Each year the world’s biggest Tech Trade Show grows – a little bigger, a little crazier, and, of course the Vegas-inspired hijinks get more outlandish — but one thing never changes: CES is a bellwether for the tech headlines we’ll be reading for the rest of the year.
We’ve already read the tea leaves, and we can tell you CES 2016 will be more about evolution than revolution. To illustrate what we mean, here are the six big trends we’ll be seeing at the show this year.
Number one: VR! Virtual reality has been a CES staple for a few years, but 2016 will be a watershed year for the tech with the expected release of the Oculus Rift and further development by competing companies. Expect a lot of images of people with huge goggles strapped to their heads, possibly running into things. But also expect to hear details about how VR will be going mainsteam in 2016.
Next? Drones! CES served as the birthing nest for drones, and now that the tech is grown up, it’s really going to take off (bah-dum-dum). Expect some cool new features that make drones easier to fly, and controversial new features, like facial recognition. Also, we expect a pretty big announcement from GoPro you won’t want to miss.
Think smart home devices are impressive now? You ain’t seen nothing’ yet. The smartest home devices and appliances are going to get even smarter, and everything is going to be more interconnected. Your washing machine is going to order its own soap, your fridge is going to order your groceries, and your robot vacuum cleaner is going to be both security guard and butler. It’s not the Internet of things any more. It’s the Internet of everything.
Car tech will be bigger than ever this year, and it’s going to go places you never imagined, including inside your home. Expect to see home automation systems tied into your car’s infotainment system. Imagine using the controls on your dash to turn on lights, light up your smart grill … maybe even start you a warm bath. It should all be super easy, because the car will be driving itself! There’s going to be a lot more happening with cars, too, including new digital audio systems, heads up display technology, and more.
3D printers? Yup, they’re still a thing. But now that the kinks are getting worked out, hopefully we’ll see some more reliable, stable products hitting the market. Also, someone is going to try 3D printing some food, and you can bet we’ll be there to taste it, for better or worse.
Finally, it wouldn’t be CES without tons and tons of TVs — really big TVs, really thin TVs, and lots of 4K this and that. If that sounds a lot like what you saw last year, that’s because it is exactly what you saw last year. Only this time, there are standards that didn’t exist before, and manufacturers have had a chance to get some top-tier technology to trickle down to less expensive products. In fact, 4K Ultra HD TVs, in general, will be less expensive in 2016.
Aside from the TV’s themselves, though, we expect hear about all the new, speedier ways we can enjoy 4K content on the TVs. So perhaps the big news on TVs won’t be the TVs themselves, but how we feed them.
The show doesn’t officially kick off until tomorrow, but we’ve already got some sneek peek treats for you to enjoy. In fact we’ve got a huge crew on the ground getting you up close and personal with the hottest tech on the floor, right along with the announcement of our Top Tech of CES award winners. Prepare yourself for non-stop DT news coming from CES 2016.