The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) has been around since 1967. Even though it has changed significantly over the half century of showcasing the latest and greatest in consumer electronics technology, it is still a staple of the tech calendar. CES 2020 is sure to give us some great surprises and reliable updates.
Lately it has morphed into a showcase of innovative, off-brand inventions and products that are now part and parcel of the smart revolution, rather than a place for smartphone companies to launch their devices. Sure, there will still be some smartphones, tablets and the like, but that isn’t the main focus of the show.
There are a couple of big trends we can expect to see in the first tech show of the new decade and it’s sure to be extremely exciting. Let’s take a look at what you can expect from CES 2020.
The yearly show in Las Vegas is always a great showcase for TVs – last year being the first year with massive 8K displays, LG’s impressive rollable TV and Samsung’s modular micro-LED television known as ‘The Wall.’
This year is expected to be no different, with 8K now becoming a lot more mainstream (even though there isn’t a lot of content to consume at that resolution). The micro-LED’s should also make a return in different ways, meant to drive down the price of OLED technology.
Samsung is rumoured to launch a ‘Zero Bezel’ display (probably more than 75-inches in size), which is said to appears completely bezel-less. We’re also expecting to see a rollable TV from LG that rolls down from the ceiling like a projector screen, rather than out of a display unit like last year’s model.
Autonomous Vehicle and Connected Automobile Technology
In recent years, the car industry has found a home at CES as well. It is a place to showcase their latest technology, including autonomous driving, better car connectivity features and a host of electric vehicles – from scooters, e-bikes and electric skateboards to fully fledged production ready full EV family vehicles.
This year we are expecting to see 5G connectivity demos and how the next generation wireless networks will impact your car experience. More mainstream car manufacturers are also expected at the show this year, more of them showing off their Level 2 autonomous driving tech.
Level 2 autonomous driving refers to partially automated pilot systems that can steer, accelerate and brake is most conditions but still needs to the driver to be fully alert and involved at the wheel. Furthermore, we should see more vehicles that will demo the full autonomous mode – Las Vegas sets up a demo area on the Strip where these cars can do their thing.
As mentioned, it’s not just car manufacturers you’ll see in Vegas. While it’s not a new trend, expect to see many more electric bikes, skateboards and other micro-mobility vehicles like the crazy Big Wheel.
While you shouldn’t expect massive smartphone launches, that doesn’t mean smartphone manufacturers won’t be one the floor trying to sell you their wares. Chief among those is going to be the wearable market, which has taken off in recent years primarily due to the success of Apple’s products.
Apple’s AirPods are the best-selling wireless earbuds in the world (by far) – even though there are better products out there – and the rest is trying to figure out how they can compete. We are likely to see many more earbuds with smart features like digital assistant voice commands, better active noise cancellation and better designs for the active lifestyle.
Most of these wearables will most likely be health-focused, as they tend to be more affordable and are a good segment of the market for people getting into wearables for the first time.
Smart Home Technology
Voice-controlled assistants have been proliferating throughout the home and have been a main attraction at CES in various forms – smart speakers, kitchen displays, alarm clocks, etc. Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa are leading the charge, which has been an interesting addition to the show as they haven’t had big presences in the past.
This is very important to Amazon, of course, as they are trying to lock you into their ecosystem. It allows them to on-sell their main e-commerce business in every room of your house.
VR Gaming Technology
Virtual Reality has been at the forefront of these types of shows for years now, yet they can’t seem to properly crack the consumer market. VR is still seen as a niche product that only the dedicated will truly embrace. This is what CES is meant to change for these companies.
As you can imagine, most of this will come in the form of immersive video game experiences. Other than improved headsets and gaming setups, we can expect a lot of weird and quirky accessories. For example, we’ll see Cybershoes, which lets you “walk and run” in a VR game.
Companies are also expanding haptic feedback to make the world more believable, like a wireless body suit, which will allow you to feel sword slashes, punches and gunshots in VR games.