CES 2016 dates, rumors and predictions

Update November 1: Netflix has made a splash at past CESes (including the 2015 edition), so it seems only fitting that Netflix CEO Reed Hastings will give a keynote speech at this coming year’s show. Hastings is scheduled to speak on Wednesday, January 6 and will discuss Netflix’s plan to go global by the end of 2016.

The months are rushing by as we approach CES 2016. While we’ll update this page soon with even more rumors and predictions, we wanted to share the official CES 2016 hashtag so you know just what to search for on Twitter and Facebook for all the latest show news (besides following @techradar, of course).

It’s pretty darn easy to remember: just type in “#ces2016” and you’ll open up a world of posts related to the show.

Another tidbit: One of the big themes of the show will be virtual reality and cars. On the VR front, the organizing body behind CES is expanding its Gaming & Virtual Reality Marketplace this year. More than 40 exhibitors will show off their VR systems and environments as well as gaming hardware, software and accessories designed for all device types. Sounds fun, if you ask us.

As for auto tech, CES 2016 is expanding its car-related show floor exhibits by 25% compared to CES 2015. Audi, BMW, Chrysler, GM, Ford, Hyundai, Mercedes, Toyota and Volkswagen will all be at the show, while Delphi will use the conference to celebrate its 20th anniversary. To that end, it will bring its first concept vehicle to CES.

Read on for more on what to expect at CES 2016!

Now that we are in the second half of the year, it’s time we starting talking about the next year’s biggest tech event: CES 2016.

The casino-laden town of Las Vegas will once again play the role of welcoming host as the show kicks off January 6 and runs through January 9. Of course, there will be pre-show happenings as well starting the weekend and Monday prior to January 6.

While it typically takes a long while before we see products announced at CES make it onto store shelves, it’s never too soon to start sniffing out the goods when it comes to trends and the next hot piece of tech.

So here’s what we think we’ll see at CES early next year. We’ll keep this article constantly updated to make sure you’re up-to-date on the latest phones, tablets, TVs, wearables, and of course, virtual reality news leading up to the most massive show of 2016.

Mo’ mobile

CES 2015 saw the release of the LG G Flex 2 , which made huge waves during the show. That’s partly due to the fact that LG was the only large company to release a new flagship device at CES.

Of course, we haven’t heard much from the LG camp about an LG G Flex 3, but it is possible that other phone makers may jump in to grab the bragging rights for the best mobile phone to come outta Vegas. Still, don’t get your hopes up too high: it isn’t typical for companies to show new phones at CES since most wait for Mobile World Congress, held in February.

Any handset we do see at CES 2016 will be releasing out to a world that has the iPhone 6S and a potential new Nexus 5 in it, so competition will be stiff.

CES 2015 also saw a dearth of memorable tablets. Dell had its Venue 8 7000 on hand, but the slate didn’t make a huge splash. That didn’t stop us from loving the heck out of the surprisingly thin-bezeled beauty, despite its steep price. The Lenovo’s Yoga Tablet 2 with AnyPen was another tab from the show, but mostly notable for its gimmicky fork-on-screen demo.

As with CES 2015, we do expect more tablet gimmicks during the 2016 edition, but we’d like to see some with impressive features, too. Of course, by the time CES 2016 rolls around, we’ll be in a post-iPad Air 3 world, so we hope to see some slates that can stack up against Apple’s offering. Samsung usually has some new Galaxy tabs for us, though any slates it shows will likely be simply improved additions to the current line up (to better compete with Apple) rather than new tablets altogether.

And with Windows 10 releasing July 29, don’t be surprised if a few new tablets and even some phones emerge from CES 2016 carrying Microsoft’s new OS. Those are devices we’d definitely like to see.

Winning wearables

Just like virtual reality, wearables have certainly taken off. We’ve witness the Apple Watch bring high-end smartwatches to the masses, and sensor-packed fitness trackers like the Microsoft Band arrive.

While a few years ago smartphones had almost made watches unnecessary, now it seems like smartwatches and fitness trackers will become even more commonplace, and in fact, take on much of the role of smartphones. So it should come as no surprise that during CES, there’s a whole huge area at the Venetian now dedicated to wearables and fashion-oriented tech. So what could next year possibly bring?

A lot more wearables, of course, and they’ll all be better…we hope. The Pebble Steel was revealed at CES, and then the Pebble Time shortly afterwards. With the Pebble Time already out though, we probably won’t see another watch from the company.

But now that the Apple Watch is out along with sharp offerings for Android Wear, smartwatch makers are facing tougher competition and will need to pull something really strong out of the bag to compete with wrist-worn devices already on the market.

Samsung could potentially pull out the big guns at CES, surprising everyone with a new entry, like the Orbis. The rumored smartwatch could potentially have a camera, object, image and barcode recognition, health monitoring smarts, the ability to act as a key for your car and a remote for your TV, as well as a round face with a rotating bezel used to navigate the interface.

And we should also consider LG, which sneakily showed off its Watch Urbane before CES 2015 officially began, so it’s possible we could see more smartwatches make ninja appearances.

