The first technology show of the year is about to begin – here’s what to expect
The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2016 begins tomorrow, and it promises to provide a treasure trove of technological wonders that could be released in the coming year. Let’s look ahead to what we think the highlights of the week will be.
One of the biggest announcements expected at this year’s CES is a joint initiative between Google and Ford to work on a new autonomous vehicle initiative.
Google wants to see 10 million driverless cars on the world’s roads by 2020, and its own developments in this area suggests it will lead the charge.
But other companies are also set to make major announcements of their own in Las Vegas this week, including VW, Chevy, and Faraday Future.
On the software side, manufacturers may announce partnerships with software firms to hook apps into their car systems, and Toyota has already agreed to adopt Ford’s smartphone app software for some of its own cars.
This is the year that virtual reality becomes the real deal, or so vendors would have you believe.
To start things off, HTC will demo its Vive VR product, claiming it has made a series of improvements to its kit, due for release this year.
Rival devices such as the Facebook-owned Oculus Rift and Sony’s PlayStation VR are also expected to make major announcements at the show.
All three are scheduled for releases in 2016, and are all vying for a chunk of the market predicted to be worth $150 milion by 2020.
Samsung will also be expanding its footprint in the VR market, announcing the Rink motion controller for its Gear VR headset at the show.
Technology shows wouldn’t be complete without TVs on display, and CES 2016 is no exception. Specifically, a new batch of 4K TVs will make their debut this year, boasting displays four times as sharp as 1080 HD screens.
But 4K may soon be superseded by 8K, with LG lining up a TV called UH9800, capable of double the display density offered by a 4K screen. While the 98-inch television does not have a price tag yet, it is safe to say it will not be cheap.
Both Sony and Samsung should have numerous offerings present at CES, but LG may have the most exciting product, with a prototype 18-inch screen that rolls up like a piece of paper.
The OLED screen, which curves and bends, was first presented last year, but this year’s version looks much more developed.
Tablets & convertibles
There should be plenty of tablet device announcements at CES 2016 too. One highlight is Lenovo’s latest updates to its ThinkPad X1 portfolio.
The X1 Yoga stands out from other new additions to the line, being the first convertible tablet to boast an optional Samsung OLED screen that offers richer colours.
Like previous models, the Yoga also includes a stylus that you can use to write directly on webpages in Microsoft’s Edge browser, annotating and highlighting as you desire.
Other tablets to appear at the show include the Alcatel Pixi 3, which will ship with Windows 10 Mobile – as opposed to Windows 10. Vendor E Fun will also revamp some of the tablets it announced at last year’s event, now offering up the Nextbook Ares 11A with 2GB of RAM and 64GB internal storage.
Despite the underwhelming release of the Apple Watch, vendors are still releasing wearables at a rate of knots. What’s different this year, however, is that the focus is likely to be on software that can improve smartwatches’ capabilities, according to Forrester Research.
Analyst James McQuivey said: “Automation is the next big thing, because it will harness the power of all the other things, making cars that drive safer, medical diagnostics that anticipate health needs, and robots that not only respond to our commands but anticipate them.
“It will be harder to see the power of these life-changing solutions, but their long-term effect will be bigger than any single device or innovation.”
That said, you can expect big announcements from the likes of Fitbit, who may announce a new product.
Picture courtesy of Consumer Electronics Show