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Episode 20: The CES Download

CES, formerly known as the Consumer Electronics Show is a behemoth of a conference that takes over Las Vegas, Nevada in January every year.

Several OSTers attended CES this year and came back with some interesting takeaways. On this episode, Andrew Powell interviews OST Design Lead, Chris Chiles and Sr. UX Designer, Bethany Boyd about their experience.

From their favorite connected kitchen to a robotic cat litter box, they cover it all.

Enjoy!

Transcript

Andrew Powell: Hey everybody–a timely episode today. We will talk with Chris Chiles and Bethany Boyd who just got back from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. We talk through their observations and takeaways from the largest technology conference in the United States, including some useful and not so useful innovations. Enjoy.

[tone]

Andrew: So the annual Consumer Electronics Show big deal in Las Vegas and early January. You guys just got back last week. Hopefully, you can take some time to chat with us about what you saw at CES and why CES matters to you, Chris?

Chris Chiles: Yeah. This was my first time going to CES in Vegas. So it was a lot of fun. It was a very crazy environment with so many people in one city and in one event, so there was a lot going on but it was fun to see all of the new technology that is coming out, all of the new–where things are going in terms of the products and where the companies are going.

Bethany Boyd: Like, how am I ever going to accomplish all this?

Chris: Yeah, and we want to spend some time talking to all the people—

Bethany: Yeah—

Chris: –and figuring out where their products are going and what they are doing, but you cannot do that a hundred thousand times, you got to pick and choose what is important and try to find out what’s most meaningful to you or to your- for the reason that you are going, there is a lot.

Bethany: Yeah.

Andrew: Yeah, well full disclosure. I did spend a day at CES this year myself. So I will try and spring a little bit-

Chris: I saw you in the massage chairs.

Andrew: I knew that massage chair. Can I tell you honestly? Fourteen miles. Fourteen miles I walked in there one day at the Consumer Electronics Show so good for me. My feet needed that massage, Chris. Do not follow me there. Trying to convince the OST we should get some of those massage chairs.

Chris: That would be a good idea.

Andrew: For our listeners though, what is the point of CES? What is the purpose? What sorts of things, broadly, do you think CES speaks to you?

Bethany: I feel like the purpose is for awareness, a little bit, for big companies or even you know, small startups if they have a new concept or a new idea. This is like the world stage to show it off but it is also-  Chris and I were talking a little bit this morning about a lot of the like robotics technology, LG’s Booth, a lot of the products that they were showing were like two years old.

Andrew: And is part of it that two years ago it was conceptual and now we are seeing sort of the evolution of concept to reality or–?

Chris: Yeah, I think that is a big part of it. Especially with LG, one of the things that they showed off this year was like their foldable TV. They showed that off last year as a concept but this year they are ready to put it out in the market and they released pricing and release dates and all that stuff. So it is like a way to show off what are they working on and also what are they releasing today.

Andrew: So it is kind of ideas becoming a reality then. We’re going to use CES as a chance to make sure this thing we are working on as a concept resonates with the marketplace.

Chris: Yeah.

Andrew: And then also we are going to help to bring that to market over the course of the next couple of years. Did you see that repeated across multiple people or we just singling out LG?

Chris: No. I think that was across the board. I think a lot of companies were using it as a way to get market research. Trying to figure out what customers are interested in, a lot of the larger companies especially because they had so much; LG, Samsung, Sony. They had many different products that cost many different Industries. So they are showing off everything. What is real from that is still up for debate and still up for them to execute on but I think just putting everything out there, seeing what resonates with people is kind of where CES is going it feels like versus a way to say versus a product announcement convention. Which I think was historically.

Andrew: I am with you. So I know you guys brought some thoughts about some big takeaways from CES. Before we get into that though, I want to ask you: why do I want a foldable TV? What is the use case for foldable TV?

