The world’s biggest consumer electronics showcase is upon us – and the major tech brands are getting ready to show off their wares for the year. Here is the good, the bad, and the weird from CES 2016 so far:
Parrot Disco makes drone flying easy
Parrot has shown off a few of its latest projects at CES 2016, but the most interesting was the Disco drone, which departs from the conventional quad-copter design. Instead of four propellers, the Disco makes use of two wings and a single prop at the rear. Flying is essentially autonomous, just chuck it in the air and let auto-pilot do the rest.
The French company also announced availability of the connected plant pot, which makes taking care of your plants as easy as… flying a drone.
LG melts eyes with an 8K TV
Just bought a shiny 4K telly for Christmas? We’ve got some bad news… LG has just revealed a production ready 8K TV. Don’t worry though, this is not a television made for you and I, it measures 98-inches, and we expect the price to be northwards of $100,000 (pricing and availability is yet to be confirmed).
LG also announced more accessible UHD televisions, offering both LED and OLED options. They will run an updated webOS 3.0 platform. There was also a futuristic rollable display, which could end up in our pockets in the near future.
A 100MP camera from Phase One
Aimed at professional photogs who want to preserve every single detail, the Phase One XF 100MP promises clean, noise-free images from ISO 50 all the way to ISO 12,800. The camera makes use of medium format CMOS sensor. It comes in at $48,990, but it’ll run circles around your Sony A7 toting pals.
Volvo lets you talk to your car
Ever wanted to be more like David Hasselhoff? Of course you have! Volvo and Microsoft have teamed up to enable voice control via the Microsoft Band 2, so you can lock the doors, start the heater, set navigation, or sound the horn, all from a few voice commands before you even get in.
iFit makes stylish fitness devices
The Withings Activite and Mondaine Helvetica Smart are very attractive step counters, but they’re not perfect if you want to track proper workouts. Enter the iFit Executive HR, a swiss-made luxury watch, which counts steps, and measures your heart rate. We think it looks great.
iFit also announced the NordicTrack Escape treadmill, which features a 60-inch curved OLED screen, allowing runners to pretend they’re running somewhere exotic and picturesque, not a spare bedroom in Slough.
Samsung puts a massive screen on your fridge
The fridge is no longer a box for keeping food cool, it’s a ‘family-hub’, according to Samsung. The company’s new smart fridge features a large 21.5-inch vertical touchscreen, presumably allowing you to leave notes, make shopping lists, listen to music, order groceries, get weather forecasts. Nifty.
Oculus begins pre-orders
We know everyone said 2015 would be the year of VR, but this time, 2016 really WILL be the year of VR. You’ll be able to order Oculus Rift on the January 6th. The price is still unknown.
Faraday Future takes electric cars to the next level
The Tesla Model S is crazy-fast, but the design is a bit understated. If you want something a bit more brash, look no further than Faraday Future’s FFZero1. Currently only in concept form, there’s a smartphone dock in the steering wheel, digital displays in the place of mirrors and only space for one person. The company claims you’ll be able to drive one in 2018.
Smarter makes your fridge… smarter
More connected kitchen gadgets, this time from Smarter. The company have released three new products, a camera for your fridge, mats which provide real-time readings of how much stuff you have left, and Detect, which transforms existing kitchen appliances into connected devices. All of these products are aimed at reducing waste and being more connected, which is always a good thing in T3’s book.
Monitor your temperature with Withing’s Wi-Fi thermometer
This new super-accurate thermometer from Withings can take up to 4,000 measurements in two seconds. It packs Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, allowing you to record the results on your smartphone. You can read more about it here.
What else can we expect?
Join us, as we take a tour of what else we’re likely to see in Las Vegas before the week is out…
If you’re in the mood for desktops, laptops, 2-in-1s and all-in-ones, most of the big names are expected in Las Vegas, including Samsung and Lenovo. We’re going to get a closer look at the Acer Revo Build modular PC, HP has a curved Windows 10 all-in-one it would like you to fall in love with, and there should be plenty of other new hardware to see.
Dell launched the rather nice XPS 13 at the same event last year so hopes are high that the famous computer builder will once again have a few surprises in store. Expect to see Windows 10 and the new USB Type-C standard just about everywhere you look, and there might be more hardware for Windows 10 Mobile in the pipeline as well.
2016 is set to be the year of virtual reality, with three major headsets – from HTC, Oculus and Sony – scheduled to go on sale. All three companies are going to be attending CES this year, so we’re expecting to see plenty of hands-on demos and perhaps a release date or two? What we do know is HTC is showcasing a new dev version of the Vive at the event.
With dozens of smaller companies getting involved in the VR revolution, there should be plenty of other related software and hardware to gawp at, including the Ricoh Theta S 360-degree camera – launched at IFA earlier this year, it’s already been officially named as one of the best gadgets on show at CES 2016 a month before the event even starts.
Drones and robots
You don’t need to be a tech expert to know that drones are some of the hottest gadgets at the moment and we should be seeing plenty in Las Vegas at the start of January. Manufacturers like DJI will be rubbing shoulders with the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and we should hopefully see a batch of new products breaking cover.
GoPro has just announced its first drone, called Karma, and the rumour is that the company will be showing it off in Las Vegas. Robotics continues to march ever closer to the mainstream too, and we might well see something more in this direction as the CES organisers try and broaden the scope of the show beyond fridges and phones.
While the biggest smartphone news and launches are usually held back for Mobile World Congress in the spring, there should still be plenty of shiny new mobiles to peer and poke at in CES in January. Sony, LG, Asus, Huawei and others are all going to be present and correct and we’re expecting news of new handsets from at least some of them.
One of the pre-CES rumours doing the rounds is that Samsung is going to push its Galaxy S7 flagship out earlier normal – or maybe just tease it and save a full release for MWC. Next-generation processors from the likes of Qualcomm, Nvidia and Samsung are also expected to make an appearance before finding their way into your new phones.
Autonomous vehicles have come on leaps and bounds in the last 12 months and self-driving cars should be front and centre at CES 2016. It sounds like Nvidia has something to show off in this area as well.
There will be more car exhibition space than ever and the likes of BMW, Ford, Mercedes, Toyota, Hyundai, Volkswagen and Audi are going to be there, as well as the big players from the US – we suspect green engines, electric power and autonomous technology will be dominating the models that make it to the floors of the convention centres.
…and the rest
A handful of smartwatches and fitness trackers are usually par for the course, so keep an eye out for those, as well as the usual glut of television sets from the major manufacturers: expect more 4K, more curved screens but no real innovation this time around. The best sets for 2016 should still be well worth checking out though.
There will also be other gadgets of every shape and size being demoed in the hotels and casinos of Vegas: speakers, printers, scooters, innovative battery packs, smart home kit and more besides. Even Netflix has a slot booked at CES 2016, though we’re not sure yet what we can expect to hear about it: more original content for the network, perhaps?