At CES 2015, functionality beats features

Withings Activité's classic design conceals smartwatch features.
Withings Activité's classic design conceals smartwatch features.

In his Day One recap, the global strategy director for TBWA's Digital Arts Network reports that specs are giving ground to the way devices fit consumers' lives

LAS VEGAS — Early on at this year’s CES, it’s clear to see that it is less about megapixels and more about how technology impacts our lives and makes them better.

TVs. Yes, there are a lot of TVs at CES — and people love them. They do still dominate our living rooms, but the narrative around them seems to be changing.

The hype of 3D has finally died down. Consumers as well as content creators seem to have rejected the technology; this year, people seem to be more interested in how they watch TV, over what TV they watch it on. Dish TV is creating waves in the space with its Dish TV offering, which is one of the first real alternatives to cable tv with it’s digital delivery of TV content, such as Disney, ESPN and the Food Network. It’s a $20-a-month service that’s the most ambitious play for cable cord-cutters so far and will be available on connected televisions, streaming boxes and and mobile devices.

Another example of the tech industry trying to get into the minds of consumers: the battle of wearable technology has moved beyond the battleground of features. Fitness and activity trackers have matured from the realm of purely functional objects to something that can reflect personal style.

The most notable examples in the space are Fitbit’s line of activity trackers created in partnership with fashion designer Tory Burch or the Withings Activité, a sleek, Swiss-made watch with in built-in smart features.

And finally, there are a lot of things happening in the automotive space. The rate of innovation in the vertical is altering the very notion of what cars are. Mercedes Benz unveiled the F015, a self-driving concept car that the company believes will deliver the single most important luxury goods of the 21st century: privacy, space and quality time.

Self-driving vehicles are less of a mode of transportation and more of an extension of your living room. Perhaps traffic jams will become the favorite part of your day.

Juuso Myllyrinne is the global strategy director for TBWA's Digital Arts Network.

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