EP160 - CES 2019 Recap, and NRF Update
Episode 160 is a recap of the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show, and an update from the Nation Retail Federation Big Show.
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Episode 160 of the Jason & Scot show was recorded on Monday, January 14th, 2019.
New beta feature - Google Automated Transcription of the show
Jason: [0:24] Welcome to the Jason and Scott show this is episode 160 being recorded on Monday January 14th, 2019 I'm your host Jason retailgeek Goldberg and as usual I'm here with your clothes Scot Wingo.
Scot: [0:40] Jason a welcome back Jason Scott show listeners Jason's is one of those rare episodes where we are actually in the same room.
Jason: [0:47] I know it's super exciting I've always enjoyed getting the opportunity to spend some real life time with you.
Scot: [0:53] Collie time yeah yeah so we are live live life here from New York City I am looking out of Jason's fancy hotel room and I can see the Empire State Building which is home to many Amazon stores and fulfillment centers near in New York.
Jason: [1:08] And there's a Starbucks in that building that delivers.
Scot: [1:13] Leave it to Jason to know some Starbucks trivia.
Jason: [1:15] I'm desperate to find a way to work in a building.
Scot: [1:18] What is January weather in New York City that can only mean one thing we are here for the national retail Federation Big Show that are at Big Show and in that Spirit tonight's theme is trippy parts are are fearless reporter Jason has been traveling the world to bring you the latest and greatest information about what's going on out there I'm in first you want to cover he is you went straight back to back I think from Vegas to New York by past the family so hi and bye guys and he is going to start out with ACS report and tell us what's going on there and then we'll jump it in her up so what's good to talk Jason with what were some interesting things you saw at CES that had retail implications.
Jason: [2:03] Yeah so I feel like there was a fair amount of retail specific stuff at CES this year while the number of retailers had boo, and so a lot of the Chinese retailers in particular had big boost to TSO Ali Baba had a big boost there for, Services they would promote in the US are like, their supplier services in their B2B Services they have a an alternative to AWS in China that they would offer to Western companies that want need to host Platforms in China, but the bulk and they had one novelty they were showing and a new, voice translation capability that was real time audio translation so Google kind of made some Buzz at the show by announcing these this new generation of their, translate that lets you talk in your phone at transposes it in another language, but you hang your phone into someone they can read it in their language speaking their language and you can kind of hand the phone back and forth so Alibaba came up with this technology we're in real time you talking to him. And the guy next to you here's a translation in his native language and speech back to you so I got to speak to someone who is in need of Mandarin speaker and like.
[3:29] It mostly worked it's not like the grammar is a little, monkey but you could totally get the antenna.
Scot: [3:35] Is like a translator where you speak and then you pause and it speaks and then the other person speaks and you pause so it's got like that and if you.
Jason: [3:42] So that the Google when is the definite pause in this Ali Baba one if you're speaking long enough they will get the translation before you finish.
Scot: [3:53] It's hard to like keep your brain going while the things speaking in a foreign language.
Jason: [3:59] Intended for remote interactions they're demoing it in a you're standing right next to the person but you are kind of in a isolated Booth so you only heard. But it's remarkable how well that technology is getting the Star Trek Universal translator is basically here.
Scot: [4:18] Or the Babel Fish.
Jason: [4:20] Absolutely so but half of Ali Baba's Booth was focused on, predominantly consumer electronics and Home Products that Ali Baba designs manufactures and sells on the platform so in addition to being a retailer and a service provider, Alibaba is a product manufacturer and then their own hand sets that are sold in China they have a bunch of like, smart home appliances and things and their pitches.
Scot: [4:51] Is there.
Jason: [4:53] Leveraging all the data and warnings from their their voluminous shopping interactions to identify needs in the market and design these products, and I into a half a booth was dedicated to promoting those products and potentially selling those products in New Markets, and I say that because that's a amongst all these retailers so jd.com, which is like the second biggest e-commerce site in China Alibaba zapier Marketplace they don't actually sell their own stuff other than those, products that they make jd.com is primarily a direct seller so they're more retailer that, sell wholesale products in China they also had a big booth, same story half their Booth was dedicated to products manufactured by jd.com sort of reinforcing this theme that, retailers that had the most intimacy with the consumers have the most inside that they can use to make the most relevant products, what time is also showing some of the retail technology so, in China jd.com is doing pretty significant amount of deliveries via drone in so they were showing all their drones.
Scot: [6:11] The drum Vehicles usually say drown people.
Jason: [6:12] Usually when we say drone people think of the quadcopter that's flying packages and jd.com.
Scot: [6:18] Does have a like high payload quadcopter and they claim.
Jason: [6:19] Does have a like high payload quadcopter and they claim that they make, thousands of deliveries a day with these things in in remote villages, but the way higher volume stuff is they have autonomous vehicles these little mini size Vehicles even smaller than like a smart car that are mostly like storage capacity and it's kind of like, shopping cart the drive to your house and so those things are kind of interesting they were showing some of the, version of Amazon go type technology so they have vending machines that use facial recognition and so you've you've basically like storage a WeChat credential, and you walk up the vending machine you just open the door take whatever you want and it it authenticate you with your face and charges your tencent account. For the purchases so that was interesting.
Scot: [7:15] Alibaba has technology like that too for their The Coloradoan o and said omni-channel they call it online and offline 02.
Jason: [7:23] Yeah online to offline and and Alibaba definitely has initiative facial recognition they have pay with a smile that, like I Smile as a gesture after the face recognition to to initiate transactions I didn't specifically see them demoing that in their Booth this year, definitely.
