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Revisiting the Top Technology Trends from CES 2019

September 16, 2019
Location Intelligence, Technology
By: Jason Holte

As a location intelligence market leader, we are always evaluating the technology trends that will drive disruption and new business models. 

When this year began with the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, three technologies seemed particularly poised to benefit or even be outright enabled by the use of location intelligence: 5G technology, augmented and virtual reality, and autonomous vehicles. Now that we’re closer to the end of the year than the beginning, let’s revisit these location-aware technologies and see how far they have advanced since CES 2019.

Monitoring the Top Technology Trends from CES 2019

Stylized depiction of driverless cars on a highway | Revisiting the top technology trends from CES 2019

5G Connectivity

This highly anticipated next-generation wireless network – the one that promises lightning-fast cellular data speeds and allows smart machines to communicate seamlessly in real-time – finally arrived in the United States in April 2019. As of September, US carrier Sprint is offering 5G connectivity to over 11 million people in nine cities. Verizon has enabled 5G technology for customers in 10 cities, clocking average speeds over a gigabit, whereas T-Mobile covers six cities with its 5G network. Additionally, AT&T currently has 5G available to its business and developer customers in 21 cities.

If you do not have access to a 5G network yet, it could be because your carrier is still figuring out a suitable location to install next-gen hardware in your neighborhood. They may also be waiting for regulatory approvals, which is one area where telecommunications companies can benefit from leveraging location intelligence. By using a 5G-ready location intelligence platform to identify the most profitable cell site locations in compliance with municipality regulations like zoning policies, carriers can develop a dependable action plan for their nationwide 5G rollout.

Augmented and Virtual Reality

The second technology trend that caught our eye at CES 2019 was the expanded use of augmented and virtual reality (AR and VR). Incidentally, the widespread adoption of these technologies is also linked directly to 5G mobile network availability.

The fields of AR & VR have seen quite a few notable developments this year, including Google Maps debuting AR navigation features to rave reviews and hints of iPhone-dependent AR glasses being found in iOS 13 code. With that said, there have also been some setbacks in the form of Hulu dropping support for Google’s Daydream VR and well-funded AR headset startups, Daqri and Meta, closing up shop.

While AR and VR may still be proving themselves in the consumer realm, the enterprise ecosystem has already recognized these technologies as drivers of business value. Fortune notes that practical applications of VR are helping the technology gain traction in fields like industrial design, architecture, real estate, and more.

For military contractor Lockheed Martin, embracing AR on the shop floor has led to an 85% reduction in overall training time and a 40% boost in productivity. Companies like Walmart and Verizon have also been vocal about how they are benefiting from business-to-business applications of VR, such as training employees for a variety of situations in their stores.

So, it’s no surprise that more than 84% of senior customer experience executives interviewed by Oracle this year for a new report were convinced that the virtual and augmented reality experiences their companies offer over the next five years will have a bigger impact on CX metrics than experiences in the physical world. To enable these sorts of impacts, a location intelligence platform that can stream real-time business information into an AR/VR platform will help businesses to adopt and leverage these technologies more rapidly.

Autonomous Vehicles

With automotive industry stalwarts, leading technology players, telecom companies, academic institutions, and more running distinct programs for the development of driverless cars, the automobile sector is experiencing a turning point unprecedented in both scope and scale today.

The past few months have seen some unlikely partnerships being formed, such as that of Delta Airlines, Georgia Tech, and the Curiosity Lab exploring autonomous solutions for the airport environment. Rivals Toyota and Suzuki have also joined forces to work together in ecological and safety technology. Meanwhile, Waymo and Lyft made their autonomous driving datasets open to the public to empower the research community to make advancements in machine perception and self-driving technology.

The case for driverless cars serving as a new marketing medium has also become stronger, with the technology providing marketers opportunities to leverage targeted advertising through connected devices. For example, as an advertisement flashes across the car screen, a passenger could ask their vehicle to reroute itself toward the store offering the promotion.

To efficiently leverage these opportunities and build cross-channel communication with real-time advertising, precise location-based targeting is critical. With robust location technology and data, marketers will be able to serve customers with highly contextual experiences and advertising content based on their exact coordinates.

The Role of the DMP Platform in These Technology Trends

Our comprehensive suite of location APIs allows progressive organizations to integrate location technology and data right into their own products and spatially enable their apps, websites, and portals. Digital Map Products is one of the largest aggregators of location-based, map-ready data in the United States, collecting and normalizing hundreds of datasets from numerous different sources. To learn more about how our location intelligence platform can help you, contact us today! You can also download a sample of our nationwide parcel database, SmartParcels®, by completing the form below.

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