Bethany: I think it kind of goes back to that whole conceptual piece. Everybody is ideating in there, you know brainstorming the next cool thing and what is going to be the future and so they bring these prototypes and they show them off to the public and then they get feedback. Like is this cool? Is this useful or can we see how we can take this technology that we thought of and we have kind of put some work into and integrate it maybe into something else?

Chris: Yeah. It is a good point, especially with a foldable TV. I do not know that everyone is going to buy a foldable TV in their house—maybe they will in ten years—but seeing that technology being used in phones and laptops sure that is where they are showing off. They can do this, but that other companies are taking that and using it in different ways and the markets kind of taking that where the market wants to take it.

Andrew: Yeah. I did see a lot of foldable things in CES, I do not know if that made your list or not?

Chris: It definitely did. Foldable screens. Foldable laptop. Foldable phones. All of that stuff was a big, big piece of it.

Andrew: I could not help but think it was really cool, but it just seemed needless.

Bethany: Yeah, yeah for sure. Well, and then there was also—I don’t know if you picked up on this—I went to some of the family section in Tech West and I was looking at like all the robotics toys for kids and there was a lot of talk about like pulling kids away from screens and so incorporating like a physical product that talked with like a phone or device in order to like get kids back out into reality, but then so we are talking about that for kids and then you look at LG and they are releasing this foldable smartphone that’s got three screens and multitasking and you can do stuff faster and it’s like, okay. So that is two different sides of the spectrum here. We are talking about pulling ourselves away from screens, but then you are also releasing these products that get us more involved in like a hyper to-do list.

Chris: But maybe that is both though, maybe that is–how can I both encourage you to take time away from your screen and make the most of the moment you spend with your screen?

Bethany: Yeah, that’s true. I can see that. And that is a whole marketing position. Right? Like here is this technology, how do you make it fit into your life in a healthy way? I guess.

Chris: Yeah. I think that is a big part of what we are still trying to figure out across the industry is how does technology fit into our daily lives and as phones have become more intelligent and we need to keep them on us at all times. How do we get away from those but still have access to that technology and have access to that data and have access to what is beneficial from that technology but not being addicted to it? I think we are still trying to figure that out as an industry and you could see that at CES. Especially with a lot of the digital Health Products that were starting to come out.

They were starting to provide ways for people to capture information about how they are using technology or capture ways and in a way that they can provide more healthy ways to use technology. But still giving them a way to kind of get away from that technology, such as like wearables where they are not necessary staring at a phone, but they have got it on them all day long and then they could track it when they need to.

Bethany: Yeah, there were a lot of digital Health Products that were- there were a lot of wearables, but then also things like–they like urinary monitor for like older adults that it was like put this thing on you and it like tracks when you have to go to the bathroom or whatever so like preventing accidents. And so all these things that are designed to like make our lives easier. It feels like a lot of stuff like a lot of clutter like you need this for this and this for this and this for this but then right then-

Andrew: I end up having like seventeen wearable devices on to monitor when I need to pee and whether or not I am hungry, when I need to sleep and whether or not I have got enough exercise and when I need to stand and synchronizing with my desk and yeah suddenly I’m a walking Android.

Chris: But then at the same time you see companies who are investing in fabric with sensors built into them. So you don’t even know that you are wearing the technology, but it is there. It is always tracking you and it is from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to bed. And even while you are sleeping, it is always there and always tracking you and we get that data as consumers and we can use that; but companies are getting that data as well, which leads to  a lot of implications that I think companies are still trying to figure out around security and privacy. And what does that mean especially with healthcare information?

Bethany: Yeah.

Andrew: So let us talk a little bit about- let us just delve into one area in particular. I know there was a lot of stuff at CES around Automotive Mobility and that sort of space. It seemed like it was maybe a focus intentional or otherwise it at CES. Did you do you have thoughts on that? Did you pick up on that trend too?

Bethany: Yeah, again, we’re getting into a very conceptual space and the way I felt was companies are like throwing stuff against the wall and seeing if it sticks.

Andrew: Okay, sure.

