CES 2016: the six key lessons we learned

Author

Technology team

January 8, 2016

CES 2016 is preparing to close its doors for another year. We look back at the six key lessons we can take away

This year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is drawing to a close, leaving us a long wait until we can experience the joy of smartbras, dog wearables and smart plant pots all under one roof.

The technology team has rounded up the six key things we need to know, and why they matter.

Turntables are back

CES is meant to give us a vision of the future, but there was a decidedly retro feel to announcements from both Panasonic and Sony, which unveiled new, souped up, turntables. Panasonic brought back the legendary Technics Sl-1200, six years after discontinuing it in 2010 when vinyl appeared to be on its knees, and Sony brought record players firmly into the digital era with the hi-res HX500. Vinyl sales have been resurgent for some time, and climbed to a 21-year high last year, and manufacturers are starting to take note.

Netflix is taking over the world

2015 may have been the year Netflix and Chill entered common lexicon, but CES 2016 marked the point it truly made a play for world domination. Following a star-studded presentation featuring Will Arnett and Chelsea Handler, chief executive Reed Hastings announced the streaming service was now available in 130 new countries, including Singapore, Turkey and Russia. In short, this is close to every country in the world with one notable exception – China. Once Netflix cajoles China into accepting it, continues to build on its excellent original programming and expand its occasionally painfully lacking film library, it will fulfill its potential as a global streaming force to be reckoned with.

The old ways are over for the car industry

CES was car-heavy this year, with a mix of the old guard – Ford and Volkswagen – to new challengers – the mysterious Faraday Future finally unveiled its electric car, or at least one concept. But whether Detroit and Frankfurt hold onto their crowns, the industry is undoubtedly changing forever. People are buying fewer cars, and those that do are seeing the appeal of going electric – Tesla sold 50,000 cars last year – while self-driving vehicles are on the horizon. It’s no surprise, then, that Ford announced a major investment in autonomous tech and a push into “transportation services” like car subscriptions, while VW unveiled two electric vehicles .

PlayStation is Sony’s saving grace

For me, PlayStation and more specifically PlayStation VR, are Sony’s most exciting products right now, by a significant margin. The announcement from chief executive Kaz Hiari that its virtual reality headset will feature more than 100 titles is far more important than 4K TVs, projectors or camcorders. PlayStation VR is excellent, and now that we know the price of Oculus Rift at $599, Sony has a golden opportunity to swoop in with a cheaper system and dominate the early commercial VR market .

Your robot butler is on its way

You can keep your internet fridge. The undisputedly most exciting thing at CES was the Ninebot Segway, which is essentially a Segway that turns into a robot butler on wheels when you’re not riding it. It uses a 3D camera to understand its surroundings, and is open for developers to start working on it later this year. It’s also modular, so owners will be able to attach arms, vacuum cleaners or anything else to it. Mark Zuckerberg says he’s building his own artificially-intelligent robot assistant, but this is probably the greatest advance in android-servant-human relations since C-3PO. Your dog might not be too pleased to share the house with it though.

We’re all a lot more excited about fridges and washing machines than we care to admit

Domestic tasks are not sexy. But sleek washing machines and fridges, we found out this year, oddly are. LG led the charge with its motion-activated fridge which cracks open when you stand in front of it and second washing machine capable of washing two loads simultaneously, while Samsung followed with the Family Hub Refrigerator, equipped with an inner camera so you can remotely check what you’ve already got at home from the supermarket. The future is coming, and it’s chilled and efficient.

This article was written by Technology team from The Daily Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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