What’s new in CES 2016?

car ces

A new year is a new start, and that goes double for the tech world,  2015 has gone, The first week of January 2016 is when International CES takes place. The biggest technology show in the world is set to begin Monday, Jan. 4. Each year, CES provides a snapshot of the current state of consumer tech, and, if you look closely enough, plenty of signposts of where it’s going to go in the coming year. Now i collect something for you from Mashable and Theverge, Here’s what you can expect from CES 2016.


1. Cars of the future -The Chevy Bolt


Chevy Bolt, CES 2016


We’ve known self-driving cars are the future for a while now, but the past year has shown just how near-term that future might be. Tesla’s autopilot, Google’s autopilot. This year several big automakers are planning huge unveilings at CES, not the least of which is the official Chevy Bolt, supposedly one of the first long-range affordable electric cars. That GM chose CES for the event and not the Detroit Auto Show (which takes place just one week later) speaks volumes. At the same time, Audi, Mercedes, BMW, Ford and even the beleaguered Volkswagen Group have planned major events, many regarding self-driving systems. Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and other connected-car systems will be everywhere. But if you pay attention to just one car announcement at CES, make it the big reveal of a new concept car from Faraday Future Monday night, the Chinese electric-car company aiming to take on Tesla directly.  


2. Virtual reality’s close-up -The Oculus Rift prototype  

Oculus Rift,CES2016

Virtual reality is poised for a huge breakout in 2016; we know this. The debut of Oculus Rift is imminent (and the latest version will be at CES), services (including Facebook) are already supporting 360-degree video and simpler viewers like Google Cardboard have whetted the appetite for immersive experiences. Though Oculus is the gorilla in the room, and Cardboard is the “democratic” version of VR, there’s still space for in the midrange for headset makers (especially since Samsung’s Gear VRdoesn’t leave much for non-Samsung owners). Controller accessories will be everywhere, seeking to be the prime alternative to Oculus Touch. And let’s not forget about VR’s cousins: 360-degree video and augmented reality. Camera systems — both simple and sophisticated — for capturing spherical footage will be a big focus, and augmented reality systems could see a resurgence now that Microsoft HoloLens has attracted so much attention over the past year.


 3. Rise of the drones 

Drone prison security threat, CES 2016

Despite an up-and-down year that ended with mandatory registration, drones are poised to fly even higher in 2016. Drones are sure to be everywhere they can legally be at CES 2016, which isn’t actually that many places. But from within controlled cages to supervised demos, we’ll see drones that are faster, nimbler and leaner than their predecessors. For CES, the emphasis is on the consumer, so that means easier-to-use drones with better cameras and smaller bodies. Some may even be light enough to be exempt from registration, while others will be all about sophistication, with cameras that boast the latest tracking and stabilization tech.  


4. Next-level streaming 

Netflix, CES 2016


The biggest names in video streaming — Netflix and YouTube — will both be keynoting CES. That alone tells you video services will have a large presence at the show, and the launch of Sling TV at last year’s show was definitely a sign of things to come. Being a dominant player in streaming in 2016 will mean skating where the puck is going. That means 4K, 360-degree video and virtual reality, access to more content — and doing it all with hardware that’s wireless and convenient, and in ways that don’t choke the Internet. The big players are already well on their way to doing all this, but there’s still time for others to grab pieces of these growing (and potentially lucrative) pies. At the same time, the success of Sling TV has pointed the way for more over-the-top services that offer live content. There are sure to be competitors and imitators who dream of being the Netflix of Internet-based TV.  


5. The smart home regroups 

SmartThings Sensors, CES 2016


The past year saw a lot of promise for the smart home, but little delivery. Big platforms like Apple’s HomeKit and Google’s Brillo were supposed to unify all our smart devices into a relatively simple easy-to-use system — and they may still — but it’s been progressing at a snail’s pace. In the meantime, competitors (like Samsung’s Tizen and LG’s webOS) are slowly establishing their own walled gardens. For CES, that means a regrouping around what’s been shown to work for smart home gadgets: Individual products that solve a problem or add value when they become “connected,” regardless of whether they play nice with others. Certainly there will be plenty of manufacturers boasting HomeKit and Amazon Echo compatibility, but it’ll be the practical, useful gadgets (think: sensors that detect floods or breakage) that will be the true breakouts.  