[7:43] The Chinese providers are like big ecosystems of of these interesting Services some oriented at Commerce of some sort of broader than that, the third Chinese retailer there that would be even less familiar to listeners unless you spend some time in the Chinese market is, I called sooning and they're the largest brick-and-mortar retail are in China there a conglomerate that owns a bunch of different kinds of stores, the biggest chain is like 1700 consumer electronics and home appliance store so sort of like a Best Buy in China, they had a booth and in their Booth they were primarily showing technology that they had developed for experiences inside of retail store, they were showing produce displays for a grocery store that way all the, the produce inside they detect when the weight on the Shelf changes so they know an apple got picked up for a banana got picked up and they have a digital sign that shows you, product content relevant to that banana what form the banana came from how many days it'll be fresh all those sorts of things that a lot of in-store analytics so they were using video system to measure store traffic and I grabbed while time and all that sort of stuff.
[9:01] They had a, at self-checkout experience they had a virtual try-on experience where your body was mapped in 3D and so they, apparel on you that's not paper towels in front of you it sort of on your body and is you turn you see the profile and all that sort of stuff so they had all these, different retail vignette showing technology that they had developed for their stores and what was interesting / peculiar, a bunch of these people had badges from Palo Alto California from sooning I asked and they said they had a R&D lab in Palo Alto they have no, that's out of Asia like they're mostly in China that a few stores in like Hong Kong there.
Scot: [9:48] There depends in the booth.
Jason: [9:49] There comes in the booth they're not trying to sell any of this retail technology to other retailers they're not trying to license anything outside of their home market and so.
Scot: [9:58] It baffles me why they would send it.
Jason: [9:59] Cuddles me why they would spend a bunch of money and have a booth at CES I mean it, my Boost at CES just to generate PR going to be Western press.
Scot: [10:15] Maybe there are a lot of people go to CS cuz there's the component that is good place to go get little Lego blocks right so maybe they were trying to get, component vendors to say hey come up with a cheaper screen for our future digital self or something sometime sometimes those kind of conversations.
Jason: [10:32] Totally viable that that would be a good place to like find new vendors and show them some of the things they're working on it.
Scot: [10:38] Expensive way to do it so well these guys gaited in like a retail technology or like you stumbled upon them as you walk the moon.
Jason: [10:46] Yeah mostly you would StumbleUpon I'm so that, the Busa TSR sort of loosely grouped by use case so most of CES is into big venues the Las Vegas Convention Center which has three big Halls the North Central and South Hall, and then the Sands convention center which is still called The Sands convention center but it's actually not connected to the Venetian Hotel, the North Hall in the Las Vegas Convention Center is mostly Automotive so none of the boots I mentioned are there the central Hall is sort of the original CES Hall it's all the television and home entertainment and. Berkeley the biggest longest running consumer electronic companies have boots and exhibited forever so that the huge Marquee booths in the central Hall are Sony Samsung and LG, so Ali Baba had a very big boost, in that Central Hall not quite as big as like those three but the next step down from those three, The prominent location and I presume that was cuz they were trying to emphasize their home entertainment products predominantly. Southall was computers audio technology drones and Robotics in their way, retail Pavilion so none of the.
Scot: [12:15] So none of the companies I.
Jason: [12:16] Engine wear in the high-tech retail Pavilion the high-tech retail Pavilion was.
Scot: [12:18] Small.
Jason: [12:21] A small splattering of Technology vendors that had sort of Point Solutions so there was like, vendor that was doing like virtual makeup there's a vendor that's doing geolocation in the store, and some reason why even more preferred vendors of vendor that sells vending machines that clean your eyeglasses while you wait that they're trying to sell the retail stores. In the most Buzzy thing in the in the high-tech retail Pavilion was a bread box in an autonomous Self Service vending machine that bakes the bread and then dispenses freshly baked. So the bread. Was kind of a hot Buzzy thing but like if you walk this high-tech the billion at CES it feels.
Scot: [13:12] Small subset of what you'll be here in New York at the.
Jason: [13:13] Subset of what you'll you'd see here in New York at The Innovation Pavilion in inner mouth. Invite if you're going to exhibit one showing you're one of these small vendors CES does not feel like the right show to meet a bunch of, retailers that would be interested in your products so I didn't spend a lot of time there sooning and JD were in that Southall, the so those were all the sort of retail Focus boost and Walmart does have a booth in that Southall that was sort of just outside the high the high tech The Village, and it's basically their jet booth in it's basically recruiting sellers for the jet / mart Walmart marketplace, for the first time. Amazon had went from no real booth at CES that's in small presence in the past and.
Scot: [14:09] We've had Marketplace boots where they recruit sellers.
Jason: [14:12] Voice Booth before they've had like the treasure truck and then the last several years they, if that works with Alexa in a million votes in the show 4000 both sent one gaze exhibit space so the first thing they did, talk about it this on the show before but a gimmick than Amazon does the corporate headquarters is they give away free bananas, 2 employees and random people walking by their headquarters in Seattle, exhibit hall there was a Amazon banana stand giving away free bananas that just felt like a brand building thing and they had like a social media contest where they're encouraging you to, tweet out the banana stand and in Winsome Echo prizes. Did I saw they did not have a Marketplace booth that a dedicated booth in the automotive section talking about Alexa for automotive integration, I said I was in the North Hall it had the biotin which is a Chinese, vaporware all electric car that was debuted last year that's a new models this year and Amazon had that in their Automotive section the outside of BMW in there and they're talking about cars that have heavy, Alexa integration in the dash as the cabin 10.
