The 50th Anniversary of the Consumer Electronics Show just wrapped in Las Vegas, and the advances in everyday technology at this year’s show range from minor improvements to major new players.
According to CNET’s John Falcone, the world’s premier technology show revealed everything from the jaw-dropping to the groan-inducing to the just plain fun.
Here are a few highlights of CES 2017:
- Smart home systems: New products featured compatibility with systems such as Google Home, Apple HomeKit and, of course, Amazon Alexa, which appeared the most popular. Smart screens showed up not only in refrigerators but also washers. Beyond the screen, Whirlpool’s small washer works with Alexa which can not only search the internet by voice but also start the wash. “The list of stuff you’ll be able to interact with by saying Alexa’s name is set to explode in the coming months,” says Falcone. Look for these innovations among not only Whirlpool but Samsung and LG as well.
- TVs-LGs breakthrough new W-7 OLED (organic light emitting diode) TV, or “wallpaper” TV, was a showstopper, garnering rave reviews for size, picture, and brightness. Dubbed “wallpaper” because of its unprecedented thin design (3.8 mm!), the W-7 can already be preordered with delivery expected in a matter of months. Sony also launched their OLED TV, ironically licensed from LG, with integrated sound from the screen itself.
- SWatch improvements-Although the Apple Watch Series 2, now has water resistance, materials such as sand, dust, and salt water are still forbidden until the new Catalyst case appeared at the tech show. It adds an IP68-rated case to the watch, so it’s suitable for depths up to 100 meters, including in sea water. That means military-grade protection!
- Modular phone components-Components for the cell phone took off in 2017. Although still pricey for the average consumer, the modular phone components, or “mods” as tech reviewers call them, included such things as amazing sound speakers, higher quality video cameras, variable depth and dual camera lenses, and so on. The mods, in fact, won Best of Innovation Awards 2017 at CES.
- Qualcomm introduced the ability for 4k video to stream from a phone to a television with a compatible dongle or TV, also in the works.
- Virtual assistance-Ford and Volkswagen announced plans to integrate Amazon’s virtual assistant, Alexa, into its cars in the next year.
- Smart home/Car integration-Hyundai envisions the car becoming a lounge-like extension of the living space that provides air conditioning and entertainment, and acts as a back-up generator.
- Virtual reality-In 2016, CNET writer Ian Sherr was disappointed with live VR, but this year things were vastly improved for image clarity. He was able to join with 259 people in watching a college basketball game between Butler and Villanova while in a ballroom in Las Vegas. One technological leap NextVR is excited about is the ability to look around objects, like if a referee stands in front of the camera.
So there you go – a bit of everything from the future, soon to be on your doorstep!