Expect a lot of fitness trackers as well at CES 2016 as we do know that companies, including FitBit, will be exhibiting in January. Fitness trackers will need to take on smartwatches, which include a lot of fitness-tracking features. But as smartwatches aren’t known for their accuracy when it comes to fitness-tracking, we would like to see increased accuracy as a focus on both standalone fitness trackers and smartwatches.

Reality check

Virtual and augmented reality are inching ever closer to the mainstream side of things.

VR and AR took this year’s San Diego Comic-Con by storm, so we can only assume that this emerging tech will have a very large and very strong presence at CES, toting a whole variety of uses.

HTC, which recently announced its own set of wireless controllers for the HTC Vive, is set to be on store shelves by the end of the year, so it’s unlikely we’ll see it in Vegas in any new capacity.

Sony’s Project Morpheus, along with its Move controllers, could make an appearance in Vegas, as could Oculus Rift as it gears up to release its consumer head mounted display and Oculus Touch controllers early next year.

Meanwhile, Microsoft HoloLens has made waves in the AR scene, while Mattel and a few others are taking Google Cardboard‘s tech for a spin with hybrid VR/AR options.

Then there are all the peripherals that all these VR and AR (and hybrid) devices bring. Third-party developers have already taken the peripherals to create more interactive experiences, and it’d be fitting for them to show their faces at CES 2016.

Samsung should have more to show off in terms of the updated Gear VR as well. Revealed at MWC alongside the Galaxy S6, the newer version of the mobile VR headset uses the latest S6 as opposed to the Galaxy Note 4. Still deemed an Innovator’s Edition, the Gear VR 2 could be ready by January, considering Oculus CTO John Carmack stated the newest model would release when Samsung unveils its next round of flagship products. Perfect timing, right?

Of course, with all these VR hardware options, we expect there to be more in the way of 360-degree video capture, with GoPro likely to lead the way. GoPro has been working to create its own 360-degree rigs, while third-parties will likely have more of their own options, too.

As one of the fastest growing spaces in tech, it feels only right that VR and AR would have a healthy presence at CES 2016. We want to see how the already-announced headsets continue to grow in usefulness and power, as well as what new devices lesser-known names are cooking up.

CES hearts TVs

TVs are a given when it comes to CES. Just about all the big names try to outdo one another with the latest and greatest in television innovation.
How can we forget the LG 77eg9900 4K Flexible OLED TV? It was bold, it was big and it was expensive (all very suited to Sin City). And it’s still not out yet.

Previous years made a big fuss over curved and folding displays, and the perennial favorite 4K. 2015 was all about Quantum Dots, like the LG UF9400, and weird acronyms Ă  la Samsung’s JS9500 SUHD 4K TV.

It won’t surprise us to see more bendy sets in 2016, and probably at a lower price. We’ll likely also see sets pushing 8K and HDR tech, with SUHD tech as well, even though 4K television content has only just started to become more available, with companies like Netflix starting to shoot its shows in native 4K. Either way, model names will probably be very long, very confusing and full of acronyms at CES 2016.

While we can expect some next-level hardware innovations, perhaps CES 2016 is the time for TV services and streaming boxes to shine. We’ve already seen a plethora of streaming services and set-tops at CES 2015 and throughout the year – Sling TV, Amazon Fire TV, Razer Forge TV, Nvidia Shield, Showtime, and HBO Now, just to name a few. The popularity of Google’s Chromecast has brought a deluge of new streaming sticks, too.

Sony has also stepped into streaming with its own in-house service, PlayStation Vue, which just arrived on the PS3 and PS4. The Xbox One also now has Sling TV, and we’re hearing news of Verizon and even Apple working on video streaming options of their own.

Could the next CES see even more from the players not already in the game? If they don’t show up later this year, then 2016 is where we’ll see ’em.

Light as a feather laptops

Laptops also tend to show up to CES in droves. 2015 saw the debut of a beautiful entry from Dell – an updated Dell XPS 13. It seems like the company is headed in a bright direction by moving towards nearly bezel-less screens and excellent design all around, which is something we’re expecting to see again on the show floor. We’re also pretty excited to see the what the company has coming next, something you don’t normally hear about Dell these days.

Lenovo’s LaVie Z was also a hit earlier this year because it weighed practically nothing, and claimed to be the “world’s lightest laptop.” We were impressed, but not completely because of its meager battery life and price. Still, at 1.72 lbs, it’s lighter than the new MacBook, which comes in a 2 lbs.

Speaking of the new Apple laptop, the buzz over one USB-C port is sure to reset the market in some way. With sleeker designs and only one port, Cupertino may get shown up at CES 2016. Or maybe not. Whatever the case, thin is in more than ever and it will be a race to win against the other lightweights.

The most influential tech released in the lead-up CES 2016 is Windows 10, so it’s a given we’ll see a number of laptops launch at the show with Microsoft’s latest OS. Windows 10 features a bigger and better Start menu, a new browser and better multitasking. However, it’s the inclusion of Cortana and how laptops utilize the personal assistant in new and interesting ways that we think will be one of the most important things to come out of CES 2016.

 

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