Every year, the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas gives us a glimpse of what our world could look like in the future. Every year, there are key technologies, systems and gadgets that stand out and have the potential to change how we live our lives. CES 2017 was defined by five of them…
But touch panels aren’t always the best way to interact with devices and CES 2017 showed that voice control (a combination of speech recognition and natural language processing) might just be the answer.
2. Home robots are coming
From Sony’s Aibo to the dust-sucking iRobot Roomba, home robots haven’t yet become ‘must-have’ gadgets. But that might be about to change.
After the Segway Robot and ASUS Zenbo stole the show in 2016, CES 2017 saw a much larger, more ambitious robotic invasion. If the likes of Kuri, Olly and Cutii are any indication, we’ll soon have robot security guards, robot assistants and robot carers.
3. 5G isn’t just for phones
While the follow-up technology to today’s 4G networks isn’t due until 2020, CES 2017 showed that 5G will go way beyond next-gen mobile phones.
“5G will enable billions of ‘things’ to become smart,” said Aicha Evans, corporate vice president and general manager for Intel’s Communication and Devices Group. Thanks to faster speeds and ultra-low latency, it will connect our future cars, drones, robots, sensors and all manner of IoT gadgets.
4. VR is about to hit the big-time
Up until this point, virtual reality has been expensive. You need a fast PC, a pricey HTC Vive or Oculus Rift HMD, extra sensors to enable room-scale VR, plus touch controllers for interactivity.
But things are changing. Sony’s PSVR has opened up VR to the masses, while companion technologies such as augmented reality and merged reality offer presence and immersion without a high price tag. This could be the year where virtual reality finally succeeds.
5. Your next car could be autonomous
It’s amazing to think that the next car you buy might be able to drive itself. Not only are we seeing a transition from diesel/petrol vehicles to new all-electric or hybrid models, but self-driving cars are fast becoming a reality.
Faraday Future unveiled an autonomous SUV at CES 2017, Toyota wowed with its Concept-i, while Intel revealed a new, automated driving platform dubbed Intel Go. Some of the technology in this space is nothing short of astounding.
If the technology at CES 2017 is any indication, come 2025 we’ll be living in a connected world where we’re looked after by an Alexa-powered robot, play games in merged reality and earn extra cash from 5G-equipped autonomous cars that can moonlight as Uber drivers when we’re not using them. We can’t wait. What about you?