Scot: [15:32] Yes I borrow the Amazon Alexa Auto is supposedly shipping I don't know I couldn't I did not get invited to get in.
Jason: [15:40] I confess I did not try I probably should have. I feel something that I feel like you called me out of the podcast thanks for.
Scot: [15:48] You really let here.
Jason: [15:49] Exactly the first episode this year that you didn't.
Scot: [15:52] Mock my title.
Jason: [15:54] You're like mocking me for.
Scot: [15:55] I think if you're a chief creative digital strategy officer you would have had this figured.
Jason: [16:01] I would have figured out how to get a Amazon how to enter. Prisoners of the Amazon Auto is a device you can plug into the auxiliary audio input in your car that that sort of, is a OEM Alexa that you can add to your car the people are up ridiculous got her excited about, so they had this Auto thing they were that was mostly probably targeted other car manufacturers to you know convince them that they should be using Alexa, in the Sands Amazon had a huge exhibit, demonstrating all of the devices that have Alexa integrated into them and that was a super high traffic Booth so Amazon had a huge footprint at the show through all these different booths.
Scot: [16:48] That's how you tweeted a toilet from that exhibit.
Jason: [16:54] I treated a Kohler toilet that has Amazon in.
Scot: [16:58] That was not a.
Jason: [16:59] That was not actually in Amazon's Booth it was in coolers booth that we do all definitely need this toilet has a automatic. Open and close function in so you can use Alexa to put the toilet seat down which could potentially result some marital problems and some some relationships.
Scot: [17:14] No problems in some relationships with the.
Jason: [17:18] Use case is by. Just to have an Alexa in your bathroom so you can do things like run the water set the mood lighting play music do you know it's more of a bathroom control than a specific toilet control.
Scot: [17:31] But if you ask me it's a pretty crappy integration.
Jason: [17:34] Balloon pump. Fancy bday in it so you can do things like pre-heat your toilet with. For people that live a different life than I I do. Send anywhere couple other boots that had some like just interesting retail vignettes in them so Qualcomm is a big chip manufacturer there would have called ingredient company they make, Epson ink a lot of the devices we use in their most famous for making Wireless chips that are in a lot of the cell phones for a long time they were in Apple phones but now there's a big falling out in so I don't think Apple phones use Qualcomm chips anymore. Mom was showing a whole set of retail use cases that were.
[18:20] Enhance by the coming internet of things so they made a simulated music festival and they showed examples of digital signs.
[18:30] We're Dynamic can change based on the composition of the crowd they're using video Analytics, image of the crowd and their departed and they're doing sort of artificial intelligence digital signage based on all of these these signals that the signs were in taking they Envision that you would have morrible beer carts in this music festival, and all the mobile beer carts knew exactly how much beer they were on had left and they knew, the crowd was in the area where the cart was in so they could do things like, say hey we have too much beer over a year in this part of the Pavilion and there's way more demand over here but let's tell the cart to move to where the demand is order replenish, I meant to do those kinds of things they were showing up pretty robust.
[19:20] Digital fact egg use case which I've talked a lot about my Affinity for digital fact eggs, downsides of most digital fact exhibitions today is that use proprietary Wireless Solutions so you put these tags on your shelf and you have to buy a hub, from that manufacture or a bunch of hugs that, speak over proprietary frequency and protocol to all the tags to Qualcomm things hey these tags are big thing there ought to be a lot more of them but they out of use Open Standards like Wi-Fi mesh and Bluetooth sobaka, showing some reference designs for that they're showing a lot of video analytics to measure the crowd and know how many people.
[20:02] I was enjoying the music or not and you know they had to use cases where they would change the genre of music is the crab is losing interest and things like that, yeah so they were they were I wouldn't say any of the customer experience words were perfectly Polished but they were you don't thinking about how. Well then you could change the retail experience which is which is interesting to me Panasonic.
Scot: [20:27] I just wanted to detect when there's more than a hundred people in the store and caught more cash registers.
Jason: [20:35] Obviously if you have those video analytics like they're certainly are simple people counters that are they exactly there's too many people in line at the cash register but your.
Scot: [20:43] Got your right light.
Jason: [20:45] The proactive way to solve that problem is know how many people came in the store know what the average dwell time is and be proactive like once once there's too many people in line it's kind of too late.
Scot: [20:54] I feel like there's all these people cuz they're on the mountain they think about all these user experiences and women really nailed some of the basic ones yet down the kind of at the bottom of the mountain.
Jason: [21:03] I think that's up for sure theme of these two shows is that so I could see to show a lot of the bells and whistles and there's still a lot of blocking tackling to be one, Panasonic had a like an additional the Consumer Electronics they were showing a new pickup Locker so a buy online pickup in-store, at a locker experience.
Scot: [21:24] And they're trying to solve.
Jason: [21:24] They're trying to solve a very real problem. Walkers for produce so they had lockers that were refrigerated and lockers that were freezers and so they're in their Vision was, you buy the groceries they partition your groceries into cold and Frozen, put them in these refrigerated automated Walkers and so it sort of like Amazon Locker for perishables.
Scot: [21:50] That's something that's like active in Japan and they're trying to bring to other countries or is it was.
Jason: [21:55] I think the Panasonic probably isn't used anywhere I think it's a brand new product that they Envision selling to retailers so we'll see if that gets any traction they also had like. A common theme in CES in a shiny bauble a lot of people talk about is blockchain so they had a. A food cart that was an autonomous vehicle that drove the produce to your house and it had self checkout and it had blockchain for all the produce so you could you know know the, you could verify the origin of all the produce in them anything was recalled or something like that a little silly and more forward-looking that interesting that they, spent a bunch of the space and they're super expensive CES Booth to think of these sort of retail vignettes and then much more interesting to me.
