CES 2016: What We’re Looking Forward To
Buckle up. We’re about to hit four straight days of serious tech.
Tomorrow morning, CES, the Consumer Electronics Show, kicks off in a strangely drizzly Las Vegas, Nevada. For those who don’t live and breathe in the digital biome, CES is an enormous technology convention delivering previews and deep dives into the gadgets and ideas that will define 2016. Now in it’s 49th year, CES has come to be an annual pilgrimage. Nearly 200,000 visitors descend on Vegas, ready to buy, sell, and generally geek out over everything from TVs to drones, routers to VR goggles.
At that size, CES is big enough to be everything to everyone. However, we’ll be focusing on the things that matter most to the worlds of entertainment and broadband technology. Primarily that means virtual reality, routers, TVs, and smart home technologies.
For a little additional perspective, we’ve highlighted below a few of the need-to-know things at CES most likely to get headlines across the world. If you’re up on these topics, you’re up on CES 2016.
Once a novelty product, VR goggles are expected to hit mainstream consumer tech in 2016. Sony and HTC will be showing off new products at CES and Facebook’s Oculus, long in the hands of beta testers and developers, is launching a consumer edition. If you haven’t turned your smartphone into a VR headset with Google Cardboard yet, do it now and gear up for this next generation of devices.
Two years ago, a drone was a military weapon. But this year it was one of America’s most popular family Christmas gifts. In spite of the regulatory issues drones face (development and availability is outpacing the FAA’s ability to wrangle inherent airspace and safety challenges), CES will be featuring serious and affordable drone tech that will help establish them as both toys and tools. We’ll be looking out for GoPro’s new camera drone Karma.
Car tech has been on display at CES for years, most often in the form of car audio/visual equipment and GPS devices. However, major car brands tended to stick to the auto shows. But like most tech, one day it isn’t there and the next day it’s everywhere. Suddenly Audi, BMW, Chevrolet, Lincoln and Lamborghini were showing off new models, new engineering, and of course, new technology in autonomous driving and battery development at CES. This year the buzz is around Volkswagen, who is expected to debut a new all-electric microbus concept. So to all those techies looking to tap into their inner flower child, your bus has come in.
Fitbit, the market-leading wrist sensor that measures health, sleep, and other vital information, is expected to launch its new Fitbit watch as well as announce a new fashion brand partnership. New smart watches are likely to be featured from brands like Misfit and Huawei and new smart clothing technology like OMbra’s connected sports bra will be on display. But the big question is whether any device will finally hit the holy grail of wearable health tech: real-time calorie counting. Or as I like to call it, live shame monitoring.
IoT, or the Internet of things, has become a household phrase. It’s yet to reach its full potential, but these Internet connected, sensor-laden gadgets are perhaps best on display in the home as light, climate, and security tools. Major brands like Nest and Samsung as well as startups and Kickstarter heroes like August will be showing off new devices that will transform our homes into the HAL 9000’s we always wanted them to be. Minus of course the sentience and killing.
All week we’ll be detailing on this blog the pieces of CES most important to the worlds of entertainment and broadband. Tweet at us at @NCTACable and let us know if you have any suggestions or requests from the show floor. We’ll also be answering questions and sharing plenty of pictures.