Consumer Electronics show, CES, is undoubtedly the biggest and glitziest tech show in the world. Each year just after Christmas, tech companies globally descend upon Las Vegas to unveil their latest wares. CES is generally seen as the place to see the hottest tech that will set the tone for 2017 and beyond, and this year we saw just that with new launches unveiling everything from cars that can read your emotions to robots that can soothe a baby to sleep.
This year, Amazon’s smart assistant Alexa was everywhere having been integrated in a wide range of products ranging from fridges to self-driving cars and washing machines to baby monitors. Hyundai is introducing Alexa into its self-driving car allowing drivers to turn the car on with a simple voice command. LG unveiled a fridge powered by Alexa which can buy goods via voice command. And toymaker, Mattel introduced Aristotle, its voice-activated baby monitor that can order nappies when you run out and soothe the baby back to sleep automatically.
Alongside smart assistants for the home, there was also a large showing of personal companion robots including Kuri, a home robot that can read stories to your children and emotionally interact with them.
Some of the biggest stories from CES were notably connected to the beauty industry with beauty giant, L’Oreal unveiling its first smart hairbrush. The Hair Coach comes loaded with a microphone, gyroscope, accelerometer and sensors to help consumers improve their brushing technique. The accessory vibrates when hair is brushed too hard and can detect hairs being broken in real time.
Samsung followed suit by announcing S-Skin – a new skin analysis gadget which analyses users’ skin and recommends micro-needle patches to tackle wrinkles and blemishes.
A number of futuristic cars were unveiled. These cars were powered by voice, able to drive themselves and also read passenger emotions.
Start-up firm, Faraday made news with the announcement of a self-driving electric car which it claims can accelerate faster than Tesla’s top model. The Future FF91 can go from zero to 60mph in 2.39 seconds and also features facial recognition technology allowing it to adjust its settings depending on who is behind the wheel.
BMW announced that it will be using Cortana to enhance the in-car experience. Drivers will be able to receive reminders of their schedule, or perform internet searches and make restaurant reservations without having to take their hands off the wheel or their eyes off the road.
Lastly, Toyota unveiled its latest concept, the I-Car, featuring its own digital assistant named Yiu, which uses artificial intelligence to measure emotions based on passenger responses and alters the car's settings accordingly.
The latest laptops:
Gaming PC maker Razer unveiled a concept laptop with three 4K screens. Claimed to be the world’s first portable laptop of its kind, Project Valerie has two additional screens that slide out from the central display via an automatic mechanism. The device has been well received by gaming analysts, but it is still a prototype and Razer has not yet alluded to a possible release date or price. As well as Razer’s new concept laptop, Acer launched the first gaming laptop to have a curved screen and LG released a “Gram” laptop, reported as the world’s lightest and Acer.
While these were the main trends to come from the show, there were also advancements unveiled in VR and wearable technology with some of the weirder announcements including smart pants and VR shoes. It will be interesting to see which concepts will come into fruition this year and which will remain a prototype. Watch this space…