The Consumer Electronics Show, or CES 2018, this year is, as always, one of the most highly anticipated tech shows in the world. This is where tech companies showcase their up and coming products for 2018, and pretty much guide consumer spending on tech products for the year.

What will it be this year? Let’s see.

Smart products are expected to hog all the limelight this year, as well as augmented reality and new mobile technology.

Smart Connected Technology

At CES 2017 we saw a slew of smart home products that didn’t really take off during the year, but this year could be different. Why? Because AI has evolved even further, and there’s been a lot of focus on integrating services with smart gadgets. For example, Google Home and Alexa smart speakers are better integrated for voice shopping. Appliances from makers like LG and Samsung are better hardwired for voice accessibility.

Though we’ve been seeing a lot of smart home products from way back at CES 2014, it’s only now that smart connected technology is gaining traction in the market. With the popularity of such products on the increase, they’re not only becoming more affordable, but more capable as well.

This year, expect to once again see a barrage of smart home products at CES 2018. But this time they’ll be more robust and have much greater functionality than ever before. Look out for a ton of voice-activated gadgetry this year as well. The days of smartphone-controlled apps are slowly making way for voice-controlled hardware.

Augmented Reality

AR, VR and MR are all basically variants of digital reality. Over the past year we’ve seen AR leap forward with hugely popular games like Pokemon GO. But more importantly, we’ve seen AR going mainstream and becoming more affordable. Apple launched its ARKit for iOS this year, Facebook dropped its Oculus Rift pricing, and even Magic Leap finally unveiled its smart glasses.

At CES 2018 we expect to see a lot more of AR/VR/MR being showcased because there’s also a considerably greater body of virtual content than there was last year. That’s because we now have more than a dozen software development kits for virtual and augmented reality, and hopefully a few more will be unveiled at the AR/VR Developers Week in February 2018, where 8000+ developers and over 90 exhibitors will mingle and meet, sharing their new tech and products.

Smartphone and Mobile Technology

Of course, no CES is complete without companies boasting their upcoming smartphone and mobile hardware, and we don’t expect CES 2018 to be any different.

This year we should be seeing smartphones with the latest Snapdragon 845 being showcased. But that’s not the hottest thing. That accolade will be going to the new generation of wireless connectivity that everyone’s been talking about the past year – 5G.

5G is going to be a major part of CES 2018, and several companies including Verizon, Qualcomm and Baidu will be talking about their progress on that front.

As for Samsung, we could see some innovative new products come out of their stables as well. We know they’ve been working on foldable mobile tech for a while now. Could CES 2018 be the event at which they’ll finally showcase a working prototype that could possibly be available later this year? We’ll have to wait and see.

We’re also expecting to see a lot on the connected automobile front, as there’s been a flurry of activity from Android with multiple integrations with automobile brands. It’s possible that we’ll be seeing some fancy moves on the self-driving car technology front as well. In addition, we could witness some major innovation in the desktop PC market as the segment goes into its sixth consecutive year of shipment decline.

Overall, CES 2018 will undoubtedly be a “smart” event showcasing the best of artificial intelligence, mobile technology, hardware innovations and some path-breaking prototypes in action.

This year the show starts on January 9 in Las Vegas, and runs through January 12. See you there!

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