Bethany: Like we can talk about transportation in terms of smart cities. We can talk about automotive in terms of driverless cars. And like fleets of driverless cars that are delivering products through the door or the BMW one where you just sit in the passenger seat and you know go along for the ride, basically. But then also other like personal mobility devices like that Segway chair that you just sit in it rolls you around.

Andrew: I saw about that in the movie Wall-E.

Bethany: Yes. Yeah, right and then our society fails, so that–

Andrew: I bet that is not Segway’s goal.

Bethany: Right.

Andrew: For society to fail, but I did find it interesting. I couldn’t help but think they borrowed some design styling from Wall-E, and it made me wonder why.

Chris: At the very least they got some attention from it.

Andrew: I suppose that’s true.

Bethany: Yeah for sure.

Andrew: No, I rode in the BMW driverless car that–you just sit in the back seat and you have like a little table next to you and place to put your feet up and I could not help but think, luxurious as it was, that it was pointless. I couldn’t see why I would ever invest in a BMW that drove itself and had room for only one passenger. It seemed short-sighted to me, but I think they were playing around in the space, right? There is a look at what is possible.

Chris: And then you could even take that further—like Bethenny said—into the smart city area.

Andrew: Yeah, tell me about that.

Chris: BMW is using that vehicle in a smart city and it’s picking you up from your home and dropping you off at work and then going and picking Bethany up at home and dropping her off at work and then picking me up at home dropping me off at work. That car is used for three different people in that scenario.

Andrew: Oh, yeah, that is fascinating.

Chris: But, so, rather than you owning your own car, me owning my own car, Bethany owning her own car, we all have a single car that we share. But I think people are starting to realize or companies are starting to realize that there is—people still want that ownership. They still want to feel like they have some way of connecting with their car, in a way. So they’re thinking about, how can I help the user personalize this to their needs? So that you’re not feeling like you are sitting in a taxi cab every morning when you get into a car.

Andrew: Right. That is it. And that is a fascinating thing really because there is so much to unpack there. It would be easy to say as a theorist or a consultant that the idea of transportation as a service is where we are headed. But that personalization, that sense of ownership is so read into how we think of what it is to be successful. That’s the American way, right? House with the two stall garage. Right? What do I need to choose a two stall garage for if transportation is a service that I use?

Bethany: Yeah.

Andrew: And how do we solve for that?

Chris: Yeah, I think that’s where companies are starting to explore and trying to figure out, like, is it the lighting that people can personalize? Is there an app on their phone where they can control, they hop into a car and the temperatures just right or they feel like it is at their home even though it is not actually their car?

Andrew: Yeah, so when they get into it, they have an experience that feels tailored to them even though it’s a car that also picked up Chris before it picked up me.

Chris: Right.

Bethany: Right. Yep.

Andrew: So, talk to me a little bit about the Segway chair. I’m fascinated by this only because I think you are right. Maybe it was a marketing thing that will get some attention will demonstrate that Segway are more than just that company that made those cool scooters a few years ago. But I could not get my head around anything other than that, it was a completely bold marketing ploy and nothing more. Is this a real thing? Is this a part of the future of smart cities that people are going to have little robo chairs that drag them around?

Bethany: I feel like it is more for- it is less for able-bodied people and more for the disabled. Where there was another company, I forget the name of it, but they created this wheel–this autonomous wheelchair for airports. And so when we were flying into Vegas, I saw this a lot, where there was an airport employee pushing around a person in a wheelchair taking them wherever they needed to go. But this wheelchair created by this company uses like sensors with–that are around the airport to guide this autonomous wheelchair through. So a person gets off their airplane, the chair’s waiting for them and they take some to baggage claim, it takes them to wherever they need to go.

And so that saves the airport resources, but then it also is a pretty good experience for the person in the wheelchair because they feel, you know, less dependent on somebody else like to where they need to be. And so I feel like for the Segway chair, it is the same kind of concept where- that is not for me, but for somebody who needs a wheelchair they could ride around like the sidewalks or whatever in style and comfort basically.

Andrew: Yeah, restoring autonomous mobility to–

Bethany: Yeah, for sure.

