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Brief Published: 16 Jan 2018

VIDEO: CES 2018 Trend Preview

Consumer Lifestyle editor Kate Johnson reveals two important trends emerging from CES 2018, the world's largest consumer electronics event.

As the autonomous driving era approaches, car brands are focusing on self-driving vehicles that offer functions far beyond transport alone. Both Japanese giant Toyota and Swiss automaker Rinspeed introduced modular containers on wheels, with cabins that can be switched or redesigned for different purposes.

Toyota's boxy e-Palette concept has numerous interior options, providing services as diverse as parcel delivery, ride sharing, on-the-road stores or mobile hotel rooms and spas. The arrival of this type of customisable vehicle will have a huge impact across multiple industries in the future.

Regarding personal electronics, we've noticed a rise in innovative accessibility tech, with new products designed to help an ageing population and those with disabilities.

A noteworthy example is Graphiti – a device from US non-profit organisation American Printing House for the Blind and tech developer Orbit Research that ensures equal learning opportunities for all. The book-sized product sits on the desk of a visually impaired child and contains tiny pins that rise and fall in changing formations. This allows students to feel pictures that they wouldn't be able to see on the board or computer, such as an illustration of cells in the body, or a graph.

CES ran from January 9-12 in Las Vegas. Look out for our full analysis of the event, publishing on January 22.

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