[22:46] John always has a big booth there despite the fact that way, Cameron sales are decreasing dramatically as everyone uses their smartphone but, built-in their Booth a bunch of, Instagram photo opportunities and you walk around CES and people were standing in line for like 30 minutes, picture taken in a bathtub full of yellow ping pong balls or in a swimming pool full of rubber duckies or you know all these these different like super colorful well-lit vignettes and very much reminded me, might there now he's dead a dedicated Instagram experience tours things like the Ice Cream Factory in San Francisco where people pay forty bucks to, coincide a venue that has a bunch of pretty sets to take photos of themselves to share on social media in, it's great experiential we talked a lot with retailers about creating opportunities for digital souvenirs for your Shoppers and it and the Nikon booth just seemed like a particular good example of, of creating these these digital experience as a sort of mementos of your visit to the booth and it seems like a smart tactic for retailers to be thinking about. We've heard of some retailers even using the amount of the social media that their physical store generates has a kpi which is interesting and then last.
Scot: [24:15] And then last there's a.
Jason: [24:18] Avenger there it's been there for a couple years called physics and physics is taking up the mantle of Google Glass so they, glasses that you wear that have an augmented reality display that are primarily intended for industrial purposes so, car mechanic to wear that has like schematics of the automobile well while they're working this year they, they debuted their first consumer product which is $1,000 clone of Google Glass as a much higher res screen that's much bigger, I wouldn't say it looks any better than Google Glass much more processing power behind it and, not sure they're ever going to sell a lot of these but it was interesting the created a bunch of vignettes for how people might use them in one of the vignettes was a shopping vignette where you could put on their prototype glasses walk into the setup store, and they would everything all the product packaging you look at.
[25:22] The physical packaging with digital information like is a gluten-free is a kosher all this sort of things and I do think that, augmented reality. A for product information is really interesting sort of thing people are way more likely to use their phones that they already own and carry with them than they are to use these for project glasses but it was a nice visualization of the con.
Scot: [25:48] Yeah I wanted to tell me where on the Shelf to find it cuz my wife wants a very specific thing and then I spend like the bulk of my time finding that very specific thing.
Jason: [25:56] They absolutely did have that use case like we caught wayfinding we're essentially. You about a list in the the classes have sort of GPS directions saying turn left turn right and walk you to the to your wife's items so she that would definitely approve the wife approval factor in your family.
Scot: [26:12] Awesome I need all that I can get.
Jason: [26:14] Yeah so that was a lot of the stuff that jumped out at me as being particularly retail specific at the show.
Scot: [26:20] Cool and so as you know I've been thinking a lot about the future vehicles and I saw there was tons of interesting news that came out of Cs around autonomous vehicles in electric vehicles one thing that's kind of the summer I saw lead with the CEO of waymo was out there saying hey the sky prior to see us become admitted in an interview with reporter he doesn't see us getting to 100% autonomy so they've been running these vehicles millions of miles even like tens of millions of simulated miles with the finding are they to do okay in perfect stereos but things like tree shadows and then as weather gets bad like Randy Rhoads they do really poorly, it's one of the things I saw out there was kind of more limited autonomous vehicles so shuttle service that will go from point A to point C kind of thing did you see any of those when you write CS.
Jason: [27:18] So an interesting Cadence you Tennessee at CES is, people show very early prototypes of stuff it's not going to be in the market for many years right tires used TV is the sort of example, before there's ever any content or you could ever buy a TV that has 8K resolution, there's a bunch of 8K TVs that are kind of Novelties so that when you're when you're you go there and it's like a magic there's a TV with twice as many dots as you've ever seen before you can't buy it for several years but it's cool though.
Scot: [27:49] Look at this picture of an apple spinning with some cool water blobs on it.
Jason: [27:55] Next year is it gets closer to reality there's there often are way less of those TVs because the the few, being shown now are, really store close to release and they're usually pretty rough because even though they've commercialize this TV in the ready to sell it and they have things they didn't have the year before like a price they still lack any content right there. Of examples and almost feels like it loses traction as it's getting closer to commercialization and then you come to the show the third year and it's like, ATV 8K TVs are ready for the general public now every TV you see is a k and that's sort of the the the Cadence so in autonomous vehicles last year felt like the year when, everybody had autonomous vehicles just for the novelty of it and so like, all the car manufacturers are showing and Thomas Vehicles a bunch of companies we've never heard of where showing autonomous vehicles and all the ingredient companies like Qualcomm and Intel were mainly talking about how their chips are driving autonomous vehicles in video which does a lot of the, the heavy processing for the vehicle like everybody's talking about it this year. Middle year there was less autonomous vehicle hype the autonomous vehicles shown.
[29:19] Completely commercialized or ready for Primetime that it felt like the vendors were having more practical conversations with them so it like. TVs can probably iterate faster than a trama vehicles.
Scot: [29:30] Very fast.
Jason: [29:33] Saying you shall expect that we're all be driving autonomous vehicles next year but it feels like we're in the middle of that cycle so.
Scot: [29:38] Cycle so.
Jason: [29:41] The consumer car companies were away last emphasizing that autonomous vehicles the BMW's and in Honda's Ford Tollbooth last year was dedicated to autonomous vehicles that wasn't true this year. A lot more B2B autonomous vehicle use cases were being shown and it was like public transportation people movers it was a lot of these autonomous drone delivery of package, on public roads or in hotels are all these different use cases like that in the world bunch of commercials, like use cases like there's a lot of people that are pitching like, way before we have truly autonomous vehicles will have commercial trucks that are autonomous on the freeway and they hand over control to a remote operator, when I get off the freeway for example and so there are more of those kind of use cases.
