And just like that CES 2016 is a thing of the past!
During the exciting week, we saw some crazy things, like LG’s 95” 8K television, and some expected things, like a new Galaxy Tab.
From smart cars to wearables, we’ve put together a recap of the largest trends we noticed at CES 2016 and what we think they mean for the future of technology:
While CES is intended to be an event where the latest and greatest is shown off, we saw a lot of interesting pieces of tech that struck a chord with our nostalgic sides.
For many filmmakers, the Super 8 camera is a beloved memory from their childhood. Kodak decided to revive the technology with their new $400 Super 8 camera that can record in both digital and analog, but sports a retro design.
Another exciting comeback happened with Polaroid, who showcased their new approach to instant photo printing. Their new Snap+ digital camera has a 13-megapixel sensor and is Bluetooth enabled; yet it prints physical 2×3 photos immediately upon taking a photo.
Audio Technica and other name brands also landed a place in the hearts of vintage techies with their digital turntable designs. Allowing users to play real records but with Bluetooth-capability for smartphone syncing, it’s the best of both worlds for music lovers. As you can see, what’s old was very quickly new again at this year’s show.
Wearables at CES had one major goal this year: help users stay healthy!
Fitbit announced their Fitbit Blaze at CES, a slick doppleganger of the Apple Watch, with very little focus on fun micro-apps. and a keen focus on fitness tracking. While Fitbit’s investors gave a big yawn at the unveil, other brands are gaining ground in the market with technology that goes above and beyond basic fitness tracking, such as the Healbe GoBe 1.2 Automatic Body Manager.
Interestingly, some fitness trackers were “wearable” in a way we didn’t quite expect. Footwear companies created quite a buzz with their smart shoes that track everything down to the intensity of your footstep while running! We also saw the introduction of “smart clothing,” which appeared too high cost to be ready for mainstream. One smart shirt was said to retail for at $399!
In addition to being driven by health, wearables were also driven by looks at CES this year. Gone are the days of big bulky wrist units, like the original Jawbone Up. Many wearables, such as the Misfit Ray, which clips into your own jewelry, is intended to easily pair with other wrist accessories.
Virtual Reality & 360 Video
Some of the biggest players in the virtual reality space were talk of the town at CES this year, including Oculus, Playstation and HTC.
Oculus made the biggest splash as they announced their surprisingly high $599 price tag for the Rift, as well as 100 titles that will be available at launch for the system.
With the wave of virtual reality headsets being worn across the show floor, the conversation of VR content quickly arose. This is where 360-video comes in! CES 2016 brought us announcements from GoPro and Nikon to compliment the 360-degree video industry. We expect this new genre of capture to continue to evolve in 2016 as companies like YouTube jump on-board and provide a means for aggregating 360-degree content for your VR system.
One thing many people don’t know about Apple’s lighting cable is that it can do much more than charge your phone – it is bidirectional, meaning it has the power to power any accessory connected to it.
CES 2016 brought this fact to light with a slew of lighting-powered headphones. Rumors have been swirling that Apple’s iPhone 7 will not include an audio jack, which would be a huge move by the tech company. It seems companies like Audeze, Philips, JBL and more are already preparing their customers for the change.
CES 2016 also saw the introduction of many Bluetooth headphones, furthering suspicions of the iPhone 7 without an audio jack. We may be witnessing a silent, but major shift in audio consumption, making 2016 sure to be an interesting year for the audiophile.
Connected gadgets of all shapes and sizes were spread across the CES 2016 show floor. The interesting thing about the “Internet of things” is that most of these devices were not about hardware, but about software.
Procter & Gamble spoke of their Internet-connected air freshener that communicates with your Nest Thermostat to determines when your AC is blowing air around the home. Samsung’s Family Hub refrigerator allowed users to order replacement groceries right from the built-in screen. Many of CES’ smartcars featured Apple Play and software that allowed for autonomous driving or parking.
One interesting fact about these smart gadgets is that manufacturers are aiming to make them accessible to the mainstream market. Chevy’s 2017 Bolt is a fully electric car that can drive up to 200 miles on a single electric charge, yet is priced at under $40,000. It seems these new technologies want to fit into our lives without breaking the bank, making a more connected future possible much sooner than many expected.
What was the biggest overall trend of CES 2016? The technology we saw was less radical and more realistic. As we walked the show floor, we felt like we were stepping into what could be a very possible future.