Andrew: Maybe people who feel like that’s denied.

Bethany: Yeah, and I know there has been a lot of talk with like this scooter sharing like if you go to Detroit can just pick up the scooter wherever you find it to.

Andrew: [crosstalk] Sure, Minneapolis too.

Chris: They drop it off at the street.

Bethany: Yeah, right. Well, there that’s an issue too. But also for people with limited mobility, they’re like, I cannot use that–like that is great for you. You have two legs and you can push around on that but that’s useless for me. And so with something like the Segway chair or something like this autonomous wheelchair, providing those options for people is gonna open up the door for everybody to be able to use those services.

Andrew: Sure. Sure. So what else is the point?

Chris: [crosstalk] The other thing that I would just add to that in terms of how Segway might be approaching that is a way to test out some of their robotics, their AI systems within a personal mobility device. So aside from the larger auto manufacturers testing their autonomous vehicles, how can they use that technology on a personal device? How can that chair that they released take you from point A to point B without you having to steer it, move it, or do anything really, just sitting and you go. So that’s not where they are at yet, but it is a way for them to put that out there and test it.

Andre: Does that in your mind connect to sort of the idea of a smart city?

Bethany: Yeah, for sure. I mean, there’s a whole element of machine learning and AI there that every new device that’s coming online that’s tracking location–which to a certain extent can be scary when we are talking about it like that–but every data point coming in is going to make smart cities a more real thing; where if you can get to point a–from point A to point B without having to input it in your GPS, say, like, I want to go here and it could be a specific restaurant could be you know, something specific in a mall and it knows exactly where to go.

And so I think that is where we’re talking about location tracking and all those things that are kind of scary. It’s just a lot of data gathering to make things easier in the future.

Chris: Yeah, one of the interesting things that I saw–I think is from Bosch–they were exploring autonomous vehicles was-how do you use that autonomous vehicle in multiple ways, like you mentioned delivering packages. They had a concept where it was a vehicle that picked somebody up in the morning and dropped them off at work. Let’s say, but then in the afternoon it was taking packages and delivering packages in the same vehicle. So-

Andrew: That’s brilliant.

Chris: Yeah, it begins to kind of, like the question about like how these vehicles can be used in multiple ways. So that, I think over time within smart cities, we start to see fewer and fewer of these vehicles being used like we do today and what does that mean for streets, garages, all of those thing.

Andrew: Really the landscape of the city as we understand it right is built around the notion that people drive cars.

Bethany: Yeah. Yep, for sure.

Andrew: So let us carry that down a level. So how does this relate to my home? What did you see in the sort of home space?

Bethany: one of the biggest things I think with a clear implication between like smart cities and smart homes is air quality. We saw lots of air quality products for your home. I could see that also integrating into, you know, a city that is capturing air quality data and sending that to–and I know that already exists, you know, we’re measuring air quality in bigger cities where there is an air quality event in your city and your home air quality system is tracking that then it pumps up, you know, the fan speed or whatever on your air purifiers and helps keep your home safe and–in response to an outside event. So I think that connection is pretty clear.

Andrew: The sort of a smart home as a resident of a smart city.

Chris: Yes, and there were similar aspects in terms of water quality. So, one of the devices that I think it was an honoree at CES was a device used for a smart city so that it would be put on a water pipe system under the street and it could turn off the water if there was a leak. So, turn off the water to multiple houses. Same time. There are companies like Mowing and Kohler who came out with devices that you would put in your home. So, if you had a leak, let’s say in your washer and your sink you flip- it automatically flips a switch on that for your home.

Chris: So long term maybe those things like air quality become connected. And so there is a smaller leak-

Andrew: Is that just about leaking, or did you see some exploration of water quality? I can’t help but think and maybe just because I live in Michigan, yeah, that trying to look at water quality is something a smart connected device could do.

Chris: Yeah. Absolutely. I think that could be used in the same way where it starts to automatically divert water based on how the pipes are deteriorating or how quality is within those pipes like if there is a lot that they can change or reroute and shut down or-

Andrew: Or at least alert, right?

