CES 2017 Day 3 recap: The blurred lines between hyperpersonalization and user privacy

By Kristina Smith, on

It’s widely known that CES is full of gadgets and gizmos, and there is no shortage of dazzling drones, out-of-this-world augmented reality tools and more this year. Here are a few key insights from the CES 2017 sessions on Day 3, January 5:

Striking the balance between hyperpersonalized user experiences and user privacy is paramount

It’s clear that hyperpersonalization is a key focus for 2017. From drones to smart cars, the common goal is to create custom and memorable experiences. However, with this comes the blurred lines between user experience/personalization and privacy invasion. In order to create these custom user experiences, companies are using data to collect market insights. This begs the question: Which pieces of data are people comfortable with being collected by the technology they use?

As the need to create more customized experiences grows, so does the need for data collection and user insights — but where is the line drawn for privacy? Organizations are finding that users appreciate the utility of customized experiences but are apprehensive about giving away their personal information to make the experience possible. In 2017, with the exception of information such as Social Security numbers, consumers are OK with sharing personal information with companies as long as it creates a more seamless user experience.

Wearables must transition from a ‘nice-to-have’ to a ‘must-have’ market, and the journey starts with invisible technology

Consumers want technology to look less and less like tech. The wearables market has a lot of inflated expectations, but it is still on the journey to realization. There will be inconsistent growth in this market, where many vendors will look to take a wait-and-see approach before fully taking the leap into wearables. In short, consumers want more but are not getting it. Many consumers have expectations and needs that are not being met, including their need for a seamless and invisible tech experience.

So, who is doing this right? The fashion industry. By creating wearables that look less and less like technology, fashion brands are filling the gaps that some organizations are missing. What about making a fitness tracker that looks like a watch instead of a piece of technology? Expect to see fashion brands continue to experiment in this area and take the lead in the wearables market.

Wearables are also becoming vital in the digital health market as well. The focus for 2017 will be on how to create multipurpose wearables that seamlessly integrate into consumers’ daily activities.

AI is here to stay, but humans must intervene

At CES, there are a lot of new technologies with embedded AI capabilities that learn users’ habits and customize their experiences. With this increase, many panelists are designing systems that are going to make decisions about people’s lives. These AI systems should follow certain rules to protect people. As developers build these intelligent systems, they need to decide what their value is as humans.

The question today is how to make AI ethical. As it becomes more integrated into businesses, who decides its efficacy and quality? Some panelists at CES predicted that in five years, there may be a need for chief AI officers. As AI becomes increasingly important, so does the need for society to decide what the limits and parameters of AI will be.

Mobile commerce products are becoming less transactional and more consumer- and experience-focused

With mobile banking products and services on the rise, successful and sustainable mobile solutions will evolve to be less about the transaction and more about creating a unique customer experience by meeting consumers at their points of need. Mobile commerce and digital currency are less about eliminating the need for cash and more about meeting consumers where they need and want to use their money. In 2017, brands such as Venmo and MasterCard will focus on making mobile commerce an experience.

These are just a few of the takeaways from Day 3 of CES 2017. Stay tuned tomorrow, when we will cover more on the showroom floor. Follow @IBMMobile for onsite #CES2017 highlights.

About The Author

Kristina Smith

Social Media Strategist, IBM MobileFirst

Kristina is a digital marketing specialist, educational technologist and public speaker. She holds a BBA in Organizational Management and is currently working on a Master's degree in Educational Technology. Prior to consulting, Kristina served as a digital marketer for L'Oreal where she successfully implemented the first social media campaigns of record for two of their star haircare brands. With a firm belief that every brand, business and individual has a story to tell, Kristina specializes in sparking heart-level engagement in a digital world.

Articles by Kristina Smith
See All Posts