Scot: [30:38] I think it's interesting cuz I'll be a freak we have the news on when I'm like working and I'll hear some talking head come on and say you know, we should plan on vast unemployment in 5 years cuz of all these we won't need truck drivers and Uber drivers and everything, we've lived the Commerce experience for 20 years and we're at fitting on whose numbers look at 15 to 20% penetration so, I think you know I think that's a little bit further out than people think it is I think they're the kind of reading too much into.
Jason: [31:12] Everything I say is not going to put truck driver like 50,000 truck driver short of what we need right now right away.
Scot: [31:18] Same time.
Jason: [31:21] I can't hire enough truck drivers in they're all like escalating pay and competing with each other and so the premises if the trucks can run at honesty in the freeway but then, operator has to Take Over Control.
Scot: [31:32] Take Over Control.
Jason: [31:33] To drive it off the freeway to the the store or the DC you still need people. A person can now manage more trucks they can essentially they have more delivery capacity for their labor and so the.
Scot: [31:48] The premise is.
Jason: [31:50] What's close the gap between supply and demand like probably doesn't like obsolete a bunch of jobs in the foreseeable future.
Scot: [31:59] But even then I go back to like my previous statement like my cell phone drops out a lot right jack making calls and, I get really nervous of some guy in Phoenix driving a truck across five trucks across country in, is is LTE drops out when he's on the ramp there I'm not sure where you can quite ready for a lot of these guys take a lot longer than people think.
Jason: [32:26] Absolutely well in there like they talked about like there's three fundamental technology platforms that need to happen that haven't happened yet. They're all saying that like for their.
Scot: [32:37] Brittany practical for there to be a lot of autonomous.
Jason: [32:39] To be a lot of autonomous vehicles, Gambia islands like the vehicles actually have to talk to each other and know where they are right and so not only do you need that good Wireless communication that you mentioned like you can't have the LTE but it's there's way more connections cuz I'll.
Scot: [32:53] Way more connections cuz all the vehicles are two paragraphs.
Jason: [32:55] And so the premise is that when 5G is Broad we deploy the next generation of Wireless technology. Attributes that are more friendly to autonomous vehicles it's faster it has way more capacity for more devices and most importantly, has way lower latency which is super important for like you can't you can't have the wireless going there's a dude in front of you and then have 130 millisecond lag before you hit the brakes.
[33:26] Where it where we see you're away from 5G being deployed at all much less like ubiquitously deployed and for your point, maybe it'll work as well as promise maybe it won't there's a huge. No One Believes that these things can be autonomous by just using cameras and sensors they all need this light our technology in the light our is kind of like a laser version of radar, and there's a lots of controversy like the best working lidars are super expensive and have some negative side effects like, potentially could blind people and they could ruin, regular CCD cameras and so there's actually this big problem the vehicles need regular cameras and lidar and the lidar actually burns the the regular cameras, signs of light are there way safer for devices and eyeballs but it has range limitations and things like that, that's tough to be figured out so I totally agree like I think cars are going to have more, amenities for easing driving in the near future but I like yeah I don't think we're just going to be like picking picking menus on Google Maps and and arriving there.
Scot: [34:39] Switching gears pun intended there another thing you touched on was voice and I remember last year you kind of proclaimed it was the year that Amazon kind of stole CES arrest reports that apple with their Siri platform in a Google with their assistant platform I tried to kind of catch up to Alexa at CES this year although Apple didn't have a booth which I think was one of the first time so how would you score those three kind of contenders and how they did.
Jason: [35:11] Why would I should go back two years I'd say 2 years ago.
Scot: [35:13] 2 years ago.
Jason: [35:15] Amazon had to show to themselves until they tell you what they didn't have a booth but they were, embedded in their bunch of products that work with Alexa 2 years ago and last year the hand, who's that work with Alexa turned into thousands of boost that had products that work with Alexa so again Amazon didn't really pay for a booth but they got huge buzz and footprint in their logo was everywhere on the show Google show, last year but it was mostly with an advertising present so they had their own booth that they paid for the page. There their logo on all the trans in Las Vegas and all the taxis until you're just looking around Las Vegas you go oh man I saw a bunch of Google.
Scot: [35:58] Google logo.
Jason: [35:59] And I saw a bunch of Amazon logos but I would argue Amazon dominated because, all the Amazon logos were free and they were in products you could buy and the Google logos were mostly, paid advertisements for for a handful of Google products that did not have huge penetration so now fast forward to this year and I feel like, continue to make progress the Google is starting to catch up so the most common thing you would see now in a, is in Words with Alexa and works with Google Assistant logos side by side it was on, we agreed on the treatments and so there are lots of Brands where support for both products were in there to remind listeners which kind of two tiers of products there's products, Alexa in it so it actually like is the assistant than you usually can talk to it, and there's products that work with Alexa right like so a light bulb you know works with Alexa Smart Lock Works with Alexa a Bose or Sonos speaker, probably has Alexa built into it the toilet odd we had Alexa built into it.
Scot: [37:19] They're both so you can you just kind of switch conversations and haven't OK Google / Alexa conversation.
Jason: [37:25] So they the ones that I saw mostly had an interface in you selected one of the other like I assume you could pretty seamlessly toggle back and forth but it wasn't like, you could use either utterance and Trigger either assistant and way more common was devices that worked with both than that had both embedded in it like a lot of appliances like a refrigerator, might have a smart assistant embedded in it that you actually bought one ski or the other you bought the Google Assistant version or you bought the Alexa version.
