The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) came to an end, but the future it brings is yet to come. CES plays an important role in the tech world. Companies and startups use this exhibition opportunity to show off their most interesting technological concepts. In reality though, many of the products are not that intriguing. We will present a few trends that will definitely become big in 2016.
Virtual Reality Headsets get Real
Two companies are in the virtual reality race. Namely, HTC and the famous Oculus Rift. HTC has developed a VR headset with a built-in camera for the added option of seeing the real world around you. The virtual reality elements are then being layered onto the original footage. I find that extremely convenient since it excludes the possibility of trampling over objects in the actual room while using the rig.
According to HTC, Vive will have been released by the end of April 2016. This information is to be taken with a pinch of salt, since they first wanted to release it at the beginning of 2015. They still do not mention the price.
Oculus Rift, on the other hand, has always been a symbol of innovation. Unfortunately, not that many people have actually had access to it in its early stages. From now on anyone will be able to purchase it. More precisely, it will be available by the end of March and it will cost around $600.
OK, so how widespread will these new devices actually be? Most people will not give up 600 dollars for a VR rig. Still, I am sure that many technology buffs and gamers will love it. I know I will. A regular consumer will most probably go with the mobile phone VR headset. This is not a good experience, to tell the truth, since the technology is still under development. Oculus Rift and HTS’s Vive are really the only two products that can offer enjoyment when virtual reality is in question.
Smart Gadgets get Smarter
Smart this, smart that, everything is smart. A lot of companies that exhibit at CES bring out their weird pieces of tech just to see if something sticks. Of course, we all know of smart refrigerators, but what about a smart consumer router that is at the same time a security device? Or, a rubber duck that lets you know when the water is too hot via Bluetooth? Yep, it is all there, but let us not dwell on the weird side of smart.
There are companies that are at the forefront of innovation and product practicality. Such startups and enterprises often rely on attracting young talent that will bring something new to the idea pool. Consequently, wearables are getting increasingly popular. Casio has released a new Android Wear watch that will even be fit to be used for military purposes. That is pretty amazing! Furthermore, a company called FitBits released a smart fitness tracker that for once resembles a real watch. Looking smart Fitbits!
Some devices just do not have to be smart. You know what I mean? I do not need smart scissors to tell me how much nails I have cut. But some devices are extremely useful, like smart audio systems, wearables, connected TVs etc. But manufacturers are now just throwing things at consumers and making notes of what sticks. So be smart about what a smart device is.
Drones get Bigger
Flying a drone is probably one of the most interesting new hobbies to emerge from modern technology. However, most consumers do not really ue drones. At CES they are everywhere, but then again we all do not have a big use for them. Yet.
Amazon and Walmart are in a race of bringing delivery drones to you as a service. Construction companies use them to oversee their workers and tough to reach parts of the building. They are used by real estate agents for taking pictures of houses. A company from China even wants to create taxi drones. So drones are getting big enough to squeeze in a human. Pretty neat stuff.
Computers, Mobile Devices and TVs get Neglected
Finally, the CES stories are not all about mobile phones, new computers and tablets. Of course, there is a great number of new pieces of consumer hardware that we will love, but none of them will completely replace what you already have. Innovations have been made, but your computer is still up to date. They are out of focus now, and have become less interesting. It is a good thing, because we no longer have to worry about keeping up with the compatibility updates.
So, the new tech trends are plenty. Computers and mobile are not that interesting anymore. Make way for taxi drones, wearables, smart cars and a lot more devices with smart as a prefix. Let us just hope they will not come up with a smart brain or something similar. That would just be too much. But, we welcome all the useful pieces technology that emerge and readily move toward our cyber future.