- New hardware categories will be the focus of CES 2018, helping to revive the year’s largest tech show following a period when a focus on software and new shows like Mobile World Congress had minimized its relevance for Silicon Valley bigwigs, Bloomberg Businessweek reports. CES 2018 kicks off Jan. 9 in Las Vegas.
- Virtual reality headsets, smart speakers and augmented reality glasses will be the main attractions at the 4,000-exhibitor show, as executives from Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google and other companies search for new partners and try to drive excitement for their own offerings. Google plans to have its own booth at the show — its first in several years — but Amazon will not.
- Tech companies will be keeping an eye on the competition as well as looking for advanced chips, better lenses and other components that can help them enhance performance while gobbling up less power.
CES 2018 has regained importance for tech companies looking to stand out in the budding virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and smart speaker categories. Companies want to beat their competition by being the first to have popular market-ready hardware.
Some marketing experts say a lack of user-friendly hardware is keeping VR, AR and artificial intelligence from reaching their true potential, so much of the conversation and products featured at CES 2018 will revolve around these technologies. As Bloomberg reports, tech companies are looking to invest in the latest AR technology that will be more successful than Google Glass. Chipmaker Qualcomm will showcase its Snapdragon 835 dev kit at the show, after partnering with Oculus’s Go on standalone VR headsets, TechCrunch reports. Other likely standouts will be Google’s Daydream and Lenovo’s headset, which recently received Federal Communications Commission approval.
Though Amazon is not specifically exhibiting at the show, its executives will be keeping an eye on the generic smart speakers on display. Amazon Echo remains the top smart speaker and is in three times more households than Google Home. Apple’s HomePod is scheduled for release in early 2018.
CES has had less of an impact in the past few years because of shifting product cycles and the addition of new tech shows, including the mobile show Mobile World Congress. Wearables, driverless cars, smart TVs and robotics will be other highlights of this year’s show.