January 5, 2016
From smart cars to wearables to flexible displays, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2016 is shaping up to usher in another exciting year of consumer electronics. Already in full swing this year, CES has brought us the future countless times in years pass. From flexible displays to 4K televisions to concept vehicles and the Roomba, invention thrives on the trade show’s floor. If there’s a brand that has a product with a battery or a charging cord, chances are that they have some presence at CES. While CES absolutely delivers the world a few duds every year (remember 3D televisions?), there’s no reason to not be at least a little excited about this peek into your technological future.
Here’s what you can expect to see from the little guys and the biggest brands in the world:
With the Oculus Rift opening up for pre-sale this week, you can surely bet to see the Oculus team soaking in the limelight while competitors try to get a few mentions too. Expect to see some people you’ve never heard of try to capture headlines, but, in the end, the Oculus team will totally dominate VR coverage at CES this year.
Ford + Google and Driverless Cars
A storm is brewing between Google and Uber. Predicted by The Verge
earlier this year, it looks like Google is trying to one-up Uber by announcing plans for their own on-demand car service – without drivers. We’ve seen Google’s driverless cars before, but CES is rumored to be the place where Google gets serious. Competing with Uber by not being a ride sharing service without any physical drivers, Google won’t have to subsidize prices to pay for drivers and could get the jump on Uber. Starting at CES, this will be one of the juiciest stories in 2016.
A bunch of new Netflix
If you haven’t noticed, Netflix has created a lot of original content this year. Some of it was great (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Narcos) and some of it was just okay (Marco Polo, F is For Family). At CES, you can expect that Netflix will double down on its efforts to compete with traditional content platforms by becoming even more independent. Expect to be overloaded with a fast paced teaser of everything coming in 2016. And Frank Underwood. Frank Underwood will be there.
Flexible Displays (again)
Samsung and LG have been trying to make flexible displays catch on for years at CES, but 2016 may be the year it actually pays off. LG has already announced a display you can fold like a newspaper at CES and Samsung appears to be doubling down on curved screens on mobile devices. While these displays may be most useful for venues, we’ll hear again how these displays can improve the life of the every-man too (again).
Your home gets smarter
Smart homes are the concept that just won’t die. Capturing our imagination for decades, a future like the Jetson’s is something we’ve lusted after for far too long. Thanks to the success of Nest and Amazon’s Dash (buttons you can press and have house supplies show up), you can expect to see a bunch of new companies try to get a piece of the pie. Honeywell already announced a new thermostat that works with Apple’s HomeKit. With a new form of Wi-Fi announced (called HaLow) with the purpose of connecting low-power, small devices, we’re going to feel closer to a smart home than ever before.