Tag Archives: product development

Consumer Electronics Show 2022 Tackles the Future of Tech

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is one of the largest and most influential showcases in the world for introducing innovative technology products from around the globe. Even during the ongoing pandemic, the Las Vegas-based show brought in nearly 45,000 attendees to the show floor. Plenty of people also ‘attended’ online with companies showing both concepts and real-life products. Attendees arrived from 119 countries to engage with emerging technologies and products across 11 different indoor and outdoor venues.

A diverse group of 2,300 companies (including 800 start-ups from 19 countries) showcased the latest innovations in the metaverse, NFTs, cryptocurrency, sustainability, wellness, transportation, entertainment, robotics, automotive, consumer goods, and more. And while the metaverse may be mostly just a concept today, CES illustrated how the building blocks it needs are already around, including blockchain, cloud, AR, VR, 5G, and more.

The show also provided looks at products in the marketplace as well as products-yet-to-be-launched in categories including:

  • Wellness and beauty
  • Smart devices for the home
  • Content creation
  • NFTs and crypto
  • Healthcare
  • Shopping and ecommerce
  • Artificial intelligence
  • eSports and sports tech
  • FinTech
  • Food tech
  • Pet tech
  • Workplaces
  • And of course – robots!

One of my personal favorites – BMW’s color-changing car!

What’s your favorite innovation from CES?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:  

  1. Discuss the purpose of CES show and how innovation fits into it.
  2. Also discuss the use of trade shows and exhibits as part of a marketing plan.
  3. Show a summary video about COVID-19 products at CES from the Wall Street Journal – CES in photos: https://www.wsj.com/story/ces-2022-in-photos-a-strange-time-for-the-worlds-biggest-tech-show-a247b630?mod=djemfoe
  4. Additional summary videos can be found on YouTube, such as: https://youtu.be/GAzygeV_AsM
  5. View the CES Web site: https://www.ces.tech/
  6. Divide students into teams. Have each team select a product featured at CES.
  7. Instruct students to research the products online, and define a target market for the product?
  8. Which ones do they think will be winners in the marketplace? What products miss the mark?

Source:  C/NET; TechRadar; The Verge; Wall Street Journal; other news sources

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Look – up in the sky – it’s a blimp!

How did you travel on your last vacation? Probably via car or airplane. Are you ready for another way to travel? Then perhaps it’s time to consider blimps. We’re used to seeing blimps in the air as floating billboards used to advertise brands (Ex: Goodyear Blimp). But, blimps – also known as airships – have more utility than just advertising. Several companies are now exploring the use of airships for passenger travel and other uses.

Marketing passenger travel by airship will be tricky though. Airships have a negative stigma attached, and have not been used for passenger travel since 1937 after 36 people died when the Hindenburg airship burst into flames shortly before landing. It was a horrific event that still lives on in memory.

Today’s airships promise to be quite different though. They have the ability to fly for days using helium to stay aloft and can takeoff and land without a runway. Airships are also more environmentally sustainable with fewer carbon emissions than airplanes, plus the interiors are spacious and quiet.

Several companies are exploring new technologies and use of airships. One of those, OceanSky Cruises, compares the travel to that of a cruise ship, but must faster. The airship is 320-feet long with guest cabins, restaurant, and bar. Since it flies at lower altitudes than airplanes, it boasts floor-to-ceiling windows for viewing the landscape. A North Pole voyage is planned for 2024 – at a price tag of $232,845 for a two-person cabin!

How would you like to travel by airship?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Start by discussing current ways to travel. What are negatives and positives of each mode?
  2. View OceanSky’s website: https://www.oceanskycruises.com/
  3. A video of the new airship can be seen at: https://youtu.be/QuM-gFJRhlY
  4. If students are not familiar with the Hindenburg disaster, show a video of the event: https://youtu.be/A7Ly1Oh-xvs
  5. Divide students into teams: Have each team identify the constraints that might keep people from using airships.
  6. What adjustments are needed in marketing airship travel versus airplane travel?
  7. Have each team develop a marketing campaign for the new flights.

Source:  New York Times

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Amazon’s Newest Products

Ready for a robot in your home? Amazon thinks you might find it useful, along with several other new product updates to its Echo brand. The new products seem to focus in integration with other Amazon products. (For example, a new Ring Alarm Pro meshes with the Eero Wi-Fi router.)

Another of the products include:

  • Amazon’s Smart Thermostat. The thermostat links with Alexa for commands, and also adjust temperature when you are out of the house. Cost: $59.99
  • The new Echo Show 15 is a 15.6-inch smart frame that can be mounted on a wall or placed on a stand to show the family calendar, notes, and stream different content. It can also recognize your face and show content personalized for the viewer. Cost: $249.99.
  • Capitalizing on the home fitness trend, the new Halo View fitness band has a built-in display and can access studio workouts and meal planning tools. Cost: $3.99/month after the first year with purchase of the fitness band.
  • Other new products include Amazon Glow interactive projector for kids, Ring Alarm Pro, Disney virtual assistant, and Alexa Together remote care subscription service.

But our favorite might just be Astro, the home robot. Astro has a cute looking monitor as it rolls around the house and can be commanded by Alexa. Astro can have pre-set routine household patrols (on one floor only, no stairs) and uses a periscope with a 12-megapixel camera that can be raised to 42-inches. It can create a 3-D map of the house so it can be dispatched to various rooms on command. Sensors keep it from crashing into people and walls. But the best feature – a cargo bin so that small items (such as cans of beverages) can be transported to humans who are in another room. Cost: $999.99 to a limited number of invites.

Hmmm. I can see it now –  “Astro, bring me a drink during the football game.”

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the importance of product development and innovation.
  2. Amazon is usually considered only as a retailer. Why is it investing so much in new product development?
  3. Show video of Amazon’s latest product launch: https://youtu.be/nOYctKrANxQ
  4. The announcements can be accessed at: https://www.aboutamazon.com/news/devices/amazon-devices-services-news-september-2021
  5. A short video on Astro: https://youtu.be/h-2LXb-0Rfs
  6. Divide students into teams and assign each team one of the products. Have students determine the target market for the products. How should the product be promoted?

Source:  Amazon; New York Times; Wall Street Journal; other news sources

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