Viva las Vegas

‘AR gets real’

Speaking at CES Unveiled in Paris, CTA’s senior director of market research Steve Koenig said that augmented reality will have a big showing in Las Vegas. “‘AR Gets Real’ will be the real narrative at CES when we talk about AR moving from B to C,” declared Koenig. “We’ll see a tidal wave of AR applications.” 

It’s easy to see why. With both Apple and Google jumping on the AR train in a big way during 2017, we’re sure to see plenty of vendors and developers offering apps to either build upon pre-existing services or brand new solutions.

Affordable 4K

2017’s CES saw 4K take over our screens, with a whole host of different formats and standards of the ultra-HD screen resolution being touted by manufacturers. The big problem though was that it was all – and still is – largely inaccessible to the majority of consumers, with eye-watering price points making 4K an unrealistic aspiration for most.

With the tech now firmly in place, the emphasis at the 2018 show will be ensuring that as many TV buyers as possible are able to get their hands on it. Prices aren’t likely to be touted at the event, but rest assured that the major players are taking their places for the next race to the bottom. But let’s not even start to think about the cost of the 8K screens that will inevitably show up.

Smart assistants and AI continue to dominate

Last year, Alexa and Google Assistant stole the show. If a new bit of tech didn’t involve some sort of smart assistant then it seemed like it was missing a core feature. Everything from speakers to fridges had a voice-activated assistant, and that trend looks set to continue in a big way. It is also expected that Microsoft will also look to get in on the party, as it is set to launch its own smart speaker powered by – you guessed it – Cortana.

What is likely to be even bigger than ever at CES is machine learning. It’s one of those buzzwords that has been doing the rounds for a while, but with vendors like Huawei already showing how it works in a user-friendly way with the photo recognition of its latest Mate 10 Pro smartphone, we can expect to see even more of the tech and what it can do to improve products. Maybe a couple more smartphones will be shown off with some fancy machine learning business going on.

Lapping it up

One last trend that’ll probably show up is vendors following the lead of the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga and incorporating OLED screens into their laptops.

While it’s unlikely that any laptops will bring many major innovations like the ostentatius Acer Predator 21X did in 2017, it will also be interesting to see how many vendors start to include the newly announced laptop chip designed by Intel and AMD. Launching a full-scale attack on Nvidia’s vice-like grip on the gaming market, the pair (partnering for the first time since the 1980s) are producing a laptop chip with an Intel processor and an AMD graphics unit. Will many vendors buy in? CES may give us an idea.

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