2017 has finally arrived, and with it, a whole new slew of technology to look forward to. The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is one of the biggest tech events of the year, a place where companies present their prototypes and push the limits of technological integration. This 72-hour event has quite the cult following, and this year did not disappoint. In this post, we will break down the coolest gadgets and trends from CES 2017 in these categories:
- Automotive Tech
CES 2017: Automotive Tech
Big names in the automotive tech realm, such as Faraday Future and Nvidia, graced the beginning of the event, and boy did they innovate.
Aiming to be a competitor of Tesla, Faraday Future revealed its first car, the FF91. Like any expensive piece of tech, attention was drawn to the car’s specs. The car rocks 1050 horsepower, and is able to go from 0-60 in 2.39 seconds. Pair this with an eye-catching design, filled with sensors, self-parking AI, LED displays, and cameras instead of rearview mirrors; it’s no wonder this car is generating massive interest. For those with the income to invest, there’s a $5,000 deposit, with the release date set for sometime in 2018.
Nvidia also made big news with expansion into the automotive market and a partnership with Audi.
Like Faraday, Nvidia’s car unveiling wasn’t quite ready for production. But hey, we’ve got time. Nvidia showed off the fruits of its labor– and its Audi partnership– with a level 4 automatic vehicle, capable of fully autonomous driving. A previous, well-known example of a high level automatic vehicle is Alphabet’s Waymo, or its more well-known moniker, the Google self-driving car.
Nvidia’s technology was shown off in an experimental Audi Q7.
Nvidia’s entry into the automotive market reveals a new player pushing AI technology and working to make mass self-driving cars a reality. Nvidia is also developing a car computer, the Drive PX2, which manufacturers can adopt. Similarly, there is Google’s Android for OEM’s to use on their phones, instead of each manufacturer creating their own OS.
As self-driving vehicles are being pursued more seriously, the automaker Honda entered the ride-share market. While Uber currently has a similar feature with Uber Pool, Honda is looking to push the envelope further by announcing the NeuV (New Electric Urban Vehicle), in which self-driving vehicles are bought, then used as a service. Breaking it down, the idea here is to use the vehicle when the owner doesn’t need it, through self-driving ride-share.
The NeuV was used to show off Honda’s emotion engine, a conceptual AI in which music and tips are communicated through a touch screen.
Honda was not the only auto manufacturer to show off a new car, as Toyota, Nissan, BMW, and Hyundai all had a little something to show off as well.
Just as Honda provided those attending a concept of NeuV, Toyota revealed a concept of their own Concept-i. The Concept-i’s main feature is not the futuristic design, but rather its AI, “Yui”. Yui is built into the car just as Siri is built into iPhones. The AI is built to greet the driver and passenger, as well as using the front of the vehicle to communicate when the car is in self-driving mode.
Nissan and BMW, instead of building an AI-infused car from scratch, have announced plans to integrate Microsoft’s Cortana into their vehicles.
Hyundai aims for the mass auto market with the Ioniq, another powerful addition to the growing list of hard-to-pronounce self-driving cars. As an “affordable driverless car” the car uses cheaper sensors and less computing power than its competition, keeping costs down.
CES 2017 demonstrated the popularity of self-driving/smart cars, along with the manufacturers working to create inexpensive options for future customers.
CES 2017: Computers
While gaming PC’s are all the rage, Nvidia’s GeForce Now is bringing a gaming PC everywhere. Marketed towards those who do not want/have a gaming PC, the service provides a multi-tier GPU set-up, in which consumers can play for 20 hours, starting at $25. The Mac lineup is not built for exclusive gaming, nor does it have the chipsets needed to game; thus, Nvidia is providing an alternative.
While NeuV and FF91 are flashy in their own way, Dell’s new desktop is flashy in a more subtle and colorful way: 1.07 billion colors to be exact. Day one of CES 2017, Dell revealed their new, 32-inch, 8k desktop monitor. With a resolution of 7680 x 4320 (280 ppi), the same can be achieved with four 4k displays or 16 HD displays. At a price point of $4,999 and sale date of March 23rd, this monitor is definitely not for the average consumer. But for any professionals willing to invest, that is one crispy image!
8k is not a feasible reality for the majority of customers, as most of us are still catching up to 4k; the same can be said for multi-display laptops… However, Razer’s project Valerie is a prototype for what could be the future of gaming for those into portable gaming desktops. At 12lbs, it is “light” for ultimate immersion while on the go. This laptop is not winning any awards in practicality, but it perfectly showcases the CES philosophy of how extreme can we go.
Displays are usually the main focus of computer designers, while speakers, not so much. Dell is changing that with the 2017 XPS, fully loaded with 10 speakers. Speakers are not its only gimmick though, as the desktop comes with the choices of:
- Touchscreen/ no touchscreen 4k display
- Intel sixth-generation CPU’s
- Core i5-6400
- Core i7-6700
- 32GB of RAM
- Up to 2TB of storage.
The desktop is not lacking in ports either, unlike the new Macbook pro (Check out our review of the new Macbook Pro here). With 2 USB-C, 5 USB 3.0, HDMI, headphone jack, SD card slot, Gigabit Ethernet connector, and audio output, it is one hefty machine. Pricing starts at $1,499.
Dell is not done yet, though. It showed off its Latitude 7285, a laptop that can wirelessly charge. Through combining the keyboard with a proprietary mat nestled under it, the charging pad transmits power from itself to the laptop. It’s wireless charging for the laptop, if you remember to charge the charging pad. It’s a useful gimmick, but definitely not efficient.
CES 2017: VR
Although VR headsets like Google Daydream and HTC Vive have made virtual reality, reality, its clear we are still in VR infancy. While there are the more mainstream headsets, CES 2017 proved that VR can be used to show/do a multitude of new things.
Video games are all about immersion, whether its graphics or story. VR takes it a step further and turns the dial up to 11. We live in a day and age where technology and health are increasingly becoming connected.
Insert dieting and nutrition company Atkins; at CES 2017, they showed off Sugar Goggles, a personal health, virtual reality video game. Sugar Goggles is much more than just an educational game where you pick the healthier food option. Everything happens in the VR space of a human vein. Putting on a headset and exploring human veins is one way to crank that dial to 11.
When a VR headset begins to resemble equipment you might find at the gym, you know you’re onto something interesting. Icaros is an $8,000 VR hardware that lets you skydive. More than just a headset, Icaros is a full body set in which you strap into a plank position and begin “skydiving.” Once again, crank that dial!
Just as Wii fit brought exercise and video games together, Icaros is aiming to do the same:
ICAROS IS A SYSTEM TO FLY THROUGH VIRTUAL WORLDS, PLAY GAMES AND EXERCISE THE BODY AT THE SAME TIME. WE REVOLUTIONIZE THE WAY PEOPLE WORKOUT PLAY.
CES 2017: Alexa
While CES 2017 had its tech trends, one software dominated a portion of the show. Just like last year, Amazon’s voice assistant Alexa has no formal booth of any sort, but is built into a variety of smart devices. Alexa has been baked into an LG refrigerator, a Mattel baby monitor, and a Ford Fusion, just to name a few.
Thanks for Reading!
Congrats on making it to the bottom of this post! CES never fails to amaze us and although we could not report on all the amazing tech out there we hope you enjoyed the article! Still interested in recent tech trends? Check out some of our other work.