We develop ground-breaking ways to sense & control the physical world.

It’s that CES time of year again! As we’re busy preparing for the annual Vegas pilgrimage next week, I (along with the rest of the tech industry!) am excited to see the latest technology and product launches. What will be super hot this year? Will it be another year of drones, or improved AR/VR? What else can be done in sleep tech? And how else can technology enhance the bathroom experience?

This will be my 11th consecutive year at CES and over the last 2-3 years I’ve watched with interest the rise of beauty tech. I agree with my colleague’s predictions shared here and think next week we’ll see more technology that personalizes our beauty and personal care regimes to make us look and feel great.

Also, I think 2019 will be the year we see much greater use of tech for insights and trials, and not just the next greatest product that consumers will be able to buy.

Gaining insight and feedback about how consumers use and experience new products and services is a critical part of innovation. Currently most insights are gathered using surveys, diaries and observations. This is valuable to a point, but they don’t provide quantitative insight into what consumers are actually doing in their own environment when unobserved. Technology now makes this possible.

We’re actively working with clients using tech for insights, and we’re seeing more and more industries starting to use technology to gain real measurable insight. From sports and fitness, to the telematics space using technology to monitor driving behavior and home appliance companies using instrumented beta units to understand usage times, temperatures and flow rates etc.

Rather than restricting your view to what you can directly measure, it is amazing what you can learn about your consumers with smart use of AI combined with input from a variety of sensors. This is the approach that my colleagues in our medical business took to using technology during clinical trials. We’ve put together an example application showing how to monitor stress during trials by combining measurements from a range of biometric sensors and using AI to extract insights. In an ideal world, you would monitor everything, but that’s not practical long term outside of a controlled hospital setting, so we considered what would be realistic for a person to wear during a trial. I’m sure you can also see the parallels and applications for a consumer trial system.

Think about how you could layer insights about emotional state, product usage and environmental factors. Imagine what a rich picture you could build up...

And consider the applications for beauty and personal care if you could really understand product usage, efficacy and context of use, then imagine the richness of the insights you would have of your consumers. This would bring speed and efficiency to the product development process, new insights for new innovation and evidence for claims. We’ll be talking about our visions of layering this information at CES, and you can see a video of a our predictions here.

Over the years we’ve seen lots of technology for monitoring our sporting performance, and more recently skin condition and sleep quality. Now think about applying this technology to a trial, rather than a product….imagine what you could learn!

If you’d like to discuss this further then it would be great to meet up at CES. We have a booth in the Sands Expo, Level 2, Booth #44337. Contact me to arrange a meeting to discuss and see our demos.


Ruth Thomson
SVP, Global Consumer Business

Ruth works with consumer brands across multiple market sectors including beverages, beauty, consumer healthcare and entertainment. Her focus is creating consumer delight and engagement through the integration of innovative technology, bringing significant business transformation for her clients.