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CES 2017: What to expect

TVs, smart gadgets, wireless audio and cool PCs are expected to be unveiled in Las Vegas this year

Expect a lot of convertibles and 2-in-1 PCs as well from this year’s CES in Las Vegas.
Expect a lot of convertibles and 2-in-1 PCs as well from this year’s CES in Las Vegas.

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES), also known as CES 2017, kicks off on Thursday, and is expected to have plenty of new and exciting gadgets we can look forward to. And as it is every year, we will see some existing trends actually catch on, and some new trends emerge at the same time. Here are our big expectations from this year’s CES in Las Vegas.

TVs, and more couch potato goodies

Over the years, the good old television has always had a special place on the CES show floor. We saw many interesting new technologies for the first time, which defined the TVs as they are today. This time around, expect to see greater focus on more affordable 4K televisions. What will also be quite prominent is the HDR capability, which more TVs are expected to have over the next few months. The usual suspects, Sony, LG, Panasonic and Samsung will make their presence felt, with the 2017 TV line-ups.

Smart home is coming home, soon

While smart home and internet of things (IoT) have remained the buzzwords for long, 2016 saw some genuine progress in the ecosystem. There are now gadgets that are genuinely useable, and don’t cost an arm and a leg. This time around in Las Vegas, companies will showcase even more smart home tech, gadgets and appliances which connect to the internet and talk to other gadgets as well. It will be interesting to see whether Google’s Android Things makes an appearance, or whether Samsung’s SmartThings platform has made any progress whatsoever—the company has promised to make all products “connected" by the year 2020.

Laptops and convertibles will define the PC

CES, in the previous few iterations, has given us some of the most beautiful laptops, including the Dell XPS 13 and the Lenovo X1 Carbon. This year, we will most likely see the next generation of computing devices from most PC makers. The trends will continue to revolve around portability, with even slimmer and lighter designs. Expect a lot of convertibles and 2-in-1 PCs as well. Hardware giants Intel and Nvidia have used CES in the past to showcase their latest processors and graphics hardware, respectively, and we can expect to see Intel’s Kaby Lake processor and Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1050 graphics solution this time around.

Making virtual reality more affordable

Last year, CES was full of hype around VR, but that excitement has since died down a bit. Facebook-owned Oculus is not expected to make major announcements this time around, and neither is HTC expected to talk about any updates to the Vive. Interestingly enough, the focus this time will be on making VR headsets for the mass market, and the ecosystem could see something on the lines of how the Chinese brands took over the smartphone space a few years ago. That, perhaps, is the only way prices were going to take a tumble.

Wireless is the new audio

If wireless speakers weren’t popular before, the entire mission centred around removing the headphone jack from smartphones has ensured that anyway. Millions of iPhones are being sold globally, which do not have a headphone jack. Android phones have also started eliminating the port, as we know it. The solution for consumers is to go wireless, and that opens up a massive opportunity for most accessory makers. Expect everything from entry-level wireless earphones to premium audio options, from various brands.

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