It’s that time of year again, when the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) shares emerging technology that will rock our worlds in the coming year or so. And while it’s impossible to tie a neat bow around all of it, there are lots of stand-out trends to make note of. We’re highlighting three here that capture the hearts and minds of consumers, along with social conversation found around each: managing emotion, sleep, and convenience contraptions.
The first of the three, which revolves around how a person feels, is incredibly timely on many levels. Let’s float through it, like a gentle wave . . .
CES Trend #1: Sensing Emotions – That’s so Emo
Bocco Emo is an “emotional support robot” made by the folks at Japanese company Yukai Engineering. Does it listen to your deepest fears and encourage you to get outside in the sun more? No. Not yet, at least.
It’s “an empathetic companion that can read out and respond to text messages and voice commands with a variety of emotional responses. The cute bot will move its head and say hello when its user is nearby, and can also light up its eyes, shake its antenna, and make noises in response to specific emotional words in the text messages you send and receive.”
It’s your own little overly attentive cheering section, like that Facebook friend you barely remember from high school who is oddly, immediately interested in everything you post. It’s that friend, without fearing they’ll be standing in your kitchen one day when you get home from work! Well, Emo-chan will be in your kitchen (or wherever you leave it), but it will be an invited guest.
Lovot Loves You
And then there’s Lovot, which has a promotional video that definitely doesn’t feel like it’s the beginning of a Sci-Fi movie where something inevitably goes horribly wrong:
Lovot’s purpose is to make you happy.
When you touch your LOVOT, embrace it, even just watch it, you’ll find yourself relaxing, feeling better. It’s a little like feeling love toward another person. That’s because we have used technology not to improve convenience or efficiency, but to enhance levels of comfort and feelings of love. LOVOT will react to your moods, and do all it can to fill you with joy and re-energize you. It may not be living a creature, but LOVOT will warm your heart. LOVOT was born for just one reason – to be loved by you.
There’s certainly a need for emotional support in our disconnect digitized age. More than ever, people are feeling isolated and alone. Maybe a mood elevated robot is the way to go? And both Bocco Emo and Lovot seem to be a hit with those who’ve discovered them, so time will tell!
And maybe when folks feel more emotionally whole, they’ll have less trouble falling asleep at night. But, until then, CES offered some sleepy time options as well . . .
CES Trend #2: Sadness, With a Side of Insomnia
Combining the need for emotional support with sleep aids does not paint a pretty picture of today’s consumer, but at least there’s tech on the way to help! And the top three behaviors expressed by those having trouble falling and staying asleep are wanting and needing to treat the condition.
So, URGOnight, the sleep training system, is aptly timed – and named! Made by a French company, URGOtech, captures brainwaves and runs them through its brain-training app, teaching you how to enhance sleep brainwaves. And eventually, you’ll be able to activate those sleep brainwaves and it’s all snoozing all the time from there! Or at least when you need to sleep.
Combine your sleep headgear with the nifty Embr Wave bracelet, and you’ll be reducing stress in support of your sleep-chasing efforts. It’s a thermal wellness bit of tech that cools or warms your body and helps you fall asleep at your optimal temperature. It’s also great for handling hot flashes.
Additionally, as CNBC notes – these self-regulating devices could mean the end of temperature wars too! That’s definitely something to consider:
And then the last set of convenience items up for bid are sure to be crowd pleasers, if not party oddities that make great gag gifts next Christmas.
CES Trend #3: Where’s That Poop Robot?
The Rollbot is “a self-balancing robot that connects to your phone and will deliver a fresh toilet roll directly to your seat if you happen to find yourself on the pan and caught in a bind.”
And you’ll want to use it alongside its buddy, the SmellSense gadget that alerts you if it’s too stinky to enter after someone else. Hopefully it shouts the answer – so you don’t have to get too close! And, because it would be hilarious. Maybe you can eventually send the Rollbot in to scout it out, with a SmellSense attachment, just to be sure.
Finally, there was also V.I.Pee, which is a VR headset to watch while you poop, so you don’t “miss the show.” So it’s for public bathrooms apparently. Yep. You can see all three in action at the “Go Lab” here:
And they definitely generated lots of buzz:
It wasn’t all about potty talk, of course. There was also smart-connected underwear, which is part of a heart health management apparel line, and a vacuum robot/patrol bot that watches over your home (and you) while you sleep. And we can’t forget the super convenient Family Hub refrigerator that keeps track of food you have on hand (including expiration dates) and suggests dishes you can cook.
The sentiment overall was positive, considering some of these things are an eensy bit invasive:
Who Will Be There Next Year?
And next year promises to offer so much more, by way of opportunities for every business to participate. It’s the “proving ground for innovators and breakthrough technologies for 50 years — the global stage where next-generation innovations are introduced to the marketplace.”
Who knows – maybe your social analytics explorations will uncover an unmet need in your category and you’ll be joining other innovators there next year? Reach out and were happy to help you get started on that path!