Yes, it’s that time of the year, again, and everyone who’s anyone (or at least, most of them) in the gadget/consumer tech industry flocks to the Las Vegas Convention Center, for CES: Consumer Electronic Show.
It’s a congress of gadget/gizmo makers from around the world, and over 3500 of these guys – from the elite, to the minor players – shell out cash in exchange for booths, and an opportunity to showcase their latest projects.
Here’s a list of things you should know about #CES2016
1. Things To Watch Out For
CES is sometimes touted as an auto event, because of the amount of attention car makers command, with their concept vehicles, year, after year, after year. I expect nothing different this year, as Tesla, Chevrolet, Faraday Future, BMW, Ford and even Volkswagen, prepare to reveal mind boggling pieces of engineering.
Amidst rumours that Apple will adopt lightning headphones to reduce crosstalk, and provide additional functionality, I expect manufacturers like Audio-Technica, Phillips, Audeze, and Sennheiser to unveil some pretty sweet offerings, in that department at CES, and by extension, throughout the year. Even Twitter, has recently shown interest in the ‘connected headphones’ market space.
2015 was a landmark year, for wearable tech like Apple Watch & Fitbit. VR headsets became much more than a gimmick, apparel makers even started putting tech into clothing, and THIS happened, too.
CES Showroom floors are usually full of TVs, and the trend isn’t looking like waning. I reckon we’ll see lots and lots of 4K TVs. Companies like Samsung, LG and Roku seem to think the Smart TV is the center of the Internet of Things/Smart Home.
Other Smart Home Devices
Apple, Google, Samsung, Intel, and others, seem bent on making the Internet of Things a reality – turning seemingly mundane items into nodes on a network. I expect to see Smart fans, coffee makers, light bulbs, security systems, etc.
There will be a bunch of other interesting stuff, like Flexible Screens, Emotive Robotics, Rideables (Segways, Hoverboards, etc), Holographic computers (yes, we still haven’t given up on those), Robots and UAVs (“drones”), amongst others.
2. People To Follow On Twitter
To participate in the twitter conversation around this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, use the hashtag, #CES2016 or follow @CES, @verge, @CNET, @reckless, and @pierce.
3. Who To Follow On YouTube
To get updates about the event you should definitely subscribe to these YouTube accounts.
4. Where To Watch Live Streams
5. Cars Are A Big Deal This Year
General Motors & Lyft
— General Motors (@GM) January 4, 2016
Auto giant, GM, is investing $500 Million into a partnership with ride-hailing Unicorn, Lyft. The partnership is aimed at developing on-demand, for hire, autonomous cars. GM is also set to unveil a production ready Chevy Bolt.
BMW is pushing the boundaries, as far as in-car user interfaces go, with it’s AirTouch system, and its vanguard is the production version of the i8 Spyder, which reports say, will make a debut at CES this month.
Google & Ford
Internet monolith, Google, and automaker, Ford will likely announce a non-exclusive partnership to drive an autonomous car initiative, possibly with a ridesharing angle to it. It’d be interesting to see what these two can make of their open relationship.
German automaker, Volkswagen has left breadcrumbs that possibly lead to a reveal of their new electric Microbus.
— Volkswagen News (@vwpress_en) December 28, 2015
HAVE YOU SEEN THE NEW FARADAY FUTURE CONCEPT CAR THOUGH? Looks like a freaking Batmobile.
Introducing the Faraday Future FFZERO1 Concept. https://t.co/8ixzLtzVAj
— Faraday Future (@FaradayFuture) January 5, 2016
6. Guess Who Will NOT Be Attending
Rather ironic, for the king of hardware/consumer technology in the world today, to snub consumer tech trade shows like CES. The truth is, there’s a lot of shared PR during many these events, and so lots of it gets lost in the crowd. If you’re big enough, having your own event – like Apple is/does – ensures you take centre stage in whatever media conversations are happening at that time. That, or maybe Cupertino is just being elitist. Afterall, they’ve been known to sabotage trade shows like CES and Super Mobility Week before.
7. And Yes, There’s An App For It
What technology event would be complete without it’s own mobile app? Well, certainly not #CES2016. With the app, you can receive notifications when sessions are about to begin, browse through the exhibitor directory, and follow the show on social media for updates. You can get the iOS and Android iterations of the app, here.
And no, Windows Phone users, no one cares about you. (Hint: I’m one of you, myself. Yes. Lumia 630)
The event is slated to run from January 6th to 9th. Get the full event schedule here.
Photo Credit: Wikipedia cc