At the beginning of this January technologists, geeks, and other elements that encompass the tech world gathered in Las Vegas to fawn over new developments in the industry. This year, Epoch International was pleased to be at the annual conference. Here are our impressions:
Virtual Reality (VR):
The longest line at CES 2016 was at the Oculus booth. VR enthusiasts waited in line 2-3 hours to try out the Oculus rift and they were not disappointed. While different industry players are experimenting on possible applications of VR, the question of demand for such products remains open. The Oculus Rift will be launched in this year with a $600 price tag.
It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that drones and their potential uses dominated CES 2016. There were even professional drone performances. The 20 minute drone dance show was put on by Parrot in a small space and involved 10-15 drones. The show displayed the astonishing dexterity of drone technologies. Those of us in the audience couldn’t help but be impressed by the quality of the devices. The excitement over the potential application of this particular technology in the coming years was palpable at the Parrot booth.
Wearables / IoT:
IoT and Wearables are a technological reality that will continue to transform the consumer products scene for the foreseeable future. Consumers are a little disoriented by the plethora of gadgets available and are carefully evaluating the value that they are actually bringing to the table. Some of the widely anticipated product characteristics include: efficiency, accuracy and seamless ability to work on and offline. Large players, with some exceptions, will dominate the consumer market and smaller players will most likely focus more and more on B2B strategy to ensure a long-term presence in the market.
Batteries & Charging Stations:
While, according to The Economist, the price of Lithium carbonate imported to China more than doubled in the last two months of 2015, many players in this space, including solar power companies and automakers, are offering a variety of solutions to fulfill the increasing demand for higher performance. Chargeable batteries captured a high degree of attention during the 2016 CES show.
3D printers are becoming more and more like home appliances in terms of portability, application, and price. Their cost (at least the ones in the lower bracket) is close to that of printers a few years ago. The growing popularity of the maker movement is likely partially responsible for the rising demand of these gadgets.
For a while now, tech giants have been in pursuit of the perfect self-driving, energy efficient, and connected car design. This year is no different. The automotive innovations displayed focused on creating a superior driving experience, improving safety and comfort and allowing access to useful data. We saw dashboards with less buttons and more touchscreen display. Sensors and cameras were everywhere to collect and share a massive amount of data. The automotive industry is going in an exciting direction.
Large Chinese players such as Huawei, ZTE, Letv and Hisense showed competitive products and significantly improved marketing and branding. As Chinese products penetrate the international market, they are getting significantly better at working with multiple languages and understanding the needs of global and local markets.
Report by Piero Morano