Five key consumer trends showcased at CES Asia in Shanghai – Part 2

May 29, 2015
6 min read

In part two of a three part series, Mintel’s APAC Trends Analyst Philix Liu reports back from CES Asia in Shanghai, examining new trends and developments set to impact Asia Pacific and beyond…

IMG_1897 Celebrity Chef at Home

Moley Robotic Kitchen from the UK showcased its prototype Robotic Kitchen cooking in action at CES Asia in Shanghai.

According to the exhibitors’ introduction, the Moley Robotic Kitchen will feature four key integrated kitchen items including refrigerator, oven, stove and a dishwasher in one system. The sophisticated and advanced hardware developed and assembled from all over the world is impressive. The truly outstanding feature of the Robotic Kitchen is its capability to learn the behaviours and actions of real chefs and replay their actions in the most nuanced and accurate motion to create the same dishes. The “recipe” database will store the cooking motions of many celebrity chefs from around the world. Users will be able to access the recipe database and send cooking requests remotely from their smartphones. The consumer version of the system is expected to be on sale in 2017.

As robotics technology matures, robots will be able to perform functions and tasks that humans normally could but with even better accuracy and consistency. Labour-intensive jobs will continue to be gradually replaced by robots, such as cooking in this case. In the Mintel consumer trend Who Needs Humans, we have seen many cases where robots have replaced the human element in jobs and within people’s personal lives.


IMG_1903The Magic Wand from the Future

Future Make demonstrated its 3D pen Polyes Q1 that lets people draw in the air to create shapes and patterns in three dimensions with fun, ease and imagination.

According to Future Make, Polyes Q1 allows users to create a 3D shaped world which can then be customised. Simply by drawing in the air while holding the drawing button, the ink will form a structure in three dimensions. Different from other consumer 3D printers, Polyes Q1 lets users create with more flexibility and freedom. Polyes Q1 is very intuitive to use so it would be suitable for children to learn drawing and better foster their creativity.

Personalisation in technology has been one of the key trends Mintel has been following across the globe. As we explore in Mintel’s consumer trend Make It Mine, 3D customisation is going to help not only with industrial design in commercial sectors but also education and healthcare industries in consumer sectors.

IMG_1945The Knight Rider is back

Volkswagen showcased its connected car system with car, charging station, smartwatch and smartphone integrated seamlessly and wirelessly.

According to Volkswagen’s exhibit, no longer limited to interaction between smartphone and car, VW’s system adds the smartwatch and electronic charging station into the equation. With simple tap and swipe technology, consumers will be able to access the car and control IMG_1944almost all functions remotely. VW is also testing out the autonomous parking technology with smartphone control. The smartphone and smartwatch can also choose when to enable or disable the wireless charging station for energy efficiency. The whole suite of connected systems can be achieved as long as there is cellular connection.

As discussed in Mintel’s consumer trend The Suite Life, along with the popularised Internet of Things concept, we are seeing the Internet of Auto Things where all car-related devices are closely knit.  As connected technology becomes more viable in the market, each individual’s car will become unique and personalised.

IMG_1848Playful Bulb

PlayBulb by Hong Kong company MiPOW is a smartphone-controlled bulb that can change colours, play tunes and turn on or off according to user pre-settings.

According to the exhibitor from MiPOW, with the easy-to-use app, users can change the bulb’s colour, brightness and set flashing patterns via the latest Bluetooth 4.0 technology. Meanwhile, users can also play music to the speaker embedded in the bulb straight from their iTunes on their smartphones. PlayBulb can also be set as an alarm in advance to turn both the light and music on in order to completely brighten up a lazy morning. However, PlayBulb is primarily designed to create the right mood for the right occasion.

Consumers are constantly seeking new sensory experiences to satisfy their indulgent appetite for amazement. As seen in Mintel’s consumer trend Sense of the Intense,  we have seen brands like MiPOW finding different ways to create intense, immersive and multi-sensory experiences in order to meet such needs.


IMG_1954R Touch, No Touch

Volkswagen presented its latest Gesture Control technology, R Touch, allowing users to control in-car functions with intuitive motions.

According to the presentation by VW, motion-enabled sensors are embedded inconspicuously throughout the interior of the car which allow users to open the sunroof, unfold and fold rear-view mirrors and adjust navigation and entertainment systems by motioning intuitive gestures. For example, in order to choose a song to play, the user simply needs to do a IMG_1953“finger click” motion in the air above the sensor located near to the armrest. To open the sunroof, all it takes is a swipe above the driver’s head. With the R Touch technology, VW hopes to keep the driver’s eyes on the road while providing a more entertaining and efficient driving experience.

VW’s new innovation R Touch signifies the rising trend of motion-sensing technology application in consumer products.  Intel also demonstrated its latest motion-sensing technology Real Sense and its application in consumer electronic products in the inaugural ceremony of CES Asia. In the Mintel consumer trend Life Hacking, we have seen a number of brands translate human data and apply it to innovations that will in turn benefit people.

Based in Shanghai, Philix Liu is Mintel’s Trends analyst for the APAC region. He analyses innovations, creative marketing campaigns, new designs and other trends related content happening currently. He also helps inspire brands and agencies onsite to innovate in the APAC region. Before joining Mintel, Philix held a strategic planner role at an advertising agency in Shanghai and a qualitative research role at TNS in Beijing. He’s also gained digital marketing experience as an in-house marketer in Boston.

Philix Liu
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