The biggest event in the annual tech calendar kicks off on Tuesday next week in Las Vegas. Running from Tuesday January 9th until Friday January 12th, the latest and best technology in the world will be showcased at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2018. The event is seen as the bellwether for the tech trends that will shape the year ahead and beyond. The biggest and most innovative electronics and tech companies in the world will be trying to outdo each other in capturing public attention for their latest gadgets and other goodies.
In future years the CES has been the launching pad for some iconic tech products, from Tetris back in 1988 to the Xbox in 2000. Last year the star of the show was Faraday Futures’ electric concept car as electric and driverless vehicles revealed at the event stole the headlines. So what can we expect to see at next week’s 2018 edition of the CES?
Driverless, Electric Cars
Faraday will again be hoping to cause a stir as it showcases its new electric SUV, which has been dubbed the ‘Tesla killer’. Nissan will also be revealing their latest car technology with the centrepiece a “brain-to-vehicle” concept technology. The Japanese car maker’s tech aims to hook up driver and car with the vehicle’s tech anticipating the driver’s actions.
And the latest technology in the world of cars won’t only be on display. Uber-rival Lyft, in partnership with new high-tech car manufacturer Aptiv, will be offering CES attendees the opportunity to pre-book driverless taxi rides. These will follow around 20 pre-set point-to-point routes between the conference area and the rest of the city.
The latest models and innovations in design and set-ups for PCs and laptops is a regular feature at the CES. The event is particularly popular as a platform to show off the latest gaming-centric computer technology in the world. Last year a triple-screened gaming laptop made by Razor impressed attendees so much two were stolen, despite the high security presence!
While there are likely to be plenty of surprise unveils at the event itself, Samsung have already said they will be using the CES to launch a new 34-inch QLED gaming monitor compatible with different devices, including Apply laptops and computers.
IoT and Smart Homes
Smart home devices are the IoT section that has had most presence at CES over the past few years. While some of the earlier smart home products like fridges supposed to give you a shopping list often had their practical value treated with scepticism and a degree of mockery, smart home gadgets have come a long way. 2018 is considered by many the year we will start to see smart home appliances enter the mainstream.
Voice-operated speakers and home entertainment systems and speakers based on technology such as Google Home and Amazon Alexa are expected to take centre stage. Smart lights and locks are also on the cusp of becoming a normal part of our homes over the next few years and demonstrations of numerous products in this area can be expected.
The more weird, wonderful and gimmicky also has its place at the CES and niche gadgets and a range of robotics can be expected. Last year a ‘nanny’ robot was unveiled and Sony might take the opportunity to show its Aibo pet robo-dog, so far only available in Japan, to an international audience ahead of a wider launch.
Smartphones is actually one area that the CES isn’t particularly strong on. The big boys such as Apple and Samsung prefer to host their own events to launch their new flagship smartphones and the Mobile World Congress, like a smartphone and tablet-centric CES, is also held at the end of February. However, rumour has it that Samsung could use the CES platform to announce its new mid-price Galaxy A8 and A8 Plus models with a “cameo” for the Galaxy S9, a few months ahead of its actual launch, also considered a possibility.