From drones to digital assistants to virtual reality, here’s a teaser of what will be showcased at CES 2016. WGSN Editor of Lifestyle and Interiors Sarah Housley reports
January will start with a bang for tech’s early adopters as CES opens its doors to a feast of next-generation electronics. The world’s largest trade show will play host to 3,600 exhibitors, 2.4 million net square feet of stands, and 20,000 product launches. With press releases flooding in already, here’s a glimpse into what we expect to wow us this time around.
CES 2015 was the year that cheap, smartphone add-on VR headsets hit the market – a market that has since been dominated by Google Cardboard. This time around, Oculus is due to launch the first consumer version of its Rift VR headset, and market-ready headsets are also anticipated from Sony and HTC. While we’ll of course be queueing to try a headset in person, it’ll be the post-purchase experience that is most interesting. Will the pre-loaded games and adventures be enough to convince the average, non-gamer consumer to buy in straight away, or will there be a lag in adoption as we all figure out just how VR fits into our lives?
Wearables are developing quickly onwards from dry health and fitness data to more visceral emotional applications. Taking this idea to extremes is Nervana, a device that sends pleasure signals to the brain. The device emits electrical signals through the skin “to stimulate the Vagus nerve, and synchronizes with music to provide a positively altered state of mind,” promises the write-up. It sounds like the move-on from bone conducting headsets, but with the potential to be a whole lot more immersive.
The high-tech bar will also be an area to watch as brands smartly start to target devoted interest groups such as wine aficionados and amateur mixologists. Bartesian is a capsule-operated cocktail machine that looks like a cross between a Nespresso and a 3D printer. It promises mixologist-level drinks with “no fake flavours, only real ingredients”. Don’t worry, we’ll test this one out in great detail.
The smart home landscape at the moment is peppered with lots of individual products that don’t really seamlessly work together just yet. Enter French tech company Fenotek, which is launching Hi), a digital butler that puts a friendly face (or interface) on the category. Able to greet guests, control the lighting and shutters within your smart home, and function as an alarm and lock, Hi) promises a full solution to home entry, which could persuade consumers to buy in to the smart home with slightly more gusto.
Self-driving, self-parking and smartwatch-enabled, the connected car stole the show at CES this year. 2016’s edition will see plenty more advances within autonomous cars – including a new concept car that comes with its own drone, and the debut of a mysterious new Tesla-like company called Faraday Future – but other vehicles will share the spotlight. GenZe‘s all-electric scooter looks particularly interesting: described as “a true car replacement”, it features a portable battery that can be charged with minimal special equipment, and can even juice up your mobile devices for you while you ride.
WANT MORE? Stay tuned to WGSN Insider for live coverage from the showfloor as it unfolds, starting on January 6th.