The annual Consumer Electronics Show is here again, and it promises to bring a host of exciting information for the tech industry. While Apple and Google have carved out their own times for annual announcements, CES can still have an impact on mobile. Here’s what we can expect from the convention this year.
Major smartphones will sit it out
CES has never been a big time for iOS or Android. Typically, Apple lays out their plans for iOS at WWDC over the summer, and reveals new iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch models in early autumn. Samsung and other major Android manufacturers tend to make events of their launches as well, not the other way around. Don’t expect to see any major announcements from Apple, Samsung or other major brands regarding their smartphone lines this year.
Niche phones will be present
While most major smartphone manufacturers sit CES out, niche phone brands such as Sony’s Xperia X are rumored to appear. Similarly, Asus has been hinting at a powerful new phone with a top of the line processor. These announcements won’t shake up mobile in a big way, but are worth noting nonetheless as niche experimentation can sometimes turn out to be a proving ground for new features in the smartphone market.
VR will expand
When it comes to tech conventions, virtual reality is everywhere. Creators are taking every opportunity to put their own spin on the industry, and that includes VR on smartphones. Don’t expect a breakout hit just yet, but look for developers to try more ways to get VR to work on the go.
AR and MR will creep in
On the other side of the “reality” spectrum are augmented and mixed reality. These technologies are still emerging, but if Pokémon GO proved anything, it’s that there is a genuine market for light augmented reality products on mobile. Keep an eye out for fresh ideas that could shape the market in the future.
Homes and cars will get smart
App developers have been toying with smart home applications for years now. From controlling your home security to shutting off the lights and monitoring your pets, phones can already manage many of your home needs from anywhere you go. However, these applications are still relatively niche as far as the wider market is concerned. This year, with a massive surge of smart home products, app integration will become more important than ever. Similarly, smart cars will be very visible at this year’s CES. Major transit apps like Uber have been clear about their work in the field, and this will undoubtedly impact Uber’s future – and that of its competitors – in the years to come.