A Look at the Future Through the Lens of CES 2017

Just a month ago, innovators from around the globe gathered in Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Featuring everything from wearable technology to 3D printers, this show highlights the top-trending technology for the upcoming year — giving us a slight glimpse into the future, if you will. As we look back to recap the show’s main tech picks, we’ll see the potential for 2017.

A lot changes in a year. And nothing proves that like the shift in focus from one year to another at this trade show. CES 2016 saw a heavy concentration on home technology, drones, autonomous cars and virtual reality. It was the first year that the show put such an emphasis on connected home, and as we look ahead to 2017, we see that the trend continues.

With so much happening during the show, it’s difficult to narrow down the top tech, so we’ve divided it up into a few categories below. Read on, and take a closer look into the future.

First up, connected home trends

While 2017 wasn’t revolutionary in terms of new smart home products announcing their entrance into the marketplace, the industry as a whole still took a huge step forward. And that step was to get closer to complete home connectivity. As Jenny McGrath, Home Editor for Digital Trends, puts it, “… some companies realize that their products, no matter how cool, cannot exist in a bubble by themselves.”

And she’s right. The better separate devices can communicate with each other, and the more streamlined we can make the connected home, the more it will expand into the mass marketplace. What are the specific companies we’ve seen making these huge strides?

  • GE announced a partnership with Nest for its connected oven
  • XFINITY Home added a smart home thermostat from Zen Ecosystems
  • LG announced a partnership with webOS operating system and with Amazon’s Alexa for its new smart refrigerator
  • Airmega, a smart home air purifier, has also partnered with Amazon’s Alexa
  • Lutron integrated with SmartThings with its dimmers and shades
  • Chamberlain announced plans to work with Apple’s HomeKit this year

We know new products will continue to pop up. We also know that integration is crucial. For 2017, we’re excited to continue watching products come together, making the smart home simpler and more attainable for the consumer.

Second, we have top companies who made an impact at the show

We’ve certainly seen small tech companies come into CES and get lots of attention for the big things they’re doing. But this year? The big guys seemed to have run the show.

Amazon

When it comes to artificial intelligence, other companies are competing. But let’s face it — if you’re in the market, you’re likely going to buy Echo. And again, Amazon’s commitment to integrating with third parties has made the company rise over its competitors like Google or Microsoft. Find out more about how Amazon is succeeding with Echo.

Comcast

XFINITY Home has become quite the expert in the Internet of Things (IoT) space with its new Gateway smart home hub, which makes it easy to combine everything into one app and manage it all on your TV. What they’ve done is rather simple, but no less than brilliant, considering the consumers’ desire for more ease. Learn more about their strides toward more efficient automation.

Next, a few of the more practical (but still cool) trends from the show

The digital assistant

Yes, we’re talking about Alexa. She dominated this year’s show. You probably know the basics of her capabilities, but check out the new features announced at CES this year.

Samsung’s Family Hub smart fridge

Food, family and entertainment is what this fridge is all about. And Samsung is making it more interactive and personal than before with cameras that allow you to view the inside of your fridge with your smartphone, a display screen on the front with notes and calendars, and streaming capabilities to watch the game or your favorite show. We saw a few of these benefits last year, but watch this video to see how they’re transforming this new version.

And lastly, just for fun, we included some of the wackiest tech for 2017

L’Oréal’s hairbrush with Wifi

Yes, you read that correctly. This new smart hairbrush actually does quite a bit: analyzes your hair health, measures the effects of regular hair care routines and practices, offers a daily hair breakage score, provides hair tips and advice (taking humidity, temperature, winds, UV conditions and more into consideration), and more. Read more about the brush of the future here.

Silver cellphone blocking underwear

Strange? Definitely. Useful? Definitely possible. These men’s boxers claim to protect the reproductive organs from the harmful effects of radiation. If you’re intrigued to learn more, be our guest.