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2016, the year of the monkey, the 16th year of the 3rd millennium, the year of the US election, the 16th year of the 21st century and the 7th year of the 2010s decade. There have been many predictions for 2016 some including the rise of virtual reality, our hottest year on record and the development of electric cars. This years CES (Consumer Electronics Show) looks set to provide us with a greater indication of what we should be expecting from 2016 from a technological perspective.
The world’s largest consumer technology event opened its doors in Las Vegas yesterday. Last year we saw the emergence of driverless cars become a talking point, our blog “Tech is Taking Over” explored the automotive industry and the changing landscape of the future of the industry.
Faraday Future unveil their first concept vehicle at CES 2016.
This years’ show has been tipped to focus on vehicles with a record 200,000 square feet (the equivalent of 3.5 football fields) dedicated just to cars. Though historically the automotive industry itself has changed very little, at this years CES we expect new technology to be unveiled around cars all week from both upstart companies and familiar names. One particular firm looking to grab the industries attention is Faraday Future with the showing of their first concept vehicle at the CES tech show. Faraday Future have said its battery-powered FFZero1 would project information over the driver's view and include a smartphone dock in its steering wheel.
Similarly, drones have been a hot topic over the last two years. They are far from anything new to the show with the rate of popularity exploding in 2015, “it wasn’t so long ago that drones were the exclusive province of American spies. Now they’re a Christmas present, a would-be Amazon delivery driver and your personal videographer” (Source). There were four drone companies at last year’s CES, this year there are 33. Although this year’s latest craze is set to involve the flying gadget which automatically follows the owner and films them.
Finally, whilst popular New Year’s resolutions may include dieting and exercising, Mark Zuckerberg has chosen to take a different stance aiming to build an artificial intelligence system that can control his home, similar to Tony Stark’s AI assistant, Jarvis, in Iron Man. Although, Bulgaria-based Allterco is marketing a home controller called She at CES, a not-so-subtle reference to the software from the 2013 movie Her. Fibber Group are also marketing a similar product declaring that “everything is connected” with its home automation system that connects to thermostats and smoke detectors.
This is not the only technological development we will be seeing at CES with regards to connected homes. Samsung are reportedly unveiling their latest fridge which features a 21.5" high definition touchscreen which will have the capability to check its temperature, humidity and operation mode by looking at the food inside via a camera.
So, we are hardly short of gadgets for 2016, ultimately it is down to consumers and our customer experiences that will provide us with the most popular and mainstream trend for 2016. Going back to T.S. Eliot’s quote, the question is what will be 2016’s technological voice? Perhaps we can all be expecting a Jarvis, KITT or C3PO style assistant sooner than we think, though possibly not in 2016.