#CES2016 – the 6 trends that will dominate the year ahead ( #2016trends ) / Austereo, ABC Local, ABC Far North

_DSC0661 CES (Consumer Electronic Show) 2016, Nerdvana, has ended for another year and Las Vegas has said goodbye to 170,000 visitors and 3,631 exhibitors all itching to get a glimpse of the year ahead in tech gadgets and retail offerings and also looking for the dots to connect to figure out what’s lies further ahead.

There were a number of clear categories this year and in this weeks regular ABC and Austereo radio segments I explored some of these and also what may be next and after next.

The overriding theme for me this year was that we have crossed over the threshold away from having and owning to using and doing.

This new ambient state of being assumes technology exists and is readily available, just like electricity, gas and water, which means we no longer get as excited about the form factor of it anymore and instead it’s all about the experience – what can it do to make my life more interesting, easier or better.

So here are my top 6 CES trends and what they mean to you…

1. Cars of the Future – this display has gone from a garage sized hall a few years ago, to a mega display that brings many of the existing automotive players to town and even more interestingly the “wannabees’ like Apple and Google as well. No surprise cars are going autonomous eventually, but on the road to autonomy will be a whole heap of interesting incremental changes including electric cars, cars that park themselves, everything connected cars including Apple Car Play and Android Auto and every third-party provider of new shiny auto industry toys.

Get set for the biggest revolution in cars since we first saw them on our roads just over 100 years ago.

2. Virtual Reality – this year marks the beginning of this new retail category and is definitely 2016’s Christmas stocking stuffer. Manufacturers including Samsung, Sony, Occulus Rift and others have brand new shiny headsets being released in the first half of this year, with pricing ranging from $30 – $600.These digital magical carpets will allow you temporarily escape the physical world and enter a “world of pure imagination”. For the first time you’ll be able to experience the internet, touch knowledge and feel facts as your mind and a headset takes you anywhere to experience anything without your body ever leaving home.

As great as Virtual Reality is Augmented Reality will eventually be the bigger industry and dominant technology, because long-term we don’t really want to walk around in a completely artificial digital world with the real world hidden away, what we want is for both the real and virtual worlds to co-exist.

3. Drones – last year seemed to be dominated by them, but wait there’s more. We’ll be droning about drones for at least another year as the CES goes wild for drones with ever conceivable and even some far-fetched drone uses including a manned drone available from Ehang capable of taking a single person up between 350 metres and 3 kilometres for a flight length of 23 minutes, but before you get too excited you’ll need 2 things, first $250,000 and second to get a government authority anywhere on earth to let you fly it.

This year we’ll see and hear lots of companies like Australia Post, Amazon, Pizza Hut and others trialing this delivery tech and eventually one of them might make it work, but there’s still a tonne of government regulation to get through and business models to prove.

4. Video Streaming – one of the larger breakout sections this year was video streaming pushed along by Netflix’s announcement to extend their services to 170 additional countries. This year we’ll see You Tube try to step up to the commercial video streaming plate, as well as see new tech including 4K and 360 degree videos and virtual reality.

Behind all of this is the forever fracturing of free to air and centralised content distribution.

It is now about whatever, whenever and on whichever device, as the tower of Babel falls and the world becomes a universal always-on TV set pulling content from everywhere and making it available to evrybody.

5. Smart Homes – The world of science fiction is fast becoming science fact as the world of objects steadily connect themselves to the internet and Internet of Things appliances abound. Samsung announced their new smart fridge and it seems every other stand boasted about its tech’s ability to remotely and intuitively turn things on and off and open and shut for you.

Give it a few years and this tech will seem as ordinary as social media is today.

6. Personal Robots – I’ve been waiting for this one since I read my first sci-fi novel, watched the Jestons and saw my first Star Trek episode, we may not yet be at the human looking android robot stage yet, but this year we will see the first retail available set of personal robots ranging from those that do not move at all but do speak and interact with you, to those that have some moving parts, to those that zip around your home.

This is early days for this industry sector and it is not so much this years offerings that excite me, but the possibilities of what the next few generations of robots might be and do.

As always lots more to talk about and in these on air radio segments I cover the CES in more detail, so have a listen now..

Phil Staley – ABC Far North – 18 Jan 2016 – (17 minutes  55 seconds)

Glynn Greensmith – ABC Local – It’s Just Not Cricket – 16 Jan 2016 – (17 minutes 0 seconds)

Anthony Tilli – Southern Cross Austereo – 11 Jan 2016 – (6 minutes  16 seconds)

Eye on the Future - Jan 15, 2016 | All, Augmented Reality, Business, Finance, Gadgets, Horizon Trends, Innovation, Internet of Things, Radio Interview, Retail, Robots, Social, Technology, Wearable Technology, Work
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