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Brief Published: 16 Dec 2016

CES 2017 Trends Preview


The largest consumer electronics event in the world, International CES promises a raft of new releases – from wearables and robots to autonomous cars and connected home products. Here are the areas our Stylus team and expert contributors believe are set for the most exciting launches.  

  • Internet of Baby Things: "I'm keen to discover the latest innovations that make raising children easier for today's digital parents," says Kate Johnson, assistant editor of Consumer Lifestyle at Stylus. "Specifically, I'll be looking out for safety-boosting products, such as onesies that monitor body temperature and connected strollers and car seats. It will also be interesting to see the latest tools aiding fertility and pregnancy.
    "The show's BabyTech Summit is likely to provide some great insights – themes will explore smart nurseries and ways that tech is redefining the millennial mum's role."
  • Augmented-Reality Upgrades: "Augmented reality (AR) will continue to grow significantly over the next few years – particularly with the emergence of artificial intelligence (AI), which will be integrated into the next generation of virtual reality (VR) and AR," says Steve Dann, founder of UK digital development studio Amplified Robot and chairman of member community VR/AR Association. "However, it will be the emergence of affordable head-mounted displays, similar to Microsoft's HoloLens, that will drive AR on to the next level.
    "An AR/VR theme to look out for at CES and in 2017 will be the addition of multiple cameras and 3D scanning technology into smartphones. This leap forward will enable companies to create even more compelling augmented reality experiences, allowing us to blend integrated visual overlays seamlessly and naturally into the real world via AR."
  • Sensitive Products: "As technology embeds further into our designed environment, I'm really interested to see which brands are understanding the importance of tactility and sensory stimulation in their products – and how this will be reflected in the materials and palettes they choose," says Sioban Imms, senior editor of Colour & Materials at Stylus. "I think there's scope to enhance aroma, light and texture for products that improve and enrich our daily rituals and move away from the cool, slick surfaces we're so used to.
    "I'm also tracking the impact generative design and digital manufacturing is having on this sector – I'll be keeping an eye out for companies that embrace new materials and manufacturing processes to challenge how technology looks and feels."
  • Self-Reliant Tech: "We are interested in technologies that do not rely on outside power sources or mechanical devices to regulate the environment of, say, a vehicle," says Catherine Barber, director of UK design consultancy Studio Catherine Barber.
    "I'm keen to see innovations that will help answer questions like: How can we harness energy from human activity and sunlight by using carpets and furniture made from photovoltaic-piezoelectric fibres? And in an energy-hungry world, how can we use physical properties of materials to reduce our dependence on fuel-burning energy sources and improve comfort on a personal and environmental level?"

CES runs from January 5-8 in Las Vegas. Look out for our full analysis of key themes from the event, coming soon. Meanwhile, read our reporting from IFA for recent innovations in consumer electronics.