Skip to content


Centering AI in Consumer Products: CES 2024 standouts

Altman Solon is the largest global strategy consulting firm exclusively working in the TMT sectors. In this insight, we highlight how companies are driving innovation and customization with AI and how technology leaders should proactively consider AI in their product roadmap.

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) kicked off the year by showcasing some of the most innovative products in tech. This year, unsurprisingly, AI was everywhere, going beyond the bounds of software to integrate directly within consumer products. While AI is not a 'magic bullet' across all industries, there are a few key sectors where AI integrations hold promise for attracting consumers and adding value to consumer products.

The AI-powered smart home

AI-powered household products are signaling a future where artificial intelligence becomes central to the smart home, evident in products ranging from a cooking assistant from Panasonic to an autonomous stain-detecting vacuum bot from Samsung to an AI-powered grill that roasts a perfectly cooked ribeye steak in just 90 seconds. Indeed, in the U.S., the average number of connected devices in the home continues to grow. Integrating AI features in smart home devices can enable automation, foster predictive insights, and make smart home devices more customizable. What's more, over 60% of consumers report they trust businesses that use artificial intelligence, mitigating some of the perceived risks associated with the technologies.

Companies that strategically position themselves at the cutting edge of AI in the smart home sector stand to gain a competitive edge by catering to the needs of tech-savvy consumers. AI access points are rapidly growing beyond smartphone screens and desktops to become integrated across new interfaces and devices. Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) have an opportunity to enhance IoT products (e.g., logistics management, predictive maintenance, and home security) with AI, which should become easier to do as the technology becomes more widespread, and as infrastructure that supports AI is expected to grow.

Healthcare transformed by AI

This year, Evie Ring, a wearable for women that leverages AI to analyze health indicators including menstrual cycle, mood, energy, and sleep, took home a CES Innovation Honoree Award. This was no one-off, as there were many exciting consumer healthcare products with AI integrations on display. These ranged from an AI-enhanced pillow that can be trained to detect different snoring sounds and adjust a sleeper's position, to a Korean public health app that leverages publicly available health data to provide real-time preventive care.

Integrating AI into healthcare products and services requires strict adherence to health privacy laws and heightened data security. Despite these considerations, evidence shows that leveraging AI in healthcare can reduce administrative costs by up to $150 billion annually. AI-driven healthcare solutions also allow for more personalized and preventive care solutions at scale. There is a major opportunity in embedding AI into the sector, however product developers should pay careful attention to patients' reservations. While recent studies of American consumers show an overall positive attitude towards AI in healthcare, there remain worries concerning the accuracy of data and preference for physician-led healthcare.

When AI meets robotic assistants

Robotic assistants have long been a staple at CES. In 2024, the robots were back but this time with AI features embedded. Samsung's Ballie, the robot assistant initially launched in 2020, returned to Las Vegas equipped with AI features that enable coordination with other IoT devices and the ability to gather data on a user's daily routine to provide personalized assistance. Other AI-enabled robotic assistants included Moxie, whose sensors, microphones, and AI-powered chatbot, make it the first companion robot designed to nurture children, and Rabbit, which will serve as a “universal controller for apps,” signaling an evolution toward a multi-modal way of using AI, beyond just the screen.

The number of personal assistance robots worldwide is projected to reach 244 million by 2030, an increase of 220 million compared to 2020 figures. Time will tell if Samsung's Ballie (slated for commercialization within the next twelve months) will take off among consumers looking for everyday assistance. However, device manufacturers should consider the advantages of generative AI for improving collaboration between machines and humans.

Driving value with AI

While CES is known for splashy product launches, the pervasiveness of AI in a broad range of industries shows these tools are moving out beyond computer and phone interfaces. 2024 has already been heralded as the year that AI, and particularly LLMs, will become an integral part of hardware. Product leaders should examine ways to integrate AI into their product roadmap that are truly useful to the end user. Finding opportunities to integrate AI into key functions, including device control, user experience, and customization, can expand the market into highly specific verticals. From consumer robotics to health care and home devices, industries can leverage AI for increased personalization, automation, and user insights.

Learn what these trends mean for your product roadmap.

Leadership & Oversight

Kevin Wang