The overarching theme behind all of the products showcased during CES® 2017 centered on providing a positive experience to the consumer.
The RAB team hit the road (in this case the convention center) to get an inside look at how the IoT and specifically, AI is changing our future. According to Shawn DuBravac, Chief Economist and Sr. Director of Research for the Consumer Technology Association, there are five key trends:
- The new voice of computing – using voice to manage and connect with devices
- Artificial Intelligence – taking care of things that we don’t
- The network – tapping into the potential of our own connected devices
- The transformation of transportation – how vehicles will evolve
- The digitizing of the consumer experience – how augmented/virtual reality will shift entertainment experiences, etc.
That list may perplex some but we are all experiencing them already today in some form or fashion. The voice that was frequently referenced throughout CES was that of Alexa. While Alexa, the voice of Amazon Echo, is not new, how Alexa currently uses the consumer’s voice to interface with other devices is quickly expanding, and Ford displayed how their partnership with Amazon’s Alexa Voice System can work. Artificial or Augmented Intelligence is on the verge of making a consumer’s experience better – even easier – by either automatically adjusting a refrigerator’s most efficient temperature to potentially playing a podcast automatically while driving. And speaking of driving, self-parking or automatic braking systems already exist, but the opportunity to provide the passenger of a driverless vehicle with endless entertainment options are in our future.
With Alexa Voice System technology being integrated into literally everything it can, there is a great possibility that voice activation will replace the graphical user interface (mouse, keyboard, touch screen, etc.) in the not too distant future, according to DuBravac. Therefore, the implications and opportunity for “branding” radio stations and their call letters to help a listener tune the dial are enormous.
So what does this mean for radio? Like the numerous products and innovations in technology displayed at CES, at the center of it all is the consumer – providing them with the best possible experience – and that is what radio continues to do. Just this past week, CBS Radio News and iHeartRadio each announced their integration into some of these devices. CBS Radio News will now be available on Amazon’s Alexa service. iHeartMedia announced iHeartRadio’s integration across connected devices and tech.
Radio will always be there to deliver content to their listeners – with either the push of a button, the touch of an app or even through the use of their voice.