January 17, 2019
CES: chaotic, connected, competitive.
By its very nature CES is a chaotic week. Long days, bright lights and a lack of natural air make it an exhaustive attack on the senses. But the halls were also chaotic in both structure and attendees, which highlights just how competitive and fragmented each sector within consumer electronics is. Whether it is the smart home or headphones, each area sees a blend of existing brands and plucky upstarts pitching the same connected products and feature sets (doorbell anyone?).
It wouldn’t be CES without the good, the bad and the plain bat-shit crazy. I didn’t know my extractor fan needed a screen or that my toilet needed Alexa integration. But without these left-field ideas the industry would be rather dull and who knows what will stick. The connected parasol was back this year with a bigger stand, so last year’s death-or-glory strategy worked for them.
For four days we had back-to-back meetings in our meeting suite, where we took our customers and partners through the cool things we were working on across the intelligent home, intelligent living and intelligent cars. What was clear from these discussions, and what we saw on the show floor, was that to remain competitive, the tech brands needed to squeeze in as much intelligent features as possible while also tying these features to premium propositions or subscription services.
Which is why they came to us.
Sound recognition, thanks to launches from market leaders, has now become a must-have feature for devices. Security is still a major driver, especially in the intelligent home, but so too is entertainment, communications and health/wellbeing. And thanks to our partnership with innovative companies like Vesper, Knowles, Frontier and Ambiq Micro we were able to demonstrate the innovative ways in which we are bringing sound recognition to smart speakers and battery-powered devices around the home or about your person.
I always hope for that wow moment at CES. When you see something you’ve never seen before and it leaves you speechless. Last year I was really impressed (and continue to be) with the concept of Neighbourhood Watch 2.0 (which I blogged about before), which is being led by Ring and their Neighbors app. This year, that wow moment wasn’t a product but at the scale of marketing spend that Google is throwing at the event. They built their own building, they built a fun (and self-parodying) ride and gave away Google Home Hubs to everybody who took part. They also had jumpsuit and bobble hat wearing Google Assistants on a large number of stands.
While Google and Amazon battle it out to be the ecosystem of choice for consumers it was clear that their marketing prowess and budgets were helping increase adoption, while their underlying technology and connective tissue were helping to make such a fragmented market a growing success.
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About Audio Analytic
Audio Analytic is the pioneer of AI sound recognition software. The company is on a mission to map the world of sounds, offering our sense of hearing to consumer technology. By transferring our sense of hearing to consumer products and digital personal assistants we give them the ability to react to the world around us, helping satisfy our entertainment, safety, security, wellbeing and communication needs.
Audio Analytic’s ai3™ sound recognition software enables device manufacturers and chip companies to equip products with Artificial Audio Intelligence, recognizing and automatically responding to our growing list of sound profiles.