoid costly heating leakages, the Thermal camera works with any smartphone to give you Predator-style heat vision.


Watch this space: Chillhub SmartFridge

The "internet-connected fridge" is a long-running punchline of over-engineered and probably useless gadgets from CES. But the Chillhub smart fridge concept re-thinks the idea by extending the smart fridge via an open-source USB-powered hub with plug-in peripherals.

* Online community for designing and developing add-ons such as freshness indicators, recipe suggestion etc: https://firstbuild.com/bpwagner/chillhub/

* Korean startup Penguin Sensor is already investigating incorporating their organic food test gadget to the fridge: http://penguinsensor.com

* Will one of your brands be the first to announce an add-on camera that analyses what's in the fridge to create a shopping list or even shop online for you? Why not?

The Implication 

How are your brands working with products, services and stories that are involved in these ecosystems?

Are they experimenting, adopting, or better yet adding to them?

If you're curious how, speak to us about it.

Extras: Our Tweets on #CES2015 from Twitter