Bethany: Yeah.

Andrew: In some cases just knowing about it is valuable.

Bethany: Yeah, I think for Smart Homes there was a lot of focus on integrating entirely.

Andrew: So like full ecosystem.

Bethany: Full ecosystem. So ADT, you know, they wanted to be in every room of your house. It was like we are going to protect everything. Going back to air quality. You know, what device is in every room that can report on every room of your house? You know from personal air purifiers to plugs in your wall that are transmitting data all the time. We want to become so integrated and know everything about our home and then at the same time we want to strip back. And you know we want our experience to be seamless and it’s just an interesting juxtaposition of here is everything but only show me–like make my experience smooth. Like I want all of these things. I want all of this complexity in my house, but I do not want to feel like it’s complex. And I think that is the constant like push and pull that we are feeling.

Andrew: Right, in the smart home space I think that’s definitely true. Can I tell you I was struck by exactly what you just said–I saw ADT and others who were showing their solution to a fully integrated home and I could not help but think that rationally speaking, that’s never going to happen. I am gonna buy the individual pieces that I like and look for some integration that enables those all to work and I did not see that. I kept waiting. I kept expecting that would turn a corner and they be like no, no, no–like BASF used to say–no, we do not make anything. We just make all the things you have talk to each other. Yeah. That is the thing I wanted to see and did not.

Bethany: Yeah. Well, that is interesting because traditionally like home security companies like ADT or Blink or whatever–they would come in and they would install everything that you needed. Right? So, your front door or back door or window sensor that–was part of the service that would come in secure your home. And now when we shifted away from you know buying a complete service for home security into you can do it yourself. All you need is this thing and all you need is that thing and so people felt a little bit more empowered to do it themselves.

Andrew: And I wonder how that plays out.

Chris: What are the challenges that we are starting to see is that organizations want to own the home. They want to have prices in every room but do consumers actually want that is the question and at this point, I think we are saying probably not. Consumers want choice; they want to be able to pick and choose what’s important to them without having a single hub or single, like, manufacturer across their home.

Andrew: Yeah. It’ll be interesting to see how that plays out. Because I am gonna get a ring doorbell because that’s the doorbell I like. It will look for some way to integrate that into my home. Whatever my home system is-

Chris: Exactly and that’s where you are starting to see companies like Amazon and Googl–they have their interface their voice interface or their app that you are using but that they are buying up these smaller companies like Ring and like Google buying Nest where the consumer can still have their choice of Ring or Euro or another company. But then interface with it through Alexa or Google Home. But at the same time in that case Amazon is still at his core, owning your home. Yeah, but you feel like you have a choice.

Andrew: Perception of choice. That’s a fascinating way to look at it. Yeah, I could not help but think, am I just waiting for all of the smaller companies to get bought by the right big company, and then I will get the integration I seek which is counterintuitive since what I started with as my premise is I do not want some big company to just come and own it all. It is an interesting thing.

Chris: Yeah, like you said, it adds more complexity to it, also in terms of privacy as well because now you have multiple companies who are managing your data. What does that mean if a company like Ring has a breach and your data is out there? What does that mean?

Andrew: What does that mean for our safety and security. The implications are much bigger in a smart home.

Chris: I think we are starting to see that as a big theme at CES–is privacy and security as a whole, especially with how companies like Amazon, Apple, Google are starting to put that into their marketing as a way for consumers to feel comfortable using those products.

Bethany: We were kind of talking this morning about how like growing up in the time period that we grew up in and having all these movies talk about like robotics taking over the world.

Andrew: The robot apocalypse. It is my favorite topic.

Bethany: Yes. Yeah. So I mean like I am a little averse to a lot of these things but at the end of the day, if we want our lives to be more seamless and automated and we want these smart cities, smart homes, we have to give a little bit. And I think if we kind of would transition into talking about robotics a little bit.

Andrew: Yeah.

