At this year’s CES consumer electronics show, better known as CES, companies hope to impress reporters, investors, and ultimately consumers with a flashy mix of smart assistants and smart cars, giant TVs and, of course, robots. Some of these products may make waves in the year ahead, others will likely be forgotten by the time the conference wraps up next week.
Apple will also mark an unofficial return to the show for the first time since former CEO John Sculley debuted the Newton personal digital assistant (PDA) in 1992. A senior executive will speak on a privacy-related panel, alongside panelists from Facebook and the FTC.
The conference also has the potential to get political this year as Ivanka Trump — daughter of President Donald Trump and one of his White House Advisors — will address CES attendees on Tuesday on the topic of “future of tech.”
5G was a hot topic last year at CES as US carriers were just months away from launching their networks across the country. But now that the infrastructure is starting to fit into place, albeit slowly, expect companies to further outline how they plan to use the fifth generation of cellular network technology, which is nearly 30 times faster than 4G and about 10 times faster than the average American home broadband speed. It’s an especially hot topic among car companies — think: how traffic lights could communicate with your car to keep you abreast on traffic patterns.
AI and smart assistants
TVs and streaming services
CES is always a crowd pleaser when it comes to new TVs: the bigger, the flashier the better. In past years, we’ve seen rollable TVs, a giant modular wall of TVs and 8K TVs. This year will be more of the same, but with limited 8K content available, it will likely remain a niche product. We will, however, likely see more 4K HDR sets show up on the trade show floor.
Other categories to watch include advancements in augmented reality and virtual reality. Although we won’t see too many system updates, companies are expected to showcase accessories with sound and touch vibrations, which makes it seem like you’re in a virtual world. Changes are also coming to wearables, with a focus less on fitness tracking and more on extra features, such as help you shop or regulate your body temperature.