It’s that time of year. Tech brands of all shapes and sizes begin to pack their bags for one of the biggest events of the year: the International Consumer Electronics Show. With CES only two weeks away, media outlets across the industry are beginning to release their predictions for major attendees, like Sony, LG and Dell. We’re ready to weigh in on the topic.
Here’s what you can expect to see at CES 2016:
Interestingly, the entire automotive industry now makes an appearance at CES, including Ford, BMW, Toyota, Volkswagen and more. You may remember last year how the auto industry made a huge splash at CES 2015 with their driverless cars and smart technology.
One exciting development in the auto industry that is sure to be showcased at CES this year is the virtual cockpit. It looks like Audi has gotten one step closer to the first self-driving car with the help of Nvidia. On January 4, Audi’s CEO plans to address CES attendees about “what’s next in autonomous driving.”
2015 brought the release of major wearable devices, such as the Apple Watch, which validated the use of wearables for the masses. Following suit, 2016 is expected to be a year where wearables become second nature. We will be keeping our eyes out for new concepts from major competitors in the Android Wear space, like Samsung, LG and Sony.
The industry seems to be leaning into fitness tracking however we expect to see the fashion industry begin to explode with wearable devices as well, ranging from smart jewelry to smart clothing. Sports brands are expected to show off this type of gear, hoping that devices like smart hats will fit more easily into your workout regime.
4K, 8K and Streaming Media
The entertainment industry is experiencing one of its largest shifts in history and we are excited to watch CES 2016 highlight that! As 4K TVs become more affordable, the high-resolution technology is now a more mainstream option, and therefore, “old news.” 8K seems to be the “next big thing.” LG’s curved 4K displays were a hit on the show floor last year and we expect LG to be front-and-center again this year. Tech Radar predicts that 4K and 8K will be the norm within 3-5 years. We expect that leading names, like Sony and Samsung, will showcase their offerings for this shift at CES 2016.
A TV is only as good as its content, though, right? That’s why we expect streaming technology to be a huge highlight of CES this year. Google Chromecast and Amazon Fire TV have greatly impacted the notoriety of the “streaming stick” design for set-top boxes. We expect all streaming services to take full advantage of these new devices. Netflix is set to discuss the future of its streaming service and their prospects to go global at their press event on January 6. YouTube is also set to speak on January 6th regarding the future of their service and their new YouTube Red framework.
Many tech gurus are very excited about the development “virtual” or “augmented” reality. Last year’s Oculus Rift display left many industry experts guessing what’s to come for this emerging market. We expect to hear more about the Oculus Rift at CES 2016, including what content and services will be available for the device come its Q1 2016 release. HTC’s Vive and Samsung’s Gear VR devices could be on display as competition to Oculus. We expect that Sony will jump into the virtual reality game as well and further discuss Playstation VR.
As virtual reality sets become more popular, consuming media with a 360-degree view is a definite possibility, creating an interesting opportunity for action camera brands. We are curious to see if GoPro will be the first major brand to announce a 3D-capture device that compliments this new market.
Mobile: Laptops, Phones & Tablets
Smartphones are historically not a huge part of the tech show and we predict that CES 2016 will follow this same trend. Despite LG’s Flex 2 release last year, there have been no details or clues regarding a possible LG Flex 3 release this year.
However, tablets may be a slightly different story. Samsung typically offers updated Galaxy tablets. In the past, these have simply been newer versions of their current models. We do expect that with the notoriety surrounding Microsoft’s Surface Pro and Apple’s iPad Pro, we will see ultra-thin laptops from industry leaders being showcased. Thin and light is the game more than ever. Dell, who released the beautiful XPS 13 ultrabook last year, could definitely be one of these brands. After Apple’s MacBook was released with USB-C technology, people became highly interested. We predict more ultrabooks will jump on the USB-C bandwagon at CES.
As you can see, the leading trend at CES 2016 is expected to be connectivity. WiFi and Bluetooth-enabled devices will continue to range from cars to homes, aligning brands and markets that may have never done business together before. The possibilities are endless and we’re excited to see what CES 2016 has in store!