The largest consumer tech conference in the country kicks off in less than two weeks. CES is one of the best ways to spot the upcoming trends in consumer technology – so you can get ahead.
For example, three years ago you saw the start of the Internet of Things industry. Now it’s one of the top trends you’ll see at the show.
Yet the breadth and depth of the show makes it nearly impossible to keep up. Here’s a list of the biggest things you can expect to see at CES 2017.
Smart Home Technology
The Nest thermostat put the “smart home” on the map a few years ago, and now its on pace to be a significant focus at the show. Look for Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Samsung, Nest and other notable startups to announce the latest gadgets and that will show up in our homes this year.
AR / VR
This is the year we’ll see augmented and virtual reality make big strides. You can expect to see AR/VR go outside of the gaming and demo world to build applications that impact more people and solve diverse problems.
This year, you’ll see two entire halls dedicated to AR/VR – and the hardware, software and peripherals that power the technology. Watch for HTC, Samsung, Google, Microsoft and creative startups to showcase their hardware and build off the momentum started by Pokémon Go.
Voice Controlled AI Assistants
Watch what you say this year because you might trigger one of the many AI voice assistants that will surely be on display. It’s clear that voice is the new user interface, and the biggest tech companies see this as a great way to enter our homes.
Look for Amazon Echo to add more capabilities and cloud partnerships. Expect Google to make a big splash for Google Home, its voice-driven AI assistant. Microsoft just opened up Cortana, so keep an eye on them as well.
Car manufacturers and tech companies are looking at the car as a significant battleground for consumer tech. The obvious leader is Tesla, yet even Ford and Toyota are making big investments to bring the latest connectivity, convenience and intelligence to our every day cars. Expect to see big announcements around Apple CarPlay, heads up displays, autonomous driving and connectivity to your phone, home and smart life.
2016 was a mixed bag for smartwatches, yet fitness trackers are still very popular with the mass market. We should also see more examples of how wearables will integrate into the smart home and the connected car – with a focus on fitness and lifestyle trackers.
Additional Trends to Follow
Home Entertainment – Beyond TVs and smart home, you might see something from Netflix, TiVo and other entertainment providers that are increasing their footprint in our lives.
Bluetooth Headsets – Apple killed off the 3.5mm headphone jack in one bold announcement. This will trickle over into the show. Expect to see wireless/BLE headphones and earpieces dominate the smartphone accessories market.
Smartphones – You can’t have CES without smartphones, so expect to see the latest models on display from the biggest providers, both domestic and international.
Televisions – Like smartphones, it’s impossible to walk the floor without seeing the latest TV tech. It’ll be more of the same this year.
Drones – The sheer number of hardware providers racing to lead the drone craze is staggering. I can’t even keep up, so suffice it to say that drones will be everywhere. Expect to see new business models and applications emerge beyond helping consumers capture better media.
The Consumer Electronics Show will be held from January 5th to 8th in Las Vegas, Nevada. It is a massive event. Last year’s attendance was 177,393 people from around the world.