The annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this week is set to be packed with interesting announcements from the big players of the tech scene as well as some start-up newcomers. A handful of gadgets have already made their debut at the CES Unveiled event ahead of the show’s official opening, but what are the biggest trends to look out for at this year’s show?
AI is set to cause the biggest buzz at this year’s show, where the technology will be integrated into a wide range of new gadgets. This year’s CES even has a brand new zone dedicated purely to AI-based products.
While AI-powered products at the show will take many forms, including robots and smart appliances, much of the AI showcased at CES will take the form of voice assistants.
Voice-based virtual assistants are set to really go mainstream in 2018. While last year’s show saw AI-powered voice assistants like Amazon Alexa integrated into more smart speakers, this year will see them move into a wider variety of products.
Whirlpool has already announced a range of new line-up of home appliances that feature Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, while Garmin’s Speak Plus adds Alexa to the dash cam. What’s more, Samsung is adding its Bixby assistants to a number of its 2018 products including its new 4K TV range and its smart fridges.
Robots featured heavily at CES Unveiled with familiar faces like Blue Frog Robotics’ Buddy and the Kuri ‘bot, joined by the new Netatmo Smart Home Bot. The showcase was also home to a robotic therapy duck – My Special Aflac Duck – designed to comfort kids with cancer.
While there are set to be more robots unveiled once the show itself opens, LG has already announced a trio of new concept robots designed to help carry things from drinks to luggage and shopping.
Smart home and IoT technology is set to be big this year, as consumers start to recognise and embrace the potential of connected gadgets.
CES Unveiled played host to numerous Apple HomeKit-compatible accessories, with more expected to land in the coming days, as well as more connected home devices with built-in voice control.
VR and AR devices
This year’s show will include a lot of immersive experiences, with virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) set to feature heavily. Perhaps the biggest news will be the move towards untethered headsets, with HTC expected to launch a standalone version of its Vive headset to compete with the Oculus Go. We can also expect to see plenty of VR and AR accessories at this year’s show.
So far, at CES 2018 we’ve already seen the first Alexa-enabled AR glasses from Vuzix and the MERGE 6DoF Blaster, a gun-shaped controller that blends real world with digital space without the need for a headset.
Once again, autonomous cars are set to be big news at this year’s CES. Along with car concepts, we’ll also see more of a focus on in-car connected experiences.
Car startup Byton has already unveiled a concept driverless car with a giant 40-inch display in place of the dashboard and a gesture-controlled infotainment system