Over the past years, as tech companies have evolved into lifestyle brands, the E in CES has increasingly come to stand for “experience” rather than “electronics.” Samsung Electronics reinforced this sentiment in the opening keynote this year by announcing the “Age of Experience.” According to research by Expedia and the Center for Generational Kinetics, 74% of Americans say they value experiences over products and HS Kim, president and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Division at Samsung Electronics, addressed this shift. “We are not working to spend our money on things,” he said. “We are looking to buy convenience, peace of mind and enjoyment. We are looking to experience life.”

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Samsung unveiled a series of lifestyle products and services, including Ballie, a responsive, ball-shaped “life companion” robot that grows to understand its owner. Ballie is being positioned as “the next level of personal care” by offering personalized experiences. The company also delved into its vision of the future home. Federico Casalegno, chief design and innovation officer of the Samsung Design Innovation Center, likened the future smart home to “a living organism” that will be a “deeply personal space, tailoring experiences for each of us, according to our personal needs.”

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Samsung debuts 'life companion' Ballie
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Samsung's Innovative Lifestyle Home Appliances
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Samsung unveils new category of Innovative Lifestyle Home Appliances

Other brands also focused on experiences that bring people together and build communities. Hyundai unveiled the company’s vision of future cities with its Smart Mobility Solution, which includes Urban Air Mobility (flying vehicles in collaboration with Uber), Purpose Built Vehicles (personalized smart cars), and Hub (a space that connects the two, where people can come together to interact, creating “new innovative communities”).

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Hyundai Motor Smart Mobility Solution

Toyota announced a city instead of a car this year. The Woven City concept aims to create a connected and smart society. “We welcome all those inspired to improve the way we live in the future to take advantage of this unique research ecosystem and join us in our quest to create an ever-better way of life and mobility for all,” says Akio Toyoda, president of the Toyota Motor Corporation.

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Woven City by Toyota

The P&G LifeLab returns to CES this year, showcasing new and evolved products that “transform everyday consumer experiences.” These include connected diapers, heated razors and the adorable Charmin RollBot, a conceptual prototype that delivers fresh rolls of toilet paper (not a gimmick).

Hyper-personalization, human connectivity and experiences have been the focus of the preshow keynotes this year. “In the Age of Experience, we need to rethink the space we have to accommodate our diverse and evolving lifestyles,” said Kim.

CES runs from January 7-10. Read our update on Toyota’s latest city initiative here, and keep an eye out for our roundup of key trends.

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