As reported in my previous blog (see: https://blogs.gartner.com/werner-goertz/2018/12/21/expect-incremental-innovation-not-disruption-consumer-electronics-show-ces-2019/) the value creation in consumer electronics is shifting away from hardware towards connected ecosystems.
Google’s presence here at CES 2019 is an eloquent proof point of this. Yes, there are Pixel, Pixelbooks, and other Google hardware devices on display, but what Google is really doing is presenting itself as a lifestyle brand: Google Assistant at work, at play, in the car and conveying a branded lifestyle experience 24/7.
Google’s shiny new booth sits in the spot that for years had been occupied by Gibson Brands, the guitar and musical instruments company that went Chapter 11 last year. This is prime real estate and unlike last year, when Google’s booth had to be closed temporarily due to rain, this is built more solidly. Long lines to get in are a sign of acceptance of the new booth concept.
Connected home with Google Home devices, connected driving experiences like the Fordpass and Ford Sync UIs and Google Assistant as the overall conversational voice assistant mark the new way technology is presented at CES – a good strategy given that hardware markets are becoming saturated and it is increasingly difficult to build a differentiated product.
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