Every year, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) provides the masses with a glimpse of the future. Although no one can guarantee which direction these technologies will take, the event certainly shows us what industry analysts expect from the coming year. Here are the top five new technology trends to emerge from CES 2015!
These toys have been showcased among the technology trends at CES for the past few years, so you shouldn’t be surprised to see them make the list. But unlike recent years–when they’ve predictably become incrementally cheaper and more capable in terms of power and speed–the drones shown off at CES 2015 took it up a notch. Now, they’re becoming smarter.
One of the biggest obstacles to implementing drones commercially is getting them to avoid actual obstacles or fly on their own. The AscTec Firefly drone does just that. Demonstrators played a game of Firefly pong by taking turns moving toward the drone and watching it veer away.
How long before we can purchase automated drones? Or order drone-delivered products? The answer is soon. Congress has called on the FAA to draft regulations for the commercial flying of drones by the end of this year, and we can expect companies like Amazon to implement new services relatively soon thereafter.
2) 3D printing
This is yet another industry which showed substantial gains during CES 2015. For an industry whose technology trends are devoted to bringing increased customization options to pretty much every other industry, there are remarkably few 3D printers available for mainstream purchase–and the contraptions aren’t necessarily inexpensive or easy to use.
3D printing might change all that in 2015. The CubePro C is one of the first color 3D printers available, although it still carries a hefty price tag of $5,000. The Airwolf 3D HDR is always connected to the cloud, can be run from many smart devices, and is available for $4,600. And for hobbyists seeking to experiment with these new devices, there is the Lulzbot Mini from Aleph Objects. The hardware is open-sourced, the software is free to use, and the machine only costs $1,350. Other machines are available for even less. Technology trends in 3D printing prove it will become much cheaper in the years to come.
As predicted by pretty much everyone alive, smart wearable devices were a frontrunner at CES 2015. Granted, you already know what most of them can do; they monitor numerous vitals like heart rate, blood pressure, and sleep patterns. Technology trends revolving around wearable devices range from the usual watches and jewelry look-alikes to the truly absurd–such as a belt that expands or contracts by constantly measuring the tiny variations in your waistline.
Among the most interesting devices are those which may directly impact your health instead of just monitoring it. For example, the Melomind purportedly tracks brain activity in order to determine your current mood. Based on its findings, it will play relaxing music. Similarly, the Quell is a device which stimulates hormones to relieve pain. This could potentially reduce the need for painkillers in patients suffering from debilitating diseases.
4) Smart Cars
CES 2015 allowed car manufacturers to showcase new technology trends in automation and provide insight into the future of travel. For example, a shocking concept car by Mercedes-Benz projects cross-walks and lets pedestrians know when it’s safe to cross the road. Each of the vehicle’s windows doubles as a computer screen, allowing passengers to interact with the terminal via hand gestures. The seats swiveled so passengers could speak with one another face-to-face.
Although crazy cars like this are far off, we can expect vehicles with basic autonomous functions geared toward interstate and highway driving to be released within the next two to five years.
5) Virtual Reality
Truly, CES 2015 sold the concept of virtual reality to the masses. Current technology trends show a great deal of potential, but it still remains to be seen whether virtual reality will extend beyond a much-loved gamer fantasy and attract the attention from seemingly unrelated industries. Oculus, Sony, Samsung, and others are jumping at the opportunity to develop remarkable new video games using this kind of technology, but it won’t stop there. There are those adapting virtual reality to create realistic training scenarios, interactive TV, and more.
Honorable Mention Among New Technology Trends: The Internet of Things (IoT)
Although the IoT is certainly progressing, there are certainly no clear winners in the race for dominance. Still, the heap of new toys garnered a bit of attention at CES 2015, and so we’re giving them an honorable mention. It’s still just a purely fun concept and hasn’t really taken off yet, but we hope to see the IoT evolve into a less chaotic industry in the years to come.
If you’d like to discover more about new technology trends from CES 2015, look no further than this video from CNET: