What to expect from CES 2016
The 2016 Consumer Electronics Show is upon us, and we’re going to be showered with all new tech toys and gadgets that could change our lives, the way we work and the way we play. In case you don’t know, the event is up from January 6 up to January 9, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. So what exciting innovations can we expect this 2016?
We said it before, 2016 is going to be an exciting year for tech and entertainment. This year, virtual reality is going to be in full swing. Drones will be replacing kites and will cover the skies; cars will soon drive themselves and after so long, tech will most likely be worn in a way that’s cool instead of ridiculous. There’s a lot of new stuff in CES, many of them from startups with plenty of revolutionary and sometimes ahead-of-time ideas. Here’s some of the stuff to expect in CES.
For one thing, no hoverboards. There won’t be any hoverboard exhibitors this year and riding hoverboards and other personal mobility devices on the show grounds are not allowed except for wheelchairs and Segways.
If you’re there to get the latest news and announcements from participating tech companies aside from gawking at the exhibits, there are tons of keynotes and press conferences to choose from. Major companies like LG, Huawei, Panasonic, TCL, Asus, Dell, Samsung, Sony, Intel and Nvidia will be there to announce their latest accomplishments and unveil a product or two. BMW, Tesla rival Faraday Future, General Motors, Kia, and Toyota will also be there to discuss what they’re up to in the world of automobiles. Hopefully, one of them will discuss cars that float since Doc Brown said there weren’t supposed to be any need for roads last year.
Seriously, CES 2016 will feature plenty of automotive tech as the show has done in previous years. Faraday Future is set to unveil a sleek all-electric car dubbed the FFZERO1. BMW will be showcasing a gesture-based interface that will give drivers better control of their car. BMW’s AirTouch aims to allow drivers to control the car’s air conditioning, radio, and other dashboard functions through gestures so drivers can keep both eyes on the road. AirTouch will be similar to the Delphi Automotive 3D Gesture Recognition System. Toyota meanwhile will be showing off a road mapping system based on GPS coordinates and captured images for self-driving cars. Speaking of self-driving cars, Kia and Mercedes will also be discussing their own takes at autonomous vehicles. Ford and Chrysler, on the other hand, might show off Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in its vehicles. An unlikely tech player, NVidia will also be announcing some autonomous vehicle technology, so Google and Apple aren’t alone in the computers to cars business. Will CES 2017 feature that Microsoft Windows-driven car GM discussed in detail a decade ago?
The next big thing for 2016 is Virtual Reality. Several vendors will be showcasing their VR devices. The ones most expected such as Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR, HTC Vive and even Microsoft might give updates on the development of their devices as most of them have pushed their release dates later in the year. Rink Technology, for instance, will be showing off a wrist-worn motion controller for the Samsung Gear VR headset. HTC will be showing off its improved Vive headset and controllers while Oculus Rift will be giving off Rift units for Kickstarter backers attendees.
But there are already plenty of smaller vendors with their own take on VR such as Next Galaxy with the M2 VR Headset and Brandable Google Cardboard clone. While not exactly a VR headset, a company called Royole will be showcasing the world’s first mobile theater, the Royole-X which will immerse the wearer in a high-resolution and high-fidelity cinema or gaming environment. The same company will also be showing off thin flexible displays and touch sensors which could soon revolutionize mobile device manufacturing. Adding a touch of nostalgia in the VR landscape is the Mattel View-Master which is another Google Cardboard headset with actual View-Master cardboard reels which interact with the device’s smartphone app.
Apple won’t be making an appearance at CES, but some vendors will be showing off accessories for Cupertino’s products. CA Optronics, for instance, will show the wITraveler wireless charger for the Apple Watch, which should enable owners to enjoy the Apple Watch to the fullest. Henge Docks will be showing docking stations for the Macbook Pro, iPhone and iPad. There’s also the much prettier battery case for the iPhone 6 from VENUE. These accessories should take care of their respective device’s shortcomings and move the Apple revolution forward.
What’s CES without television? Showroom floors will surely be peppered with large 4K and 8K HDR screens from known TV manufacturers like Samsung, Sony, Panasonic and LG. LG will be showing off its 8K Super UHD TV sets with the new WebOS 3.0 platform. From the palm of our hands to our TV screens, the operating system lives on. One of these TV sets will be the 98-inch UH9800, which is the world’s first 8K HDR TV. To complete the theater experience of the UH9800, a TV chair called Immersit promises to rock its user depending on what’s on screen like ‘splosions of Michael Bay movies. Another great match for a 4K TV is the Zappiti line of 4K media players. The Zappiti 4K Duo, for example, can house up to 16TB worth of media content and supports almost all known video and audio formats. Roku and its partner TCL is also expected to showcase the 4K UHD TCL Roku TV.
Wearables which started to take off in 2014 will continue to make a presence in CES 2016. New from Samsung will be WELT, a rather cringe-worthy acronym for its Wellness Belt, which is like most fitness trackers except worn at the waist. The company will also feature an updated Gear S2 Smartwatch. Other Smartwatch offerings include the SMART line of watches and trackers from National Electronics & Watch Company, which look no different from normal watches and comes in always-fashionable black. Other fashionable wearable offerings come from Wisewear called the Socialite Collection which is a series of wellness trackers designed to look like jewelry bracelets made of gold, platinum and palladium.
What’s a Smartwatch without a good app? Viper SmartStart 4 from Directed for iOS and Android allows the user to lock, unlock and track their vehicles. Also, to help usher in the era of standalone smartwatches is the revolutionary TouchOne Smartwatch Keyboard, which should make entering text on smartwatches much easier.
An innovative CES Entry is the Helix Cuff from Ashley Chloe, which is a bracelet with retractable Bluetooth earphones on-the-go. No longer will users fumble in bags, purses and pockets for their headphones to listen to music on the road.
Smartphones, Tablets and Laptops
The new DELL XPS 13, dubbed as the best Windows 10 PC out there will make an appearance in CES 2016 along with the other usual suspects like ASUS, HP, Lenovo and Samsung. Small guys like Vulcan and Yifang Digital will also be showcasing their own affordable Windows 10 and Android tablet and laptop entries. CES 2016 will also be launching platform for Lenovo’s Thinkpad X1 line of Laptops and tablets which are out to compete with Microsoft’s Surface.
On Smartphones, ASUS will debut its Android-powered camera-centric Zenfone Zoom which is similar to Nokia’s Pureview 808. Huawei will also try to penetrate the US market by showcasing its latest entries to the Mate and Honor brands.
Other notable entries in CES will include the G-Link device from LETI, which promises to wirelessly transfer huge amounts of data like HD video in just a few seconds between devices. Also, imagine a fridge that you can call to your couch to deliver your beer and it’s none other than Star Wars favorite R2-D2. Now imagine it having a projector and for the price of 9000 dollars, it should act as your car co-pilot. If R2-D2 makes an appearance, so will Sphero’s BB-8, which will be controlled by a wrist-worn Force Band. There’s also SensorWake, an alarm clock that will wake the user up with not just sounds but scents like coffee and mint. Another innovative device is the Smart Travel Padlock from DIGIPAS USA, which can use fingerprints or NFC to keep luggage contents safe and secure. Speaking of security, the Wi-fi controlled robotic ball from ORBII works like BB-8 and can patrol your home with an HD camera and a wide range of sensors.
There are hundreds more items and exhibitors to cover in this year’s CES. If you’re a Trooper who’d ‘like to know more’, head on to Las Vegas Nevada and experience CES 2016 for yourself.