Friday, January 16, 2004

Report from the Consumer Electronics Show

By Janice Marconi

Day 1

Janice Marconi
The joys of using Windows 8 on a new touchscreen laptop are not all that wonderful.  Hate those intrusive slowwww updates.  Especially from slow hotel WiF s.

CES (Consumer Electronics Show) has been around since 1967 (first launched in New York). It moved to Vegas, and is anticipating over 150,000 attendees and around 3,100 vendors.  Nicknamed "The Gadget Show", companies, large and small, have used the show to announce major innovations and product introduction.

So, here I am, on the first official day of CES2013 http://www.cesweb.org/Events.aspx. This is my fifth CES (first year I actually spoke at one of the Super Sessions.  Just wanted to be able to use the resources and coffee in the speakers rooms and get acquainted with this massive show).  I spent yesterday at the "2nd Screen Summit" at the Wynn resort http://www.2ndscreensummit.com/ces/.  Summits are all part of CES, in addition to Keynotes, Super Sessions, conference tracks, special events, and of course the convention floor itself!

2nd Screen assumes you are having your "first screen" on, while parallel processing with a 2nd screen (iPad, tablet, laptop, etc). Rob Gelick, the SNP and GM of Digital Platforms for CBS Interactive says that 45% of viewers are using some sort of 2nd screen while watching TV.  40% of those are doing so on tablets. What's interesting, is CBS Interactive doesn't just want to highlight live events, such as last year's Grammy's.  The model is to spread it over 3 parts.  This goes for sports and anything else. BTW, CBS Interactive is responsible for NCIS LA interactive apps.  (Remember the 2011 holiday episode where are own Steve Eppinger was name dropped.  Not sure how CBS designed that! Got to go back to that one!)

The model is basically:
Part one is to start the dialogue.  This would be Twitter buzz, FB, etc.  The "pre-show excitement".
Part two would be the live interactive event itself.
Part three would be the released "episodes", the "multi-content" of things that happened during the event, but can be seen, later.

Essentially, it's a "Before, During, and After" model to ensure dedicated following.

Most panels admit that the 2nd Screen strategies haven't generated a lot of revenue.  The "monetization" of 2nd Screen needs "design" on what relationships users have with the content and the experience and each other.

However, that said, I was amazed at the panel that dealt with the 2nd Screen strategies for SOA (Sons of Anarchy on FX). OK, I haven't ever watched it, but the VP of FX productions, Michael Waghalter, really sparked my interest.  Stephen Brooks, the Exec Director of Magic Ruby, the developer of the apps, along with Jody Stark of Delivery Agent, formed a dynamic partnership for this show.

Some of the factoids they gave were: 

  • 340% more mobile and tablet sales versus web sales
  • 20% social media drives 80% of the buying
  • 140% growth in sales through the SOA app directly, year after year
  • Affiinity consumers will buy high end merchandise when contextually relevant (SOA).  This includes SOA's Gamma ring for $200.  A SOA shirt for $599 (that's NOT a typo).  How about a SOA $6.95 shot glass?
  • 2nd Screen consumption works when the programming is "aspirational" (sports, fashion, lifestyle, etc)
  • On average, SOA will increase 400% in app use
  • The tablet explosion is 1252% YTP versus 170% web
  • Tablet pages per view is 60% greater than the web
  • Much lower "cart abandonment" versus the web

Apparently, FX networks have no problem with monetization of 2nd Screen strategies!

So, what really is the 2nd Screen?  Maybe, it's actually the large screen, and not the one that is shaping your interactions that you have in your hands.

Targeting health and fitness consumer electronics, tomorrow.  I'll let the others cover the 84" TVs that require a second mortgage.

Day 2


Day 2 at CES2013 was divided among mega trends, the MommyTech summit, and walking the convention FLOORS, not just the Las Vegas Convention Center LVCC … which in itself is segmented into North, Central, South, Central Plaza, etc. There are remote sites at the Venetian and the Las Vegas Hotel and Casino LVH,   Whew!!! Six separate locations!

I was fascinated by the Corning booth (the term “booth” trivializes the floor space of most major exhibitors … the “real estate” ranges from about the size of a small office building to a multi floor office building).  Please, this is not a plug for Corning.  It’s about what’s really a “game changer”.

The YouTube video, “A Day Made of Glass 2”, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZkHpNnXLB0  is the expanded six minute version (they have a shorter one, but since this blog entry is for SDM, I say, “Go for it!” The silent narrative is a very telling systems story).

The YouTube that explains what you just saw is “A Day Made of Glass 2: Unpacked” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-GXO_urMow .  Warning!, This is 11 minutes long! The “unpacking” is delightful storytelling, in and of itself. And great mind candy! Both are futuristic glimpses into what your life or your family’s experiences might look like.

So, what is the “game changer”?  In general, it’s ultra-resolution glass with other functions and features that are available now or are being developed. Your smart phone is 300 pixels per inch.  Your TV is 37 pixels per sq inch.  The new 4K TVs are 73 pixels per sq inch.  And future AKs is 180 pixels per square inch.  The challenges currently being met are for scalable, seamless, flexible, AFFORDABLE glass.

You might already be familiar with “Gorilla Glass”.  You know, that gorgeous, evolved primate that beats the heck out of every glass enabled device, http://www.corninggorillaglass.com/ Gorilla Glass 3 (with Native Resolution), is made through a proprietary fusion draw process. Over the last six years, it has been featured in more than 30 major brands and 975 product models. For those of you who have cracked their smartphone covers, touchscreens, etc., you wished you had Gorilla Glass as your Uncle Fred sat on your iPad during Christmas dinner! Especially after you got the bill for the replacement screen!

More than Gorilla Glass 3, is Corning’s flexible glass product called “Willow” http://www.corning.com/displaytechnologies/en/products/flexible.aspx. “Willow” is still a work in progress.  Since real life is “immersive”, it would help if glass could bend to accommodate that function. Hmmm, is that like bending time?

As explained by Corning, “Corning Willow Glass will help enable thin, light and cost-efficient applications including today’s slim displays and the smart surfaces of the future.  The thinness, strength and flexibility of the glass have the potential to enable displays to be “wrapped” around a device or structure.  As well, Corning Willow Glass can be processed at temperatures up to 500° C.  High temperature processing capability is essential for today’s high end displays, and is a processing condition that cannot be supported with polymer films.”

The operative word is “future”.  Willow glass is a component, or really, a subsystem.  At CES, the President of Corning, James Clappin said, “The world needs to get used to it!”  Meaning there has to be partnering with other device and platform makers.  Willow glass is a “form” with lots of “functions” that needs to find a spouse to marry!

The “big” word at CES seemed to be “ecosystem” (all the execs were using it).  More than that, it’s the “new ecosystem”.  Clappin pointed out that although Willow glass is out there, there is a “discovery” phase for its future applications in this “new ecosystem.”  And how does this constant redefining of the “new ecosystem” impact our understanding at SDM?

So, here you have glass as a “game changer” and its future depends on which devices (or which systems) it will live within.  It’s a “chicken-and-egg” game, except that, in this case, the egg had to come first!

I’ll wrap up, and talk about other CES explorations later.  But, before that, I did get a T-shirt from a Corning researcher who took a DSM class taught by Steve Eppinger.  Too small a world.  The T-shirt proclaims, “TOUGH – evolved” on the front, with the Corning gorilla on the back.  And NO Steve, you’re not getting the T-shirt!