In a few days, this year’s Consumer Electronics Show or CES kicks off in Las Vegas. And if like me you’re totally obsessed with gadgets then you’ll be salivating at the prospect of what the five-day event has to bring. The annual event is the place to get a glimpse at what the world’s device manufacturers have up their sleeves for the next twelve months. As well as being a showcase for new and exciting products, it’s also a great way to gain an insight into how consumer technology is going to evolve over the next twelve months. But what will be the key products this year?
A few years ago VR was all the rage with VR headsets from Oculus, HTC Vive and PlayStation being the must-have gadget. But thanks to sluggish uptake in part thanks to the expensive cost of entry (oculus required a gaming PC that could cost upwards of £1000) and a general lack of consumer interest in the technology. VR has taken a bit of a backseat, with only Sony really managing to post somewhat impressive sales figures with its PlayStation VR platform. Step forward Augmented Reality. Thanks in part to Niantic’s hugely popular AR game Pokemon Go, and also Apple’s rollout of the ARKit Framework in its latest handsets. CES 2018 is shaping up to be Augmented Reality’s year. So expect to see goggles and glasses which take AR and splice it into a kind of Sci-Fi VR/AR hybrid, pushing the boundaries of AR with beefier tech specs and a better user experience. It’ll be interesting to see if anyone can produce an AR device that has wide consumer appeal.
Bigger, Flatter, and Higher resolution TVs
CES has become synonymous with massive cutting-edge displays, and this year will be no exception. Last year saw the unveiling of the largest 4K displays we’ve seen yet, as well as the ultra-thin LG Wallpaper display. This year expect to see plenty of 8K displays. With LG having already revealed their enormous 88″ OLED 8K display ahead of the show. But expect to see even bigger and thinner displays that push the boundaries of what is really practical for the consumer market. I’m not expecting to see anything that will truly blow my mind, this year. But we can hope that LG might have finally perfected that rollable TV for the consumer market.
Expect to see Google pushing harder into the Smart Home space this year. Especially more devices that integrate with their Home Assistant. Google has lost a little ground to rivals Amazon in the last few months so will be driving hard to compete. That said also expect to see plenty more smart home tech that integrates with Alexa, and plenty of new tech such as fridges, washing machines, TVs, Watches, Headphones and strangely enough, smart glasses(?) that have Alexa baked directly into them.
The Weird and Wacky
CES wouldn’t be complete without a large range of products that are downright weird and wacky. Usually being peddled by start-ups. Last year’s show saw products such as VR shoes, a talking roving mini projector, and smart boxershorts. It’ll be amusing to see what this year’s show has in store for us.
What are you looking forward to seeing at this year’s CES, let me know in the comments.