The 2017 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) was a really exciting place to be and served as a great preview for the tech we’ll see this year and beyond. MarketSource was in the mix to see all the futuristic creations and trends, which for the most part, revolve around the internet of things (IoT).
From smart assistants to next generation TVs, here are the top six trends we saw at CES 2017:
Smart home tech has exploded. Smart home assistants Amazon Alexa and Google Home are dominating the industry, according to Lifehacker. The proof was in the number of new home products that are enabled to work with them. There were robotic helpers, smart kitchen appliances, smart trash cans, and of course even self-driving cars that will sync with Alexa or Google. It looks like we’re finally starting to get the Jetson’s house of the future we always dreamed of.
New laptops are everywhere. Lenovo came out swinging this year with a new gaming laptop that promises Dolby Atmos surround sound and they also debuted a hybrid laptop to compete directly with Microsoft’s Surface. But the most intriguing innovation was the Razer Project Valerie, a concept that boasts three screens in one laptop! It’s a bit clunky at 12 pounds, but still great for anyone who multi-tasks across screens. Additionally, desktop monitors now are starting to see curved screens like their TV counterparts.
The death of 3D and the rise of HDR format and personalized TVs. Rest in peace, 3D TVs. They never really took off and no manufacturer has plans to build any this year. Last year saw 4K finally catch on with consumers as it became an affordable upgrade purchase. But for 2017, HDR is the new hot format and it is serving up some visually stunning views. Speaking of stunning views, LeEco showed off a concept TV that outsourced all of its innards into the soundbar, but it offered an option to eventually replace either the display or the processing unit when you’re ready for an upgrade. But the coolest TV to debut was the LG W7 wallpaper OLED TV. It’s so thin that it basically blends into the wall and it doesn’t require a bulky wall mount.
5G wireless speed capable of supporting 4K and VR streaming. 5G is going to be insanely fast once it comes to market, but it likely won’t come to market for another couple of years. Verizon and AT&T are still doing field tests, but will continue to talk it up during conferences. The good news is that when it gets here, it’ll be so fast that users will be able to download all the episodes of their favorite shows (multiple seasons) in under the time it takes to watch an episode. It’s supposed to be able to support 4K definition and even virtual reality streaming. It will serve as the foundation for other trends on this list, from self-driving cars to smart home/IoT. According to CNET, Qualcomm is testing drones that communicate through 5G networks, which is really cool. But the big talk about 5G is that it will mean fixed mobile broadband -which means that you can stop drilling holes in your walls to route a coaxial line into your living room.
Self-driving cars continue to evolve and add new features. While self-driving cars are what many of us long for, the more current trend happening is the evolution of electric cars and the battle to take down Tesla Motors. And even if you can’t buy a new car right now, there are now plenty of new gadgets you can plug into your car that will make it seem futuristic. From a heads-up display, to Verizon’s Hum, IoT is making it easier to convert your car into a smart car this year.
AR and VR are catching on like wildfire. Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) were literally everywhere. While the market shows AR is still in an experimental phase, there were plenty of interesting AR apps and products being shown. Especially glasses. But the VR headsets were really the interesting draw. At the moment, Oculus and HTC are leading the way for how VR is going to be integrated into phones and how actual headsets are being designed. Both AR and VR support uses for education, health and wellness, manufacturing, training, automotive, and of course, entertainment.
Speaking of MarketSource at CES 2017, our President Rick Haviland was there to talk about how all these new products will need to be sold vs. bought. Watch Rick’s interview with TWICE Magazine. Additionally, Steve Wilson, Executive Director and Retail Practice Leader, was interviewed by TWICE to talk about the services MarketSource offers to clients and the importance of customer experience strategy.