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Consumer Electronics Show 2017

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Every January, the Consumer Technology Association sponsors a big show in Las Vegas. It is, in fact, the biggest convention in the world: the Consumer Electronics Show. Exhibitors from all over the world unveil their new products at the CES, and it opens a window for us into the most important trends in applied technology. Major electronics manufacturers often reserve their most important product launches for the show.

In recent years, the show has hosted demos of drones, virtual reality headsets, drones, robots, driverless cars, advanced video streaming devices, voice activation, and wearable gadgets.

What, then, can we expect from the 2017 show? The information we have so far indicates that the following will be the show highlights:

Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality   

Microsoft, Apple, and Facebook  are investing heavily in these fields, helping to make what had been novelties into mainstream tools and services. With eye-tracking technology and improved accelerometers, VR environments will be more “immersive”. In other words, they’ll be nearly indistinguishable from reality. AR is likely to become a common training tool.

Display Screens   

Ultra HD and 4K screens will become more common. They may even be available soon on smart phones. OLED screens, much lighter and more efficient than all others, will be more widely available. As manufacturing becomes more efficient, the huge price gap between OLED and conventional LED-LCD screens will narrow sharply. Folding and rollable screens will be offered to the consumer.

Artificial Intelligence   

Amazon’s Echo and Google’s personal assistant have given us a small foretaste of what machine learning can do for us. These tools will be much more useful,and will learn all the more, as more apps are written for them. Apple will figure out how to make Siri practical for controlling utilities and appliances.

Computer Security   

Expect to see more biometric devices. Fingerprints, retinal and facial scans, and even heartbeats will be our new “passwords”. Even our activity patterns will identify us.

Other Technologies

Advanced forms of transportation will be important highlight of the show. Driverless cars -though overhyped in our view- will get prominent coverage. Elon Musk’s Hyperloop, an enclosed supersonic train, will be a hot item. Expect new hoverboards, electric bikes, and variations on the Segway.

Battery technology, in critical need of innovation, will be a major theme of the show.

Smart clothes and personal video streaming devices will be highly visible.

If you are in Las Vegas at any time from January 4 to 8, you may want to visit the Consumer Electronics Show. If you want to avoid crowds, we recommend visiting on Sunday, January 8.

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