6. Personal Transportation – Swagway X1 hoverboard 

Swagway X1, CES 2016

The “self-balancing electric scooter”  in fact is the trend hit the mainstream at last year’s CES, Now, as questions about safety of the devices continue to mount, the category will grow even larger at CES 2016. The one company that actually calls itself “Hoverboard” will have a formal debut for its product, and Gogoro’s breakout smart scooter will make a return. Certainly, there will be plenty of hoverboard startups hawking their own version of the product, with differentiators like foldable designs and portable batteries for recharging (because, if they’re prone to exploding, why not put one on your back?). Other forms of personal transportation will get the high-tech treatment as well, including so-called smart bikes, and we may even see the first drone that can carry actual passengers. The future of getting from place to place looks pretty cool… and potentially very unsafe.  


7. The Internet of healthy things -SmartThings Sensors 

Mio, CES 2016

In contrast to the smart home, mobile health is entering a kind of golden age. Fueled by advanced sensors, low-power chips and battery-sipping wireless tech, a whole generation of devices is emerging for tracking health in realtime. Devices that monitor blood glucose levels, detailed sleep patterns and even body chemistry will be at CES 2016 — not all of them necessarily wearables.


8.TVs will be familiar

samsung smartthings tv, CES 2016


TVs always seem to dominate the show floor at CES, but don’t expect many radically new ideas this year. There’ll be lots of 4K TVs (and maybe a handful of 8K models). And many more models than last time will offer HDR, Dolby Vision, and other fancy visual things that enhance the experience beyond just resolution. Samsung’s making their TVs the center of the smart home / IoT, and presumably other companies have had the same idea. What sort of presence will Android TV have? Same goes for Roku’s TV OS. Will anyone besides LG put their weight behind OLED? TVs! There’ll be lots of them. The TV industry is constantly trying to find ways to entice people to upgrade their old sets and CES is its biggest sales pitch of the year.


9.Smarthome stuff will be everywhere

wink relay, CES 2016 

CES is the one time of year it’s easy to believe in the dream of the smart home. And fortunately, recent years have made it look closer and closer to reality. Apple and Google are starting to cut through the mess and let everything in our homes talk together. This year, with their help, expect to see connectivity creep into new areas of the home and for existing smart home products to get even more integrated. That dream is still a long ways out, but one of the big things to look for this year is how Samsung, Intel, and major backers are making progress: Can they help these products get connected? Can they ensure that everything will speak the same language in 10 years? Don’t expect the long-awaited Internet of Things to appear overnight, but do expect to see the first tangible pieces of its infrastructure.

10. All kinds of wearables will be on display

Fitbit, CES 2016

Outside of CES, 2015 was a pretty big year for wearables — the Apple Watch came to market, Fitbit went public (and revealed it actually makes money), apparel makers started putting more tech directly into clothing, and VR headsets became an actual thing. But many of these products still suffer from technological and practical constraints, and it’s unlikely that CES 2016 will be the event that sets the definitive tone for the wearables market in the upcoming year. This year at the big show we’re expecting a lot of “me-too” wearables — commodity wristbands, smartwatches from legacy brands, and next-generation trackers with iterative design improvements. Sensors will pop up in everything from sports equipment to sneakers to bras to dresses. “Hearables” will be a theme this year, which basically means that headphone makers have realized they can add sensors to the things we wear all the time anyway and charge a mark-up. The best part of all this might just be the commoditization: wearable tech is becoming more accessible. But just like last year, we might be waiting until the spring — or well beyond — before we see whether real innovation in wearables is going to take shape this year.

11. Headphones may see their first big update in years

Philips headphones NC1L, CES 2016

For all the competitive hype surrounding music streaming in recent times, the hardware with which we listen to music has remained largely unchanged. Apple’s takeover of Beats has so far focused on developing an all-encompassing music service, not the next great set of headphones. Companies like Audio-Technica, Sennheiser, and V-Moda continue to refine their products and expand the choice of wireless options, but the world of personal audio seems in need of disruption. Apple’s Lightning connector — standard across modern iPods, iPhones, and iPads — could be the catalyst for a dramatic change. There are already Lightning headphones from Philips and Audeze, whose advantage over conventional wired cans is in sending a digital signal to an integrated amp and converter inside the headphones. This allows companies to fine-tune the sound processing specifically for each pair of headphones. It won’t be something that everyone needs, but a new wave of Lightning-connected headphones opens up the possibility for a more portable audiophile sound experience — one that doesn’t depend on custom phone designs or extra peripherals.

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