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The 7 big trends that will dominate CES 2017

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NewsHubThere were some truly awesome things to check out at CES. Find out what made us do a double take.
The New Year is here. And that means CES is about to begin.
Around 200,000 people are about to converge on Las Vegas for the technology industry’s biggest showcase of the year. This is the trade show’s 50th anniversary, and the show floor will be jam-packed with products and services that would’ve been dismissed as science fiction back in 1967: everything from self-driving cars to voice-controlled personal assistants to swarms of flying camera drones.
Yes, all those sort of gadgets that seemed outrageously fantastic when employed by the likes of James Bond, Captain Kirk and George Jetson in the 1960s will be on display at CES — mostly as products you can buy soon, if not right now. Oh, and anyone can share photos and live video of the latest and greatest products to a worldwide audience from a pocketable communications device. Welcome to 2017.
Of course, much of that same tech has already been on display at the show the past few years. CES is, after all, better viewed as an evolutionary process of trends that ebb and flow in three- to five-year increments. So, while many of these trends hardly sound new, they’re often more mature and better realized then they were in years past.
To that end, these are the topics and categories we expect to dominate the floor this year.
Expect smart home products to become even more ubiquitous. That means more everyday devices getting an “internet of things” (IoT) upgrade, whether that’s useful or not. Wi-Fi connectivity and app control will be more common in small kitchen-counter appliances , and expect refrigerators , washers and dryers to get smarter too. The same goes for doorbells, lightbulbs , ceiling fans, smoke alarms — and anything else you can think of.
Format wars have long been a part of the consumer electronics landscape, and CES in particular: VHS vs. Beta, HD DVD vs. Blu-ray, Windows vs. Mac or iPhone vs. Android, to name but a few. In the nascent smart home era, the newest format war is that of voice-controlled personal assistants and their underlying smart home platforms.
Look for companies to talk up compatibility with and the relative advantages of Amazon’s Alexa/Echo platform — far and away the current smart home leader — as well as Apple’s Siri/HomeKit, Google Home and maybe even Microsoft’s Cortana . (Ironically, none of those four companies officially exhibit at CES.) Likewise, Samsung — one of the largest exhibitors at the show — could spotlight its recently acquired Viv assistant , too.
Read more: Is the Google Home growing up fast enough?
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