Scot: [37:58] And I've noticed you haven't said Siri in this conversation.
Jason: [38:02] So I sew a Amazon his net, Apple has never had a booth at CES or at least in modern era has never had a booth at CES they many years they winzy yes because they launch the iPhone 11 years ago, during CEO never one time and they sucked all the announcement out and Walt Mossberg was at CES and Steve Jobs called him and said hey we're having this event and I really think you ought to come mini cannons wall, wces and go to the the first iPhone announcement, and their many years when the most prominent product category at the show is stuff that worked with iPhones or that work with Apple products but Apple's never had a booth and again they did not did not, for home pod this year so they still didn't have a booth I'm sure they had sweets where they were talking privately but there is very little. Siri stuff embedded in products and to my knowledge I didn't see any products where it was like. Google Amazon or Siri it felt like a two-way party the one place where Apple in are two places where Apple integration showed up heavily, the the Sands has a hall dedicated to home automation and apple has a platform called home kits.
Scot: [39:26] So that every exhibitor.
Jason: [39:28] In the home automation section probably had a logo saying it was home Tech compatible and again Appleton have a booth in that section that homekit was definitely the most prevalent. Call for home automation and then surprised that Apple pulled off at this show. Who is famously sort of Walled Garden company. A good experience you have to buy all our products if you want Apple TV you have to buy an Apple TV if you want Apple music you have to listen to it on the Apple product I'm so proud to show, you saw those walls are eroding, Apple actually launched a skill for Alexa that what you listen to your Apple music on your Amazon device which is unprecedented in shocking and then you got to CES this year and surprise.
Scot: [40:19] Apple in embedded.
Jason: [40:19] Embedded are play in most of the major TV manufacturers platforms so you now can get all the, Apple TV content on a Samsung or LG TV without needing external hardware and the, very likely is going to have a meaningful impact on Apple TV sales, Roku is already destroying Apple TV in terms of market share in this will probably make it worse, everyone's assumption is that Apple's about to make a major content Play Everybody expects Apple to have a pay-per-view video offering, in the near future the complete compete with Netflix and the, how has essentially as you can already buy individual content from Apple Apple is essentially made this decision that they can make more money, as a Content publisher and they want to have his brought a market for their content as possible so they made this dream that, from being a Walled Garden to being a open system that works with as many providers as possible.
Scot: [41:26] We've talked about it seems like things are thawing between Apple and Amazon these know so let's see, Prime TV showed up on Apple TVs I think was the first thing and now we're seeing them kind of so the skill being Alexa there's an apple music skill on Alexa, yes it would be interesting to see you could you have one of these Amazon Alexa TVs and get to some apple content to say say to Alexa hey ask Apple to play.
Jason: [41:57] Yeah absolutely seems like it's heading that direction the one that gets voted on and off the island a lot as there's a few Alexa devices with a screen like the Alexa show and various X Alexis enabled YouTube to be on or off of those things in at the moment you can get YouTube on your Alexa show.
Scot: [42:15] So anything else from CS that you want to hit.
Jason: [42:20] So we touch on a couple of these in so I'm not going to Deep dive anyone but just us or the Highlight if you walked away from the show and said hey what.
Scot: [42:26] Walk away from the show and said hey what were the.
Jason: [42:28] Themes of this year show. Underpinning in this whole show is there's this new thing coming that's not quite here yet called 5G and so falling that same kind of. Nioh release actually released last, a ton of 5G height with fake products this year there were fewer boost talking about 5G but they seemed very close and the the carriers have all announced that they have, it's now and they're going to be doing appointments throughout the year and it don't have sort of meaningful penetration of 5G by the end of 2019 now that, you can take multiple years to have the kind of 5G coverage that we enjoy the day with LTE which is the 4G network. It really feels like we're at least a year away from meaningful consumer experiences and in fact there's like controversy.
Scot: [43:22] Factors like controversy this the earlier.
Jason: [43:24] IG this happens with every new iteration AT&T has rebranded some of their for G, at work is 5G and they they got like a lot of funny social media Burns Teemo, a funny video where they took a iPhone in AT&T iPhone and it showed the, you have 5 bars of 4G LTE signal and they they wrote 5G on a Post-It note and like, put it over the icon on the iPhone and said hang on a minute I'm doing a AT&T upgrade and it was sort of a joke that they just rebranded 4 G is 5 G, so so that's coming everyone thinks that's going to be a huge game-changer when you can have a thousand times more devices connected, and all those devices can have a hundred times faster bandwidth and they can have you know at 10 for a hundredth of the latency that we currently have its.
[44:24] You have to stop thinking about it's going to be a better cell phone and started thinking about, no one's ever going to store files on the hard drive anymore by computers I'm going to need hard drives you're just like everything's going to be on the cloud and be able to come very quickly to your ubiquitous 5G signal and so, the talk about other use cases that will change there's a ton of examples of leveraging improvements in visual search and video analytics and so there's a, they talked about how I Google Maps spent a fortune, turn cameras on cars and driving all over the country to get the images for Google Maps there's a company that sells the dash cams to all the taxi drivers.
Scot: [45:08] And they're like.
Jason: [45:10] We have GPS in the car we have all this dashcam video we can extract video from all the cab drivers in crowdsource better images than Google, and so there's a lot of. Qualcomm using video. To do crowdanalytix tons of Booth had this experience I hate where they they use video to try to infer the the mood of the, the audience and hey we can show happy content to the audiences sad, another number boost showing like we can tell old people and young people and sick people in healthy people and change the content there's a lot of controversy over that stuff.
