The dust is just beginning to settle from this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), held on Jan. 6-9 in Las Vegas. From gadget and entertainment upgrades, to personalized health care wearables, to even smarter appliances, 2016 is shaping up to be a pivotal year. The annual CES houses the world’s biggest names in tech, showcasing up-to-the-minute innovations and tools for businesses and consumers alike. The latest on this year’s smartphones, wearables and fitness trackers have been well covered; below you’ll find a few of the lesser-known (but perhaps even more disruptive) developments you can expect to see this year.
- Driverless autos: Innovators speaking at the show focused heavily on the impact self-driving cars will have on the driver and society as a whole. Many vendors posed a big-picture question: What happens when people no longer drive their own cars and the experience is automated? It follows that the market appeal of car ownership will broaden to include fun apps and added conveniences brought on by the growing integration of the Internet of Things (IoT) into the auto industry. While driverless autos aren’t exactly ready to go mainstream, you can expect to see wider adoption in the next few years.
- The IoT “…showed spectacular growth from products like a smart mirror from Haier that delivers news and weather and connects to other appliances, and connected spoons and diet scales,” said Agence France-Presse, Industry Week. “Samsung unveiled a smart refrigerator that lets its owner use a smartphone to virtually peer inside and see what should be on a shopping list.”
- 4K high-definition television was showcased as the de-facto manufacturing format of the future. “This year, we’ll see thinner and more spectacular displays for those willing to pay the price,” according to France-Presse. Looking ahead, there will be few limits when it comes to the possibilities of screens—from the ultra-large version to a small roll-up screen that can be easily tucked into a pocket.
- Home security was one of the key trends, addressing one of consumers’ biggest fears about the IoT: security and data protection. An overarching theme was “...professional monitoring of your connected security devices,” reported CNET. As devices become exponentially smarter—surpassing our ability to secure our own data—home security will play an ever-crucial role.
- Drones had a relatively large presence at CES. “Given that they’re still a relatively niche market, the number of drone models at CES was astounding: at least 25, not counting the toy versions,” reported CNET. “…As silly as a drone following you around shooting selfies sounds, it is reasonably priced and has some serious, useful applications for more commercial videos.”
What was your favorite new technology at CES?