Technology and innovation have always been and continue to be the shining stars of CES, but it was clearer than ever this year that data is the undercurrent that makes it all possible. Though not explicitly called out as a category, data innovation was present throughout CES from the show floors to the keynotes and panels.
“Data” can mean a number of different things depending on the role it plays for a particular product or industry, but there were 5 data themes that rose to the top at CES this year.
1. Data Collection. From stand-alone companies that create or collect data to integrated components of products, most products were built with a data-first approach that is very intentional about what and how data is collected. Anything and everything can now be considered a source of data collection.
2. Personalization. Almost everything came with a layer of personalization, from Metaverse immersions to cars to sleep trackers. Data is collected with the intent of creating more exclusive and personalized experiences that can learn and evolve as the consumer interacts. Smart devices are collecting more data than ever, which in turn is enabling personalization in more ways and more places. The health and wellness category in particular is exploding with personalization opportunities, where trackers and wearables have fueled the well-being industry.
3. Data Connectivity. In order to make good on that promise of personalization, data needs to be available when and where it’s needed, which means you need fast, reliable connectivity. This need for better connectivity is exemplified by the volume of connected devices and products that focused on removing processing friction from the data value chain. The goal: get more data to more places faster.
4. AI. “Powered by AI” is the new baseline. Every single technology exhibitor referenced or outwardly claimed to have an AI element to their offering; it has become the new status quo instead of a differentiator. Now when you peel back the layers of what truly makes an innovation work, often the AI component is not critical to its function but none the less its presence is always noted.
5. Data Privacy. Although data privacy is a foundational component of all things data, the focus on it was most apparent in the keynotes and panels where CEOs, marketers, and technologists all doubled down on the importance of data privacy and its growing stake in the innovation space.
Although not as outspoken as the technology side of CES, the data side is a growing source of innovation and power that will make or break the promise of personalization and customized experiences. With more connected devices than ever and more infrastructure to support them, everything and every moment is now a source of data and an opportunity to interact.