Tag Archives: technology

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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Hertz Bets Big on EVs and Tesla

Has the time for electric vehicles (EV) finally arrived? After all, EV automobiles are not a new concept and have been sold for many years by a number of auto manufacturers. But they have not yet taken off into a mass consumer market.

But now, EV sales are certainly growing with a large purchase of 100,000 Tesla cars by Hertz for a reported price of $4.2 billion. Showing support for the purchase is Uber, which committed to renting up to half of that order for its drivers. Consumers often state that a positive rental experience made them consider purchasing the model as well. The market for Hertz is not only current Tesla owners who want to rent Tesla when they travel, but also consumers who have wanted to test drive an EV Tesla for an extended period of time.

Current global market estimates are that EV market growth will go from roughly $246 billion in 2020 to $1.3 trillion by 2028. The growth is fueled in part by  the requirement to lower carbon emissions, as well as increasing fuel prices. However, a limiting factor is the low number of charging stations; mileage between charges continues to be a factor impacting sales.

A bonus for Tesla (aside from a sticker-price buy) is the advertising that Hertz will do for the rentals. Hertz is planning an advertising campaign with quarterback Tom Brady to promote EV rentals. The company will also install thousands of EV chargers at it locations globally.

Tesla famously does not purchase advertising, instead relying on its store-fronts, word-of-mouth, and the strong social media presence of Elon Musk  who has 54 million followers on Twitter.

Hertz also gains from the deal. It filed for bankruptcy in May 2020, but emerged from bankruptcy a few months ago, just as travel started to grow again in the U.S. After shedding old inventory during bankruptcy, the company is now poised to be one of the newest and most relevant car rental agencies.

Ready to rent?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. View the Hertz news release: https://newsroom.hertz.com/2021-10-25-Hertz-Invests-in-Largest-Electric-Vehicle-Rental-Fleet-and-Partners-with-Seven-Time-Super-Bowl-Champion-Tom-Brady-to-Headline-New-Campaign
  2. A news video is available: https://youtu.be/gr6nLPUqzW0
  3. Discuss how to build and use a SWOT analysis grid: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (internal and external factors).
  4. For Hertz car rentals, break students into teams and have each team build a SWOT analysis grid.
    1. Strengths: What is the company good at?
    1. Weaknesses: What needs work?
    1. Opportunities: What is going on in marketplace?
    1. Threats: What should company be wary of?
  5. You might repeat the SWOT exercise using Tesla. What are the company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
  6. Based on the analysis, what are the issues and risks that might occur for Hertz with its purchase of Tesla cars?
  7. Same question for Tesla: What are the issues and risks?

Source: Assoc. Press; CNBC; Fortune Business Insights; New York Times; Tech Crunch; Wall Street Journal; other news sources

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New Smart Glasses from Ray-Ban and Facebook

First there was Google Glass, then Snap entered the video glass frame market with Spectacles. Now, Facebook and Ray-Ban have partnered on new smart sunglasses called Ray-Ban Stories with a camera built into the glass frame.

The Wayfarer-looking glass frames have a 5-megapixel camera to record whatever you are looking at. All the user has to do is tap the side of the glasses to take a photo or 30-second video. The frames also hold micro-speakers, microphones, and a computer processing chip. The eyewear can also answer phone calls and play music or podcasts.

The vision (no pun intended) behind the new smart glasses is to enable people to capture the moment that they are in and then post it to Facebook. Unlike the weird-looking Google Glass, the project was focused first on fashion and design, and then on the technology.

Priced at $299, the glasses also come with a charging case. When fully charged, the glasses can be used for six hours. There is also voice activation available using Facebook Assistant and paired with your phone. A small light on the frame front goes on when the glasses are recording, but the small light is hard to see, thus there are privacy concerns when recording.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss smart glasses with students. What problems do they solve?
  2. Poll students: Who would be willing to buy smart glasses? Why or why not?
  3. Show the product on the Ray Ban website: https://www.ray-ban.com/usa/discover-ray-ban-stories/clp
  4. Show the WSJ video of the glasses in action: https://www.wsj.com/video/series/joanna-stern-personal-technology/ray-ban-and-facebooks-camera-equipped-sunglasses-cool-yes-creepy-yes/94A651AF-2320-43D7-AFEC-78C307FAAE00?mod=djemfoe
  5. Discuss the importance of clearly defining a target market.
  6. For this product, who is the target market?
  7. Divide students into teams and have each team develop a profile of a target market. Include demographics, psychographics, behaviors, values, attitudes, etc.
  8. Based on the target market profile, what tactics should the marketing plan include?

Source:  CNN; New York Times; The Verge; Wall Street Journal; Washington Post; other news sources

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