CES 2019: P&G's consumer tech pitch, plus the best lifestyle-enhancing products on offer

Improving value to the consumer through tech-enabled lifestyle enhancement was key this year, from Procter & Gamble's facial recognition and skin check AI, to KitchenAid's smart over

Examples of P&G's new consumer tech
Examples of P&G's new consumer tech

With organisations more focused on the consumer, and consumers demanding products that improve lifestyle while being socially responsible, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2019 has seen the launch of a number of smart products and devices that put lifestyle firmly front and centre stage.

Leading the way was Procter and Gamble, which launched six new connected devices leveraging cutting-edge technologies to enhance everyday experiences for consumers.

“We’re living in a time of mass disruption, where the exponential power of technology combined with shifting societal and environmental forces are transforming consumer experiences every day,” said chief brand officer, Marc Pritchard. 

“P&G is integrating cutting-edge technologies into everyday products and services to improve people’s lives. We’re combining what’s needed with what’s possible. By answering the question, ‘what if,’ we’re delivering irresistibly superior consumer experiences.”

The list includes:

  • SK-II’s Future X Smart Store, which aims to transform beauty retail shopping with facial recognition and gesture-driven 'phygital' experiences, augmented by SK-II’s proprietary skin science and diagnostics.
  • Olay’s Skin Advisor platform, which uses artificial intelligence (AI) to provide personalised skincare analysis and recommendations by analysing selfies and a short questionnaire.
  • The Oral-B Genius X toothbrush, which uses AI to recognise how users are brushing and provides personalised feedback that leads to better brushing.
  • The new Heated Razor by GilletteLabs, which features a warming bar that heats up in less than one second and elevates the shave experience.
  • Opté Precision Skincare System combines camera optics, proprietary algorithms, printing technology and skincare in one device that scans the skin, detects hyperpigmentation and applies a corrective serum.
  • AIRIA is a smart home fragrance system that uses patented, capillary action and heating technology to establish scent-enhancing ambiance with the touch of a button.

P&G chief research, development and innovation officer, Kathy Fish, said as consumers are changing, so must the FMCG giant.

“What remains the same is our focus on deeply understanding how consumers live, work and play so we know precisely what they want. When we combine breakthrough science and technologies with this deep consumer understanding, we’re able to deliver transformative innovations that improve life every day.”

During a session discussion at CES, both Pritchard and Fish also emphasised the holistic approach P&G must take around innovating consumer experiences.

"It occurred to both of us that the ‘E’ in CES is experiences," Pritchard said. "Kathy and I are joined at the hip on this – we don’t think about innovation in silos –Kathy on product formula, and me on advertising. We think about every aspect of consumer experience- product package, in-store, online, user and after use.

"We view the future of brand building as experiences. That requires teamwork, which we try to role model everywhere."

Tech for lifestyle enhancement

There were plenty of other lifestyle-enhancing products on show as well at this year's CES. Here's our pick of the best:

SmartMirror

The Savvy Home SmartMirror, by Electric Mirror, which allows any Android app to be downloaded to its control panel, so mirror users can check the traffic, weather, or even use it as another screen in their home and watch Netflix, or check their bank balance.

Talking to your faucet


Amazon Alexa control is now in Delta's Touch2O range of digital taps, so users can run a bath or fill the sink using just voice, while monitoring water usage.

Smart devices in the kitchen


KitchenAid launched a number of smart devices, including a smart oven which can be controlled via an app, or by voice via Alexa or Google. It also uses the Yummly app, which can recognise different ingredients and suggest recipes to help reduce food waste. The KitchenAid Smart Display is another smart home device offering home cooks a variety of tools and applications including recipe instructions, shopping lists, and smart home control via Google Assistant. It's also water-resistant.

Sensing scale


US startup, Pepper, has debuted an Alexa-powered food scale that is a smart speaker, as well as for monitoring sugar intake, calories, fats, and other nutrients to help manage a healthy diet.

Smart watch


Withings made a Move ECG smart watch that has built-in ECG capabilities to monitor cardiovascual health and detect heart problems.

Treading to power the home


The Verde treadmill from SportsArt can now power the home. It can apparently generate up to 200 Watt hours of electricity to power devices, charge batteries and more.

Samsung health monitoring latest


Samsung’s Bot Care is a full-service health monitoring robot. Sensors can detect breathing during sleep and report on rest. It can also monitor heart rate, serve medicine reminders, detect accidents, play music, display exercise videos, and allow health care professionals to monitor vitals remotely via an app.


Better sleep


The Hupnos sleep mask goes over the nose to control breathing during sleep. The mask pairs with an app that detects snoring and uses a built-in accelerometer to determine sleeping position which vibrates to get the user to change position. It also applies Expiratory Positive Airway Pressure to help open up airways to stop snoring.

Long-distance charging

And finally, and possibly most excitingly, WattUp from Energous revealed its not-too-distant plans for distance charging of devices through a number of pre-production models with partners. The transmitter-and-receiver technology will allow over-the-air charging, for a cordless existence, and was showcased in partnership with Deutche Telecom.

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