Top Trends to Look Out for at CES 2017

01.06.2017 Blog

The wait is over! The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) takes on Las Vegas, Nevada for its 50th showcase from January 5-8. Starting in 1967, the show has a rich history of introducing new technologies and innovations, and because it occurs early in the year, CES often serves as the basis of the technological landscape of the coming year. This year seems highly likely to live up to the hype surrounding the influential tradeshow, as some have said that this year’s show will present technologies that will “ultimately change society” (www.techzone.com). While our client and sales teams make their way to the floor for this year’s show, we have compiled a list of a few of the top trends to look out for at CES 2017!

OLED Televisions

Televisions have been a staple at CES from the very beginning, with landmark innovations such as the VCR, DVD, HDTV and plasma displays each having their debut at the show over the course of the last 50 years. This year seems to be no different with the continuation of OLED, 4K, and HDR television sets—as well as the possible combination of all of the above! Online sources predict that the major TV players will attempt to one up each other with the latest and greatest in television tech, with a likely introduction of LG OLED screens, Samsung SUHD, and Sony Android TV, which will also likely feature OLED technology. Experts predict that these screen innovations will shape the future of home television watching, especially as more competitors enter the market, causing more competitive and affordable pricing in the future for the average consumer.

Autonomous & Electric Cars

Last year’s show featured a plethora of electric cars supporting a range of features varying from longer battery life to more smart-type screens and internet-connectivity, as well as the introduction of autonomous driving technology, albeit in a primitive form. Overall, the modern trend in automotive technology is to become more and more electronic with multi-channel connectivity, allowing cars to become part of a smart home format or for users to turn on their car’s engine with an app on their smartphone. Many experts predict that leaps in distance and battery life in electric cars will be showcased at CES, as well more highly evolved autonomous driving technology, which will likely come from Ford and Kia, and possibly others. Many predict these driverless cars to hit the streets for the public consumption by 2020, which will obviously transform the automotive industry forever.

Specifically noteworthy is the hype surrounding the functional prototype of Faraday Future’s fully electric car that boasts 1,000 horsepower, be able to accelerate from 0 to 60 in less than 3 seconds, and be equipped with “extreme technology”. The company has released several cryptic 15 second teasers on YouTube, as well as an ambiguous commitment via Twitter to “unveil the future” at CES 2017. Remarkably little is known about this car, besides that it will likely rival Tesla’s Model 3, making it a hot reveal at this year’s CES.

Wearable Tech & Virtual Reality

A big first for CES 2017 is the first Wearable Tech Summit with the tagline “You are what you wear”, which was likely created due to last year’s boom of virtual reality technology. While most wearables are and will remain fitness trackers and smart watches, some brands are branching out to create garments such as shoes, helmets, vests, and even dog collars that connect to the internet, use Bluetooth, or track fitness as well. Wearables that debut at CES 2017 will likely also work across multiple platforms, linking wearable tech with smart phone apps and other devices.

Virtual reality (VR) glasses were one of the big hits of last year’s showcase, but not much is being said about their return to the same status this year. While updated models of the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and others are to be expected, VR faces some major obstacles to being commercially viable in its current state with its large price tag, the need for a large open space, an extremely powerful computer, and lack of available content. However, 2017 will probably be the year that brands remedy these immediate issues by generating new VR games and creating content to make VR devices more commercially viable. Another trend to look out for at CES 2017 is the implementation of VR and Augmented Reality (AR) across several platforms, including gaming, television and film, automotive technology, Pokémon-Go type apps, and personal computers.

Artificial Intelligence & Smart Homes

In 2017, manufacturers are beginning to make more appliances “smart” than just our phones. LG Electronics, for example, plans to reveal their line of new smart appliances that function within its larger SmartThinQ smart home format, including air conditioners, refrigerators, ovens, and washing machines. These devices allow for climate control based on your family’s habits, plus the ability to locate and check expiration dates of refrigerated food, view recipes on screens on the oven top, and more—all controlled by the SmartThinQ app. The trend of connecting more and more appliances to the internet, adding voice recognition, screens, and the ability to recognize and learn about the surrounding world will likely dominate CES and be reflected throughout 2017.

Will we see you at CES 2017? Send us a note to connect with one of our BDSers in Las Vegas!