4 Top Consumer (Then Soon, Big Data) Trends to Watch at CES 2018

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CES 2018 is set to be the premier for a few major tech trends happening this year, and big data will drive them all. Check out our list for more information on what to look for.

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is the first preview of what manufacturers are preparing to bring to the consumer electronics market. But as more of these devices get connected, consumer electronics increasingly become all about big data.

So this year’s Vegas blowout is also a sneak peek at some of the devices and systems of the future, in their primitive stages.

For the past few years, CES has been the epicenter of a few trends that have spread across the industry. For example, 4K OLED TVs were everywhere three years ago, and now this has pushed the TVs into the mainstream adn down the cost curve, moving from several thousand dollars to a few hundred.

This year, we expect manufacturers to continue hyping up products and services that, to the average viewer, may seem five to ten years away from existing in a commercial capacity.

A home that can communicate without human-directed devices from point A to point B is our first trend to expect.

The Internet of Everything

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The Internet of Things (IoT) may sound like a foreign term to the average consumer, but say Alexa or “Ok Google” and most people will recognize the terminology.

We expect CES 2018 to feature a lot of “smart” devices that connect to both platforms. Google is reportedly setting up an installation dedicated to its Google Home and Assistant.

The hope for CES 2018 is the new crop of smart devices has better integration and reasoning for being smart. While we can all enjoy a fridge that tells the time, solving consumer issues through IoT would be a far more useful addition to the futuristic smart home.

Health-tech that takes all sorts of information from the consumer and relays it back to a central system will be another trend to watch for at CES 2018.

Like IoT, health-tech is moving from just the wrist to all over, with sleep sensors, smart water bottles, and other gizmos that promote a healthier lifestyle and help consumers avoid bad habits.

5G Lays Groundwork

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Telecommunication companies often make appearances at CES 2018, to tout some new wireless technology coming this year.

We expect all them to be talking about the standardization of 5G, the next major step forward for wireless Internet globally.

Huawei, Intel, Qualcomm, Verizon and everything in-between will be showing off their technical prowess in the 5G market.

We will also see different views on methods of deployment and what 5G should be used for, with some looking for limited usage (mobiles) and others looking to extend 5G to self-driving cars, the Internet of Things, and other emerging technologies.

The Virtual World Becomes Real

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Augmented and virtual reality stalled in 2017. Mobile VR managed to win over a few more enthusiasts, but it has not seen the breakthrough into the mainstream. High-end VR headsets, like the Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR, also failed to win over consumers.

We expect more innovation out of both the low-end and the high-end for VR. For AR, the bar is even higher.

Apple has confirmed it has an interest in the market and this year is set to be our first look at illusive start-up Magic Leap’s AR headset.

Google Glass 2.0 also showed the path for commercial VR and we expect new applications and devices that use augmented reality to improve workplace productivity.

All Types of Robot

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Robots will remain outside of the spectrum of most consumer purchases for 2018, we suspect but will invade the floor of CES.

Many manufacturers are banking their futures on robots for everything from menial household tasks to manufacturing and other skilled labor.

What will separate CES 2018 from past conferences is a few of the robots will be genuinely affordable and come with benefits some consumers find useful.

It won’t satisfy every need and will be seen by many as a superfluous waste of money, but less of a waste of money than some earlier models.

Honda, SoftBank, Mitsubishi, and Midea are just a few of the names you should look out for in the robot space.

David Curry

About David Curry

David is a technology writer with several years experience covering all aspects of IoT, from technology to networks to security.

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