Bethany: There was a robot vacuum that I spent some time with their booth that they have advanced navigation and so they can make a smarter map of your home and get around it in a more efficient way, but it is also including a 1080p camera on it and it’s positioning itself as part home security, part better navigation. But what does that mean for the camera aspect of it? And how secure is your server? Who was able to hack into my robot and look through my home?

Andrew: And now can see, you know, every room of my house.

Bethany: Yes. So yeah. I want my robot back to get back to the dock easier and quicker and I want my home to be vacuumed in a more efficient and thorough way. But at what cost?

Andrew: Other things you saw in the robotic space?

Chris: one of the big things in robotics that we did see was a lot of older manufacturing companies like John Deere, Brunswick, Miks Boats, those companies that have been showing in the Robotics and AI space because I think they are starting to realize how their companies can change based on using that technology so–

Andrew: Okay, can I be honest with you? I saw that– that like twenty or thirty foot long John Deere arm that was AI-controlled and I could not help but think: this is how humanity dies.

[laughter]

Chris: They’re just tiny little—

Bethany: Yeah–

Andrew: They are so scary but when it is like thirty foot long, giant metal thing that a robots’ controlling I think: “Oh, it won’t even realize it is killing me.”

[laughter]

Bethany: Yeah, right. It won’t even realize it’s running me over.

Andrew: Some really cool stuff.

Chris: Yeah.

Bethany: For sure.

Andrew: So let me ask you this as we wrap up: what was the coolest thing you saw? Give me your answer. What’s the coolest thing you saw.=?

Bethany: I will say mine, the inductive cooktop was amazing, you have TV, you can watch like recipe videos on it and then cook right to the left of it. Then they had–the booth that we were at have hotspots in the countertop that you could like charge your phone on or heat your coffee and it was just very integrated and useful. It was like one of the most useful things I saw.

Andrew: I mean, speaking as someone who spends a lot of time in my kitchen—I like to cook; it’s one of my hobbies—the kitchen of the future was super exciting to me.

Bethany: Oh, yeah.

Andrew: : It was like, “Oh, yeah. This is exactly what I want my next house.” I’ll never have those things, probably.

Bethany: Yeah.

Andrew: But I’m with you.

Chris: Yeah, I think that was very similar for me. I mean one of the cooler things that I saw that was not- it feels more realistic like I can actually buy this thing–was the Keurig drink maker.

Bethany: Oh my gosh, that was so good.

Chris: It was not anything mind-blowing or crazy out there in terms of Technology, but just making your life easier.

Andrew: So you got one of those for your house then?

Bethany: Oh, yeah, first of all, no, I actually wanted it for the office. I think that would be a really good investment.

Chris: That’s what I said about the massage chair, too.

Andrew: What is the wackiest thing? You saw this thing you saw and you thought: “But wait—that’s not real. What am I seeing?” Did you have one of those?

Bethany: There were so many smart kitty litter boxes.

[laughter]

Bethany: The technology there isn’t great enough to sense when the cat’s in or out.

Andrew: Yeah that whole space makes me uncomfortable and I will tell you why–because I’m early adopter, it’s just the way I am. So I bought a smart kitty litter box for my kid’s cats like five years ago, and the cats would get out of the litter box–when a cat used the litter box the cat would get out of the litter box–and then it would go “Errrr, eeeer….” and this little motor would crank up and it would–like seriously forty-eight hours after I got thing, my cats wouldn’t use the litter box anymore because they were terrified of it.

[laughter]

Bethany: Huh.

Andrew: It was like “Okay, well, this is a case where the technology got ahead of the need, didn’t it?”

Bethany: Yeah, for sure, and not to mention they are ginormous.

Andrew: Oh, yeah.

Bethany: They are massive.

Andrew: What about you, Chris? Have you seen anything that wacky? Maybe made you say-

Chris: I think we spent some time in the startup–for which is a lot of new companies putting their ideas out there looking for investment other things and there was this small little robotic doll with a massive camera on its head and we specifically searched it out because we saw some articles on it. And it was just the strangest thing. It is a three thousand dollar robotic doll that—

Andrew: With the giant camera on its head?

