New world-changing technology is unveiled at CES each year and this year was no different.
I’ve been at Consumer Electronics Show, aka CES, last week and I was in tech heaven.
For those who aren’t as tech obsessed as I am, CES is one of the largest technology events in the world. It’s held annually in Las Vegas and I was lucky enough be there walking the floors and soaking in all the gadget goodness that Sin City had to offer.
Here are five tech innovations which really put a spring in my step.
1. Smart Cars
Car technology was huge this year - so much so that at times I felt like I was at a car show. There was heaps of electric cars to check out, like Toyota’s hybrid, electric and hydrogen car. There was also a swag of cars with mobility solutions - which is a buzz word for features like assisted driving and self driving. Car dashboard tech was also huge. There were some really innovative ones – some had a full dash as a screen while others had cameras inside the car in place of rear and side view mirrors. I predict all cars will have huge screens like the Tesla in the coming years. Connecting the car to the home might even replace individual car apps in the future which leads me to...
2. Smart Homes
There were plenty of household devices on show which will make our homes smarter. I heard time after time that “the future is here” and it really is - there are stacks of home automation gadgets on the market now, ranging from connected appliances like the ‘internet fridge’ to home security devices. I’m personally a fan of Samsung SmartThings which can do cool stuff like automatically play your favourite song when you get home, but there are loads of other great competitive products in the works. There is still quite a lot of fragmentation when it comes to the smart home due to closed platforms (meaning systems that are only compatible with the same brand) but other platforms like Samsung’s for example, are open. Phones as the controller for the connected home is a given, however Amazon echo is also starting to get some traction as the voice controller for smart homes.
High Dynamic Range (HDR) TVs which give greater brightness and 10 times more colour were everywhere. Everyone is trying to improve on their products before they launch later this year. That said in my opinion, they all look great but one doesn’t look any better than the other. In addition to HDR TVs there were plenty of Smart TVs and 3D TVs - for all those out there who hate wearing those glasses, I’ve got good news for you - 3D without glasses looks to be coming in a couple of years.
4. Virtual Reality
There was a lot of Virtual Reality (VR) headsets from the big guys like Oculus and Samsung but this year there was plenty from the small guys too. From what I can see, VR is moving to gaming as its number one application. There also seems to be a push to build a Star Trekholodeck type application using VR but I believe it will still be some time before we see a working version - some that I saw still had cables and others needed hand controllers. There was also lots of headsets for viewing content with inbuilt audio on display.
If you’ve set yourself fitness related new years’ resolution for 2016 you’re in luck –next generation fitness wearables were everywhere. In fact, there was a large focus on health technology in general at CES this year - sensors and wearables for sleep, heart monitoring and every other body check you could imagine. Pardon the pun but I see wearables becoming invisible – many are being built into training gear including socks and shirts and they’re even being built into household items like mattresses for sleep monitoring. There is also a move to make the wearables (that can be seen) more fashionable, so expect the trend of wearables partnering with fashion companies to make them more attractive will continue.
There was also audio kit aplenty - too much to even really explore it but I can safely say the cat ear headphones are popular seller. There was also loads of accessories with a big focus on battery and recharge for phones including solar recharging stations.
I’d love to know what from the event you’re most excited about so let us know what floats your gadget boat in the comments below.
Cheers and here’s to a tech-alicious 2016,
Lee - amaysim's IT Director.