9 Things to Expect at CES 2017


A new year has arrived and so has the next edition of Consumer Electronics Show 2017 in Las Vegas. As we gear up for the official start of the show on Thursday, let’s look at a few things that might show up at this gala tech event.

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The world of tech is a fast paced place, wherein new technologies are developed every few weeks. Expect a lot of new Smart Home Devices as well as Wireless Audio sets, wearables and automated cars.

1. Self-Driving Cars

Car launches started with Ford a few years back at CES, but soon it became a phenomenon with multiple brands lining up their latest offerings in one of the biggest tech shows of the year.

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Foo Conner | Flickr

This year, we might witness a lot of autonomous vehicles occupying space at the stage in Las Vegas. Self-driving cars is no longer a thing of the future — with Uber launching its self-driving cars in several cities and Google tying up with manufacturers to launch their own.

By the end of the year self-driving cars just might become the thing of the present from being the thing of the future.

Internet-connected cars might also be a thing at the event as more and more things are working with the internet to improve the quality of service.

Cars might be able to send maintenance data such as tyre pressure to the due date of car servicing to the users’ mail and also learn traffic flow to avoid congested routes as well as traffic rules pertaining to where it can not drive.

2. VR

Virtual Reality technology showed a lot of promise in the previous year’s CES event, and this year might be no different as multiple companies have flooded the market with VR headsets already.

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Things might not be as exciting as last year as there might not be many new VR headsets that’ll show face at CES 2017, but a lot of technological advancement might come VR’s way.

Facebook-owned Oculus, which was launched in 2013, has been keeping a low-key for the better part of last year, and we might hear something from them.

Qualcomm and Intel are also likely to feature VR technology in their shows — by unveiling information about better chipsets to support the existing and future VR headsets.

Augmented reality also sees the light of the day — maybe just in talks — but that coming to the mass market in the next few years is also a possible conversation at CES 2017.

3. Drones

Drones have been a major part of CES events for several years, especially since they lend a futuristic aura to the event and add to the glimmer of Las Vegas.

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This year at Las Vegas, don’t expect more usual entrants in the drone section, which can just fly and shoot — rather think a bit bigger, think drones which can fly at high speeds or even go underwater.

Drones have already been making news the past couple of years, and the previous year’s winner emerged as DJI — which will make any new usual drone look obsolete.

We might also see cheap alternatives to the drones already present in the market as more and more Vloggers have started using the tech to set their videos apart from their peers.

Intel might try playing ball with its Aero line of drones which have so far made it into Disney’s world of entertainment.

4. Electronic Rideables

There was a lot of hype surrounding electric hoverboards, skateboards and scooters at CES 2016, but things kind of didn’t go the way everyone expected as rather than making waves, things turned into a horror show.

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There were loads of electronic rideable at the previous edition of CES, but their presence was marred with controversies such as Swagtron Hoverboard being over enthusiastic about how they made sure their product doesn’t explode or Future Motion’s copyright violation drama that resulted in the blamed party being removed from the event.

Don’t go into the latest CES event with much anticipation about upcoming techs in this genre as the interest kind of fizzled out last year, but there might just be a player in the market waiting to capitalise on the disinterest of other companies.

5. TVs

TVs has been a mainstay at CES for several years now, and they’re here to stay. Apart from the usual gimmicks from Samsung, LG, Panasonic and Sony, keep an eye out for new techs such as Android TV, Chromecast, Roku TV, etc.

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4K displays will again be the talk of the town, as LG and Sony showcase their OLED TVs alongside Samsung’s curved displays.

Dolby Vision and HDR 10 might be in for a fight and the winner will be chosen dependent on how many manufacturers opt in for either of the techs.

Companies like Hisense, TCL, LeEco might also try to leave a mark in Las Vegas this year with their big shiny displays.

6. Wireless Audio

Wireless headphones aren’t a thing of the past, but something that is highly anticipated to be flooded around the show, especially since Apple has pulled the plug on the 3.5mm jack from its latest devices.

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Apple has launched the AirPods, but major headphone manufacturers are surely going to capitalise on the wireless market as tens of millions of Apple products float around the consumer market without the ability to connect with a traditional headset.

Wireless headphones have been popular among people who workout regularly, but now they seem to be proliferating into the mass-consumer market too.

Several other wireless audio tech like the ones from Beats, have been making quite a name for themselves and increasingly gamers have also followed the trend and are shifting towards using wireless headphones.

There might be several new unveilings of wireless speakers as losing wires seems to be the order of the day.

7. Wearables

Wearables have had a declining popularity in the last year, with only Apple claiming that it is having good sales of the Apple Watch, but other players like FitBit, Android Wear had a pretty stuck up year.

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Jawbone stopped production of its smartwatch and Pebble went even further and sold off its assets. Wearables don’t have much to offer except sit on top of your wrist and send you notifications about things you can otherwise also see in your handy smartphone or judge how fit you are/calculate your steps.

While most of the fitness devices aren’t approved by health departments, you’ll see a lot of claims that might not have anything to do with reality, per se.

Exoskeletons for elders might be a wearable that can make waves at this year’s event as people certainly look to be over devices that can tell you the time on a normal day, as does your typical wristwatch — and they always don’t look as great too.

8. Smart Home Devices

Smart home devices have been occupying space at CES for the past couple of years and this year will be no different as an increased number of manufacturers might try to make their way into your homes and spoil you with increased comfort and connectivity.

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These devices are becoming easy to use by the day, and you don’t need professionals to install them, just purchase them off the shelf and on you go to a little more comfort for your home.

Expect a lot of products like Smart thermostats, air-quality sensors as well as devices loaded with security features to make your house into a fortress.

Big companies like Apple and Google might also show up with their range of products. Samsung is surely going to be there to sell off their latest inter-connected products.

Smart Home devices are still gaining space in consumer’s minds, and they will occupy space in their homes to as and when the tech becomes more affordable than it is currently.

9. Smartphones

Don’t expect a lot of smartphones to occupy stage space at Las Vegas this year as the smartphone technology doesn’t have much to offer these days except advancements on the camera.

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Not many big companies will be making announcements this year at CES, but you can expect a comeback from washed away phone brands such as Nokia and Blackberry. Apart from them, companies like Huawei and Xiaomi might make some news.

Samsung has already unveiled its awaited Galaxy A series and might talk about a few specs of Samsung Note 8 device which has been serving rumour mills for quite a few weeks now.

Most of the companies will be holding back their major announcements till the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February 2017 and hence, won’t be inclined to make any waves during CES.

Qualcomm and other chipset makers will surely be making some announcement or the other about their next chip which is going to be much faster and which phones might be geared with them, but don’t expect anything major from the smartphone world to end up in your news feed during CES 2017.

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Bike enthusiast, traveller, ManUtd follower, army brat, word-smith; Delhi University, Asian College of Journalism, Cardiff University alumnus; a journalist breathing tech these days.