Where Experimentation Meets Intentionality: Our Takeaways from CES 2024
Written by Laurel Burton, Chief Executive Officer, Mike Creighton, Executive Director of Innovation, and John Brown, VP Technology
Innovating with Intention
CES is renowned as a playground for showcasing wild, course-changing products and technology. It’s a place where companies unveil new emerging tech for consumers, often shiny but sometimes lacking true purpose for customers, users, and real people out in the world.
To our excitement, CES this year wasn’t just shiny; it was strategic. It felt more humble, bringing intentionality alongside experimentation as a cornerstone for innovation. At Instrument, we’ve always believed that the two go hand in hand—that the wildly imaginative can also be undeniably useful—and this year’s CES was proof of that.
Amidst the buzz and rapid growth, AI emerged as both an overused tag and a genuine disruptor across industries. While the fascination with generative AI remains high, particularly in personalization and efficiency, leaders in the space focused specifically on its evolution hinging on data integrity, quality, and curation. New unlocks will come from generative AI’s current ability to bring insights and value from unstructured data in ways not possible before.
But all of this comes with a host of issues that need to be addressed—which we feel are attracting the attention and discourse they deserve. Brands, creators, and consumers will need to continue taking productive steps with respect to data privacy and control, data transparency, ownership, compensation models, ethics, and safety.
Consumers will know what this tech is capable of, and they’ll expect brands to integrate it and serve it up in ways that bring real value. Whether it’s Digital Twins, healthcare, finances, beauty, or intelligent stores by Instacart, consumers signal a desire for tech and data to create bespoke experiences catered to their interests. Brands are realizing how personalization is evolving and dimensionalizing media consumption far beyond content and ads. Services like YouTube are competing and going beyond the traditional streaming service offerings.
Gen Z, Spatial Natives, and Cord-Never segments want it all. They want the pre-, during, and post-events/music/shows, and they want it from both the brand and the influencers. Take this Amazon Ads tie-in with the fandom around Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce, for example. It’s not just about the moment; it’s about the experience and the fandom of these stories.
While Generative AI can be a tailwind, the idea of applying today’s technology to existing problems is what’s most exciting. The stories of technology coming out of CES weren’t about competing value props and use cases, but a look into how AI, Computer Vision, AR/VR, Generative AI/LLMs, Data, and Cloud can all work together with the right intention.
By integrating all these things, we can better comprehend our world as it becomes more accessible, smaller, and safer. This explosion of tech is intertwined into our lives, across products, events, moments, and wearables—all while getting more nuanced and widespread.
Truth in Action
We’re taking all these insights into 2024 to create space for a more innovative and curious mindset across our entire workforce, with the hope of yielding a strong bias toward experimentation and play. From how we show up for ourselves, each other, our client partners, and the audiences they serve, CES 2024 was just the first step towards a whole host of more concrete and significant transformations we predict seeing within Instrument, our industry, and beyond.