Chris: And honestly, it was a little bit scary.

[laughter]

Chris: But you could dress it. So yeah could put any clothes on it if you want to.

[laughter]

Andrew: I mean that is the primary purpose of a doll, right?

Bethany: Yeah. There were a couple of executions of that along the same vein of like the robotic dog. That could be a companion for older adults. So in those use cases, I find those technologies to be useful and necessary. But a robot as a companion for me, goes a little bit too far in terms of human relationships.

Andrew: Yeah, I hear what you are saying though. I also have to- I just have to comment that I am an early adopter. So I got my kids a robot dog. My kids are now nineteen and twenty-one. When my child was my youngest was two is when Sony came out with a generation one iBow robot dog. Now it is like yes, I am going to raise my kids with a robot companion. It took literally four months before my daughter had broken iBow’s neck and pulled off one of the ears because, just, it was not durable enough to survive a family pet.

Bethany: So you are an early adopter but it sounds like the things that you early adopt do not pan out, you know.

[laughter]

Andrew: Somebody’s got to discover what does not work.

[laughter]

Bethany: Hey man, we appreciate you.

Chris: I will say I am a bit of an early adopter as well and I think one point from that that I think you get is you start to see what is important from those devices. So you can make a better choice in the future.

Andrew: I know what to look for in a robot back or in a robot kitty litter cleaner for the robots. It has got to be quiet. And it has to have some delay from the time the cat’s done with their business the time it starts up for not freaking the cats out. So, how do you think this impacts what we are going to do tomorrow and next week and next month for OST and their clients?

Chris: I think for me it brings different perspectives in where the market is going that we can bring to our clients and make better decisions whether that’s if they are in an exploratory phase and they want to see try out what’s cool, we could help provide some of that insight. Or if they are in more of an execution phase where they are trying to get a product out there, we can help them make better decisions on what is most important, because we are seeing what is working and what is not working.

Bethany: A lot of the clients that I’ve worked with, they have done an iteration or two, they found things that have not worked to the or has failed completely and then they come to us and say “Here is what we know, help us do better” and we are really good in that space. That is where I like to sit, like, “Okay learn from what you did and let’s make it better and I think we can do that for a lot of companies.”

Andrew: Great. Okay. One last question. I am fascinated by games. Also, this used to be a game factory–this building we are sitting in right now. What are you playing? What is the game you are playing right now?

Bethany: It is not new, but we just bought Catan.

Andrew: Oh, great game.

Bethany: And there was—well, so, Ticket to Ride. Have you ever played Ticket to ride?

Andrew: For sure.

Bethany: Okay, so that was in the Alexa Booth because it’s now like an Alexa Voice Assistant enabled game.

Andrew: Yes, you can’t hear me rolling my eyes, but I’m familiar.

Bethany: Yeah, I know. So there were those and I was like, okay my family loves to play Ticket to Ride. Would this be like at the like the next level?

Andrew: All right, excellent. Excellent. What are you playing Chris?

Chris: So I have two young kids, so we are all about the original classic game. So we are starting to get my son into Candyland, last night we played bingo.

Bethany: Aw, that’s so cute.

Chris: All these little fun things—

Andrew: Going old school.

Chris: Hoping to bring in mouse traps in.

Andrew: Nice.

Chris: Just get some of those games from my childhood.

Andrew: I am not even making this up but there is a fully immersive VR Candyland. Have you seen this?

Chris: I have not.

Andrew: Yeah, it’s like Candy Land but you play with VR goggles on and you are actually in Candyland.

Bethany: That’s so crazy.

Andrew: Well, thank you both for spending some time with me talking about CES. This is great fun for me and really informative. I am sure it helped our listeners too.

Bethany: Thanks for having us.

Chris: Thank you.

Lizzie Williams: OST changing how the world connects together. For more information, go to ostusa.com/podcast.

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