CES 2017: Pre-Market Technology. What to Expect?
The world’s tech industry has gathered in Las Vegas to bet big on their newest, coolest, and weirdest, new products at CES 2017.
It’s never really a “new year” until after the holidays because that’s when all the new tech innovations are displayed to market. Today is the first day.
It’s that time again: the holidays are over, a fresh year is on the calendar, and it’s time for the annual gadget bonanza of the Consumer Electronics Show.
The show officially started, but we’ll be in attendance with ANDesign Friday. Say hello if you’re there!
What can you expect to see this year?
Well, aside from the usual TVs, automotive technology, drones, and VR spectacles, CES, as the joke goes amongst the automotive press, now stands for “Car Electronics Show.”
Self driving cars will be everywhere. In 2017, autonomous vehicles and connected cars will likely steal the show. Self-driving has gone from technology from a distant future to a technology that’s actually real — Uber has already rolled out its self-driving cars in a few cities for normal people to try out, and 2017 is likely to be the year when we get really close to feeling like riding in self-driving cars is normal.
Unlike autonomous vehicles, rideables won’t be stars anymore. It was the electric hoverboards, scooters, and skateboards that were inescapable. Everywhere you turned, there was a booth that featured something with an electric motor and wheels.
Virtual Reality will be the star of the show! CES 2016 was the big year of virtual reality hype. CES 2017 is the aftermath of its promising but slow launch. There’s likely to be a lot of virtual reality on the floor, but it might not seem as glossy or exciting as it did last year. For one thing, Facebook-owned Oculus — which has dominated the show’s VR news since it first appeared in 2013 — is keeping a low profile, with its booth nowhere to be found on this year’s show floor. Oculus competitor HTC has a significant VR presence.
Augmented reality has been a mainstay at CES for some time now, although it’s mostly industry focused. That’s not likely to change this year. And given all the interest last year in products like the Microsoft HoloLens, we could see more of a push to turn from purely professional products to ones with more mass-consumer appeal — even if they won’t actually come to market for years.
Thought that drones had reached their peak? Think again. Expect drones optimized for flying indoors, for high-speed racing, flying in unison with other drones and even for diving underwater.
Wearables will try to expand past wrists this year. Our expectations for wearables at CES 2017 aren’t exactly high — but that doesn’t mean wearable makers won’t give it their best try. A lot will be health-focused beyond basic step-counting and heart rate tracking, but since many of them aren’t FDA approved, that also means a fair amount of bogus claims will be made. But wearables also go beyond health trackers, and there’s a good chance that the most interesting wearable tech we’ll see at this year’s show will appear in places other than the wrist: VR and AR headsets, “smart” glasses, sensors embedded directly into clothing.
If wearables are going to make the leaps and bounds that people have been predicting for years now, there’s going to have been some value beyond being the thing that just sits on your wrist.
Lets not forget about Smart Home products…Smart home tech has grown bigger and bigger with every year to the point vendors are flying in just to show the strange and sometimes helpful ways they can connect your home.
What’s exciting is that smart home gadgets are finally getting really easy to use — enough so that you can often just buy these products at the store, install them yourself, and without hours of troubleshooting and help from a professional.
CES 2017 has always been a trade show about the possibilities of the future. Bear in mind, the best stuff at CES is often what’s unexpected, so be sure to tune in all week.