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CES 2016 themes to include VR, more wearables and 4K drones

by on03 January 2016

VR-equipped drones also likely

According to the  newest report, the major technological trends to anticipate at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas will include virtual reality (VR) headsets, a bigger lineup of wearable computing devices, and a new generation of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) also known to the general public as drones.

The New York Post has just written a piece on upcoming technological trends that will be showcased at Consumer Electronics Show 2016 in Las Vegas and it appears that there will be no big surprise there as it will mostly be about virtual reality (VR), wearables and drones.


110 million third-generation Wearables shipping in 2016

Wearable computing devices have been some of the most discussed technological trends over the past couple years, yet their dispersion and successful adoption into a widely changing market have not been as high as expected just yet. According to American market research firm IDC, however, that is all about to change. In 2016, the firm expects 110 million second and (mostly) third-generation wearable devices to be shipped worldwide. The devices are expected to finally address many of the shortcomings and concerns customers have reported, including battery life, security risks, electromagnetic radiation and electrostatic sensitivity, all of which are just as valid for wearables as they are for the majority of smartphones and tablets.

“Smarter clothing, eyewear, and even wearables (ear-worn devices) are all in their early stages of mass adoption,” Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst for IDC Mobile Device Trackers said in a research note. “Though at present these may not be significantly smarter than their analog counterparts, the next generation of wearables are on track to offer vastly improved experiences and perhaps even augment human abilities.”

Fitbit is expected to give a press conference this year where CEO James Park will unveil the company’s latest activity trackers. We can also expect Jawbone, Garmin and Basis to all be on the show floor exhibiting their wearables, to name a few.

VR headsets, with and without controllers, compete head to head

HTC Chief Executive Cher Wang has said earlier last months that the HTC Vive VR headset, a joint venture with Valve, has made “a very, very big technological breakthrough.” Wang has also mentioned a possible partnership with German automaker Audi to provide a virtual reality driving simulator for potential clients to the company. The headset will be available for trial at CES 2016 and is set to compete with existing and upcoming virtual reality devices including Sony’s PlayStation VR, launching in the first half of this year, and the Samsung VR, which launched earlier in December.

Of course, several significantly cheaper alternatives to HTC, Samsung and Sony’s virtual reality headsets have surfaced made out of cardboard boxes, including Google Cardboard and several do-it-yourself alternatives.

Menlo Park-based VR news grabber Oculus will also be present, showing off its Rift headset as well as the Oculus Touch. The latter device is a pair of VR controllers that allows a user to control VR space with hand gestures using two smaller physical controllers. Leap Motion, a gesture-control company, will also be debuting its tiny motion sensor that can track hand movements in virtual space. The device is said to be best sized up as a “Minority Report” adapter in a box the size of a smartphone. Nevertheless, we can also expect many strange-looking controllers to accommodate some of the VR sets gracing the exhibit floors.

4K video drones, 360-degree video drones, and VR-equipped drones

Event organizers for CES are said to be clearing 25,000 square feet of space for drones this week, a 200 percent increase over last year. We can expect to see twenty-five drone exhibitors compared to just four in 2015.

One of the major new features for drones this year includes new models equipped with 4K cameras for ultra-high definition, pixel-packed video capture. This should help fuel the launch of a new generation of low-altitude aerial videography with more impressive visuals than were previously available, especially considering the support for High Dynamic Range (HDR) and other dynamic contrast techniques in many new 4K camera units.

We can also expect to see drones that can be controlled by VR headsets or equipped with VR lenses themselves, and some that can shoot video in 360-degree formats. Some of the exhibitors to watch in this space include Parrot, Yuneec, Hobbico and Squadrone.


Last modified on 05 January 2016
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