Scot: [45:46] What is clear the technology.
Jason: [45:49] LG to quantify video and turn it into actionable analytics is like is incrementally improving and video visual searches is going to be a game-changer for a bunch of stuff, so that was a big Trend a big Trend was, a bunch of vendors shifting from their Walled Garden approaches to open system so Apple was the most dramatic but in the old days Samsung would try to make it use Bigsby and do everything with their smart home protocol, felt like the manufacturer is kind of thrown in the towel on being walled Gardens and, for several years there's been a connected home and a connected Health Hall at the Sands Hall but I tell people, if you walk around the TV Hall the central Hall at CES it feel, Legend Mall of America on Christmas Eve like it's super stressful it feels like you don't have enough room to breathe and walk and when you go to the Sands with this newer Technologies I connected home and connected health. Felt relaxing because like there's more room it was West busy and this year felt like the year when those Halls flipped that like was much of.
Scot: [46:56] Her comfortable and less chaotic.
Jason: [46:56] Unless chaotic in the central Hall showing all the home video technology and it was wall-to-wall energy and Chaos in the connected home and connected health so very unscientific lie, it feels like those categories are really starting to get some traction.
Scot: [47:13] And apples playing that in addition dumb could have helped get right so what did you see a lot of your healthkit kind of stuff.
Jason: [47:24] Homekit literally had a dedicated part of the hall so all the products that work with homekit when one place the connected Fitness area had a lot of, products that support an apple healthkit a ton of apple competitors so I got to see the new, new watch has an EEG in it and if you start having irregular heartbeat I'll be able to save you if I choose, ton of ieg products and frankly some of them that make more sense like blood pressure cuffs that also do an EEG like so there was stuff that work for that ball there was stuff that competed with apple there were sensors for every, Endeavor you could possibly imagine so if your baseball player we've got you know censored enabled baseballs they, I can judge how well you hit it with the bad if your fisherman.
Scot: [48:16] We'll put a Fitbit.
Jason: [48:16] A Fitbit on your fishing pole to measure the quality of your casting whatever you want to do, there's a way to quantify it and digitize it in a way you never could do them.
Scot: [48:31] Anything else from CS.
Jason: [48:35] It seemed like the big the big meaty stuff I know that's a lot of lot of content but it's it's the biggest trade show in the US it's a hundred and eighty thousand people.
Scot: [48:44] It feels like there's more more overlap between all the worlds which is interesting you know five years ago there would be no retail kind of stuff. So speaking retail to switch gears and come on over to NRF so did you get here Saturday or Sunday.
Jason: [48:58] I came in Saturday.
Scot: [49:00] So you have been here much longer than I am I was only able to come up today which is Monday so.
Jason: [49:07] Wasted most of your day with me.
Scot: [49:08] I did unfortunately so tell us what you've been I saw a lot of selfies and things from the show floor so so what have you seen here it interrupts the New Berlin kind of really into the show but what have you seen that you want to share with listeners.
Jason: [49:24] Trans obviously Amazon go has a lot of traction and Buzz until one of the things you see here a lot are our alternatives to Amazon go so some of the.
Scot: [49:34] Those are what I would call a legitimate Amazon go tape.
Jason: [49:35] Legitimate Amazon go type experiences where they're sort of just walked out technology so there's a bunch of big exhibitors that have built little mini stores and can kind of demo that experience, claiming they can do it with a fraction of the cameras and cost of Amazon go and it's really hard in these controlled environments to know whether there, that's hyper or reality but a lot of vendors are claiming they can do Amazon go for a fraction of the cost and then there's a ton.
Scot: [50:03] Wingo.
Jason: [50:03] Climbing on Amazon GoPro alternative when really there a scan and pay alternative.
Scot: [50:09] So which it is a useful and go.
Jason: [50:09] So which it is a useful and good experience in and of itself I'm not knocking Scan & Go I get slightly annoyed when people try to say. The equivalent of grabbing your milk off the shelf and walking out the store without doing anything is grabbing your milk finding the barcode launching an app in your phone a mean a camera at the park, it's a it's a it's a either there different use cases but.
Scot: [50:35] But they're a lot about I've seen tons of robots wandering around some of the same platform has been here for like 4 years now.
Jason: [50:44] So there's like a lot of the traditional automation like most of it, dedicated Logistics so we've talked before about Amazon has these Kiva robots there's now a lot of alternatives to Kiva the other, fulfillment centers can use to automate them would say there's more of those this year and what they're now is is a bunch of robots that people are hoping you'll use in the store, so there are robots for wayfinding you come into the front of the store, you say my wife told me to get this specific item in the robots is follow me and walks to the store and gets it and there's multiple competitors they've been here the last couple years, pictures of all the shelves and they do planogram compliance the Campbell Soup is where it's supposed to be we're out of this SKU we got to get more they're all doing some some, liability compliance as well now they're taking pictures the floor to make sure there is not a trip and fall Hazard or things like that there's robots that will.
Scot: [51:44] Robots that will.
Jason: [51:46] Replace the instacart people in the store it seems pretty far-fetched to me.
Scot: [51:50] Robot.
Jason: [51:50] All around with the customers and grabs products out the Shelf to fill a shopping cart.
Scot: [51:56] Robotic shopping carts.
Jason: [51:57] Birds that follow you around so you don't have to push your own shopping card and use but items in the the autonomous vehicle that's chasing you around the store, a lot of robots. Mostly feel like super expensive kind of Ivy bells and whistles right now like some of the the warehouse automation is like, super effective in high Roi for for high-volume warehouses but a lot of the stuff I think is, interesting but not something we should expect to see in high-volume in stores in the near future.
Scot: [52:31] That reminded me I kept seeing this video at CS of the Sluggers that would follow you around and then the video it literally runs into 4 people.
Jason: [52:44] They tell you you can't bring on the plane. If your luggage has a battery in it you have to take the battery out of your luggage so if you're, luggage is also a Killer attack robot it seems like there's going to be some interesting, conversations with the FAA.
Scot: [53:01] But yeah.
Jason: [53:01] But yeah there's a lot of robot to CES like in terms of density robot, he's probably even more robots at interrupt this year so the robot guys are here in full strength there's a.
Scot: [53:16] Money is gravitating around.
Jason: [53:17] Is gravitating around the problem of apparel returns so a big reason people return a pair.
Scot: [53:22] Apparel is.
Jason: [53:24] Is because it doesn't fit, and tell you that they bought two sizes and returned one or they bought it expecting it to fit and they didn't so there's a bunch of companies that are using your smartphone to try to take measurements. Help you pick the right size the first time there's a bunch of companies that are having you upload your image in your measurements so that you can be busy.
Scot: [53:47] You can visualize the clothes.
Jason: [53:48] You can visualize the clothes on your exact body type, stuff like that that is a big Trend this year a lot of hardware and software around optimizing Logistics and reverse Logistics so vendors thinking about how to optimize returns, a ton of digital in-store in digital shelf stuff, so I every year say oh this is going to be the year of digital fact tags and so far I've mostly been wrong I'm doubling down yet again I think there's more reasons that digital fact tags will take off this year and little boys at Amazon, is using them now and it's like I could open a bunch more stores where them in Sam's Club is using them in Walmart is piloting I'm in Best Buy's piloting on the streets trying to see some real traction from, retailers that other retailers are likely to follow and the technology is getting better.
Scot: [54:43] But there's a lot of other.
Jason: [54:44] Digital shelf technology Kroger has developed a digital shelf that can run Co-op ads on the Shelf Edge until you think about what a big advertising platform Amazon is becoming, has a lot of. But in the store so they're trying to monetize that traffic by creating opportunities to run ads next to the real-time products so those kinds of digital shells or super interesting, the same train we saw a video analytics at CES we definitely see here that all the traffic meter guys but there's a lot of other use cases now for, analyzing video streams to do various things in the store and not so much on the show floor but in a lot of the content I was able to capture one of the big themes that's emerging this year that I really agree with is that one of. Challenges we have in Commerce is an erosion of trust between the retailer and the consumer or the brand in the consumer, I feel like, yeah with all the negative Facebook press and you know the the never ending stream of breeches like there's a lot of reason to really be worried about, the level of trust you've earned with your consumers and a lot of reason to believe that that's that's a limiting to your Market opportunity so I'm not sure anyone had the Magic Bullet for, learning that trust back or retaining that trust.
Scot: [56:09] I like the fact of.
Jason: [56:10] People are starting to have a conversation about explicitly trying to solve the the trust game.
Scot: [56:17] Call any us some good thematic stuff anything specific to specific retailers on the content side. So I think you were at the big Gala and it seems like a lot of the winners of that Gala event or digital native Oracle Branson Center.
Jason: [56:34] Has this sort of their Hall of Fame that they called the list and every year about 20 people get inducted on to this list, and they're like influencers and power Brokers and innovators and disruptors that these different categories and you know most of those almost all of those awards are targeted at retailers and so on the past you have, you know the CEO of Nike winter the CEO, Macy's are you know all these these these sort of traditional retailers in this year the overwhelming majority of retailers that won an award where, small are digital native Brands the two batters of Warby Parker where the power Brokers and the women from a way you know was a disruptor inside, it felt like a huge transition from the the traditional Legacy retailers to the the digitally native Brands which is coming. And then a bunch of the retards give key notes to be honest like it's mostly not that interesting to attend the key notes from the CEO of all these retailers because. The job not to share secrets and you don't get elevated to that level of seniority unless you're really good, that kind of Public Communication and so.
Scot: [57:55] Kind of Public Communication and so.
Jason: [57:58] Mostly commercials you know focused on Public Information and it doesn't feel like there's a lot of like secret new inside or advice or learnings that get shared by the CEOs of these kind of events, I might be cynical.
Scot: [58:12] Yes of the one-piece Contin I saw was a professor Galway or Galloway, yeah I wanted like jump off a cliff. After that it was like super depressing.
Jason: [58:21] I feel like he made you sit with.
Scot: [58:22] Grab the Grim Reaper so everything is terrible and we're all going to die so thanks for that.
Jason: [58:28] It's up here is not a retail apocalypse guy I think he felt like our government and our society was going to collapse.
Scot: [58:33] But other than that retails going to be great.
Jason: [58:38] Better-than-expected year.
Scot: [58:40] Wow wow the whole society Falls.
Jason: [58:44] Exactly what we'll try to find you some some Beverages and help you help you start feeling better about your future and that is a. A place to use it cuz we have used up our a lot of time as a reminder of anything came up on the show you want to discuss further or you have any questions for us we encourage you to go to Facebook and will continue the conversation there as always the biggest, appreciation you can give to us is to jump on the iTunes and give us that five star review I know there's still a few listeners that listen to the show every week that haven't made the truck over to iTunes and now would be a terrific time to do it.
Scot: [59:24] Yeah thanks for joining us everyone and we will be back with the some more news from an RF later this week.
Jason: [59:30] And until next time happy commercing.