CES 2017 kicks off today, heralding the start of the tech new year.
Every year the tech community, media and industry flock to Las Vegas, Nevada to see what the year might hold for technology. Last year attendees were treated some positively drool-worthy tech such as LG’s ludicrously thin G6 television.
This year appears to be more of the same mixed bag and we’ve outlined some of the announcements that we know are coming and some we hope are coming.
Little known startup Faraday Future revealed its concept for an electric vehicle at CES 2016. At the time it was a concept and as such many folks simply saw it as a company grandstanding and trying to get investment. It’s also worth pointing out that Faraday Future is a two year old firm and is aspiring to compete with Tesla who has already carved out a nice electric vehicle niche for itself.
A year later however and it looks like Faraday may actually be releasing something. We do however have to give some pause for thought as nobody outside of the firm has seen the vehicle that Faraday says will be “the future.”
It’s likely that we won’t see the FFZERO1 (though we really hope we do) given that the vehicle is a concept car and the Faraday website is showing off a wire frame model of a hatchback.
The firm has scheduled a livestream which you can catch at 4am tomorrow morning on the Faraday Future website.
Last year everybody and their smartphones was jumping on the internet of things bandwagon and then in October the harsh reality set in that the internet of things had some rather concerning security flaws.
Malware such as Mirai started hoovering up connected cameras and devices and turning them into massive botnets that have the potential to cripple a countries internet connectivity.
This year we would like to see firms taking a serious approach to securing the devices they want you to bring into your homes. We’d like to see a stronger focus on encryption and authentication because while IoT should simplify your life, it shouldn’t expose you to threats.
On that we would like to see devices that actually make a home smart not a button that lets you order one item from Amazon. Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg recently built his own AI for his home and we have to say we’re more than a little jealous.
Where to for wearables?
Wearable tech grew by 38.3% in Q3 2016 and while analysts are predicting further growth in the sector this year. The trouble is convincing folks that the wearable they have is worse than latest one when many folks are using them to just track their fitness.
With that having been said, Fitbit bought Pebble in the dying moments of 2016 and perhaps the firm is looking to expand its business beyond catering to fitness junkies exclusively.
Perhaps we’ll get wearables that are focused on controlling IOT or perhaps we’ll just get an update to the same old circuit boards and rubber that we get every year albeit with a different coat of paint.
Let’s also not forget about wearable PCs for VR. While we think they look a bit silly, we can’t deny the ability to walk around your house playing a VR game is far more exciting than being tethered to your chair by a bevy of cables.
Rise of the PC
PCs have had a hard time as of late. Last year shipments were down globally as they were the year before that. The main reason for this is that folks would rather hang on to their computers for a bit longer than have to cough up for a new one. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it apparently.
That might change however as AMD is set to launch it’s Ryzen family of processors this year and the firm is expected to show off Ryzen in all its glory at CES this week. Having followed every rumour we could and watching every demo AMD gave us there is definitely cause for excitement if you’re a PC builder/user/gamer.
Traditionally AMD has always been cheaper than the likes of Intel but even from what we’ve seen from the Kaby Lake range so far, Intel isn’t afraid of offering great performance for a fair price.
There’s also the matter of NVIDIA’s Pascal GPU architecture which we should be seeing at CES soon and AMD’s update to its GPU range Vega though that might not happen at the show this week. It’s going to be a good year for PC geeks.
Virtual reality, take two
We know, 2016 was meant to be the year that VR made us all reconsider how we play games but that hype train came and went with little fanfare.
One of the most glaring reasons VR was not the saviour we thought it to be was the cost of admission. The arrival of PS VR helps to bridge that gap somewhat swapping a hugely expensive PC out for a slightly more affordable console but VR still has a long way to go before its as popular as it thought it would be in the first year.
This year at CES we’d love to see a focus on low cost hardware not only for enjoying VR but also creating it. One product we’ve seen whispers of that will be at CES is the LucidCam which is said to be the “world’s first true VR camera” and is available for pre-order now at $399 (~R5 487). While that is a hefty price to pay to snap some VR videos for Facebook it’s something and its accessible.
Are you looking forward to anything at CES this year? Let us know in the comments below.