Wang Ying Talks
CES 2017

Trends

Our Manager of Interaction and UX Design, Wang Ying, spent two days scouting out this year’s biggest tech trends. Straight off the plane – she delved into CES' stimulating environment with shiny new interfaces, vibrant colors – and to top it off, an inspiring ride in NXP’s self-driving car.

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the world's largest consumer tech show just had it's 50th anniversary to kick-off 2017. Every year, our design team travels there to uncover the latest and greatest tech and meet with clients.

From the perspective of a UX designer, a good product is one that truly connects with its users. With this in mind, Wang Ying went on the hunt to see how much evidence there was of that human connection.

Everything is Connected

We all knew that IoT would make a grand entrance at this year CES and were impressed with the variety of useful, human-centered products. Starting with the connected car, a big topic at CES 2017, Wang Ying took a ride in the “Rinspeed Oasis” from NXP to learn just how far the technology has come. “As soon as our driver took his hands off of the wheel, I felt terrified – both curious and excited,” said Wang Ying. The 360 degree sensor technology notified passengers of all movement around the vehicle to warn of children playing nearby or someone crossing a crosswalk. It was definitely noticeable that AI is big discussion point this year, especially when it comes to ensuring that self-driving cars maintain high safety requirements.

Expanding their IoT-scope, LG showed off their new Hub Robot family, which uses Amazon’s Alexa to communicate with other household smart products.

High-Res Goes Higher

This year we witnessed significant advances in high-resolution experiences at this year’s CES with a first stop at LG’s eye-catching OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode-based) TV. “LG had a very exciting presentation this year,” said Wang Ying. Some of the display showed how current TV’s tend to lose true color when viewed from different angles. This is not true for LG’s realistic OLED TV, which even surpasses today’s best LCD and plasma-based TVs.

Convenient and…Interesting

Wang Ying discovered a plethora of other connected products, including a talking hairbrush from Kerastase for optimized hair brushing routines, and a new wristband from Intel Sports that seamlessly provides data in real-time on how athlete's move their hand, feet, knees, etc. during performance.

Proving that sometimes the simplest ideas go the furthest was the earphone bracelet from Wraps. It is hard to keep track of earphones so the idea of wearing them as a fashionable wristband is an overall great idea.

Drones were bigger than ever, with many vying Chinese brands pushing their new developments onto the scene. DJI was a frontrunner this year, showing off more precision, 5K photography, and an overall sophisticated design.

Wraps earbud wristband debuts at CES 2017

"This handy earphone bracelet is a great idea - especially for people who lose track of their earphones."

Sleeptech came in with a dominating presence, offering all kinds of new tech to help humans get a better night’s sleep. Whether people are interested in tech or not, sleep tech is an area that could really make a difference for everyone. A new smart mattress pad from Mirahome was a favorite. It analyzes your breathing and sleep patterns and then reconfigures itself to offer a better night’s sleep.

Last but not least – we visited the lifestyle hall that had developed even further since last year’s event. Wang Ying pointed to the new touchpad screens available on most front stove panels. “I like this idea, but it would need to be optimized for the user experience of the Asian market,” she said. “When we cook, it’s likely that we will make a mess in the front area on the stovetop, making this part hard to read," noted Wang Ying.

When it comes to wearables, Wang Ying had another suggestion - "When wearables first gained traction, they were rather unique," she said. "This area is growing quickly and many copycat and me-too brands are overwhelming this area and making it harder for users to differentiate among brands."

Final Verdict - Did New Tech Connect with Users?

Was the user connection really there at this year’s CES? “I think so,” said Wang Ying. “But we’ll have to identify which areas will truly impact our lives – and the new tech that is really only there for a few days of hype may not find a shelf life,” she ended.

Interested in exploring new products that cater to the Asian - or even global market? Wang Ying is a user experience designer with in-depth knowledge about users in the Asia-Pacific region. Please contact us if you'd like to talk trends, new product ideas, and more.

Wang Ying discovers Sleeptech trends at CES2017

"Sleep trackers, smart pillowcases, body temperature apps and more dominated the sleeptech scene at CES."

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