Not so long ago, the Consumer Electronics Show was crammed with futuristic gadgets that seemed years away from becoming mainstream fixtures for consumers. But with the quick evolution of technology over the past decade, the enormous gathering has also evolved into a major marketing destination, drawing reps from the world's largest brands, agencies and media companies.
"Ten years ago, you would go to Las Vegas and see technology manufacturers' vision of a distant future," says Craig Atkinson, chief investment officer at PHD. "Now you're seeing this coming year, or stuff that's already in Best Buy. It may sound subtle, but it makes a real big difference for marketers."
An estimated 150,000 to 170,000 attendees are expected to scope out the latest trends at the four-day show, which will feature tech-enabled fitness gear and cheaper drones and virtual reality products.
"Last year, a lot of the ideas for the programs that we ran were kicked off by just walking around the CES floor," explains Jeff Malmad, mobile and Life+ (wearables) lead at Mindshare. "That helped get the creative juices going, which permeated into actual campaigns that we deployed in 2015. We're hoping that this CES will do just the same."
Here's a look at six of the hottest tech trends marketers need to know about: