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CES Watch

CES 2015: Tuesday's Branded Tech Buzz

Posted by brandchannel on January 6, 2015 06:25 PM

CES 2015 Ford Mark Fields keynote

Marketers and brands are out in full force at the Consumer Electronics Show this week, with more than a few (AT&T, Intel, Kimberly-Clark) hosting hackathons and courting mobile developers.

Kimberly-Clark's Digital Innovation Lab (D'Lab) met with the 10 finalists in its second KChallenge, a two-day event that included SCiO, a hand-held sensor that can scan food. The winner will develop a pilot tech project with one of KC's global brands such as Kleenex or Huggies.

As Mayur Gupta, Kimberly-Clark's head of marketing tech and innovation, told us, "CES creates excitement and a focal point for the process because it brings our brands face-to-face with cutting-edge technologies, both for our present and future needs."Continue reading...

bc q&a

CES 2015: 5 Questions with Chevrolet CMO Tim Mahoney

Posted by Jonathan Redman on January 6, 2015 02:29 PM

The Consumer Electronics Show this week in Las Vegas is all about the connected car, from in-car infotainment systems to cutting-edge tech innovations that make driving a vital part of the #Mecosystem—the connected ecosystem of integrated brand experiences that reorganize and reorient themselves around individuals. 

As Global Chief Marketing Officer for Chevrolet and Global GM and Marketing Operations Leader at General Motors, Tim Mahoney is on the forefront of that evolution. GM and Chevy are at CES 2015 to highlight a host of intelligent features coming to select 2016 models.

Leveraging 4G connectivity, for example, the new OnStar Driver Assurance will predict and flag potential problems with engine parts before there’s an issue, marking a much-needed evolution of the “check engine” warning light. brandchannel contributor Jonathan Redman asked Mahoney for details on how Chevrolet is already planning to continue innovating into 2016.Continue reading...

CES Watch

CES 2015: Monday Brand Buzz, From Wi-Fi Kettles to Wearable Bling

Posted by Shirley Brady on January 5, 2015 06:28 PM

Smarter Wi-Fi Kettle CES 2015

Although one of Twitter users’ biggest new year's resolutions is unplugging from technology, global tech spending last year surpassed $1 trillion last year and is likely to get even bigger in 2015.

Part of the reason is the hype that starts each January at the annual Consumer Electronics Show, the world's biggest tech showcase and launchpad.

With CES 2015 now underway in Las Vegas, here are some of the brands generating buzz ahead of Tuesday's official opening:Continue reading...

CES Watch

CES 2015: Audi Celebrates Record Year With Self-Driving Car Feat

Posted by Dale Buss on January 5, 2015 05:24 PM

Audi CES 2015 Autonomous Car

Audi has been enjoying a great run in the US market, with its restrained styling, sleek engines and younger personality helping the brand rack up its fifth straight year of record US sales, up more than 15 percent from a year ago.

The brand keeps taking luxury-segment share from rivals Mercedes-Benz and BMW, with Audi's US premium market share hitting 11 percent in 2014, up by three percent in just a few years. (As automotive brands released their full-year sales for 2014 on Monday, most had a good year in the US.)

Another aspect of Audi's brand identity, its leadership in digital connectivity, is getting some extra attention this week as well, as the automaker renews its trailblazing relationship with the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Among other things Audi is highlighting at CES 2015 is its so-called "piloted driving" technology.Continue reading...


Chevrolet Joins Auto Brands Testing Virtual Reality

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 24, 2014 10:31 AM

Chevrolet Powerwall Virtual Reality

Making prototypes can cost a company a few pennies, particularly if it immediately finds that the new whizbang idea that looked so great on paper isn’t going to quite make it on the road.

Chevrolet has found a way to help it be efficient and spur the creative design process with virtual reality—a technology that Volvo has been using to help it sell cars online. Chevy's massive, 24-foot "PowerWall" screen has "more pixels than an IMAX theater" and "ultra-fine resolution," according to a press release.

"That’s the beauty of this kind of high definition. Using the math data, we can render the vehicle as the customer will see it in the ‘as manufactured state,'" stated Joe Guzman, engineering group manager for Global Virtual Design Process & Operations. "Designers and engineers can then scrutinize every detail to make sure they are spot-on." Continue reading...

bc q&a

Open Innovation: 5 Questions with Kimberly-Clark's Mayur Gupta

Posted by Dale Buss on December 23, 2014 10:32 AM

Mayur Gupta graphic

Like many other CPG companies, Kimberly-Clark is trying to become more agile, especially when it comes to identifying, evaluating and spurring innovation in areas ranging from new products to digital marketing. But the parent of brands including Kleenex and Huggies has been taking a different—and in some ways more aggressive—tack than others in the industry toward finding these new ideas and putting them to work.

Kimberly-Clark's strategy is embodied in the company's Digital Innovation Lab, which is focusing on open-source innovation with its second annual KChallenge startup challenge at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show 2015. The winner will get the chance to pilot a project with one of K-C's global brands, a roster that also includes Depends, Scott and Kotex.

Originally a platform to showcase the latest high-tech TVs and consumer electronics, CES has broadened to engage other industries, including automotive, healthcare, entertainment and consumer brands, as the digital revolution invades every aspect of life.

brandchannel talked with Mayur Gupta (@inspiremartech on Twitter), the global head of marketing technology and innovation for Kimberly-Clark, about the 2015 KChallenge and how the company is trying to infuse digital innovation across its brands in partnership with entrepreneurs, developers and the VC community.Continue reading...


CES 2015: BMW Demos Sensor-Filled i3 That Self-Parks Via Smartwatch

Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 18, 2014 05:44 PM

BMW parking assistant watch

Trouble parking? BMW can help with that. The brand plans to display its sensor-filled BMW i3 at CES 2015 this January, and will demo the model's driverless parking system that's operated by a smartwatch known as the Remote Valet Parking Assistant. 

The BMW i3 can navigate multi-level parking garages as it “combines information from the laser scanners with the digital site plan of a building," according to the automaker's description. “The system will steer the vehicle independently through the levels, while the driver has already got out of the car. Once the BMW i3 has arrived at the parking space, the vehicle locks itself."

Once the driver is ready to leave, they can call up the car through voice command, at which point the app "calculates the exact time until the driver arrives at the car park and starts up the BMW i3 so that it arrives at the car park exit at exactly the right time.”

Also to be demoed at CES: BMW’s new 360-degree collision avoidance platform. “If the vehicle approaches a wall or a column too quickly, the system brakes automatically to prevent the threat of collision,” the company said in a press release.Continue reading...

chew on this

McDonald's Trims Menu, Expands Customization to Turn Around Brand

Posted by Dale Buss on December 11, 2014 05:02 PM

McDonald's Create Your Taste

McDonald's has an new unofficial tagline: "We won't do it all for you."

Starting in January, the quick-serve giant will trim items from its bulging menu, including recession-busting Extra Value Meals, as it starts to roll out "Create Your Taste" do-it-yourself digital kiosks across America so customers can build and order their own burgers and chicken sandwiches.

The slimmed down menu and customization moves come as the chain faces its worst financial slump since 2001, and are a key part of the brand's "Experience of the Future" turnaround plan.Continue reading...

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