Many of the world’s most important innovations in the consumer space over the past 50-plus years have made their debut at CES, often in the form of promising prototypes on their way to full commercial release. That’s why the annual three-day showcase is an event that industry watchers consider among the most reliable indicators of technology trends.
As CNET reported in early January, this year’s top trends run the gamut from autonomous vehicles to plant-based meat. They include:
1. Health sensors
Wellness monitoring capabilities are being built into consumer devices where one may never have expected to find them just a few years back. Take, for example, blood-pressure-sending earbuds which can provide readings superior to those of cuff-based devices. There is also a sleep-tracking watch that can provide alerts for irregular heartbeat and detect signs of sleep apnea, a smart band that tracks calories and hydration, and the list goes on.
2. Cities of tomorrow
The Woven City is a concept for a sustainable ecosystem that Toyota intends to build as a prototype community. It will serve as a living laboratory where full-time residents and researchers can test and develop technologies such as autonomous vehicles, robots and smart homes; if successful, it could also serve as a blueprint for other companies to follow suit.
3. Foldable tech
CES 2019 unveiled foldable phone concepts that are just now starting to make their way onto the market. This year’s edition of the show built upon that promise with larger offerings, including tablets and laptops. Intel’s unveiling of a reference design called the “Horseshoe Bend” is a driving force behind expanding the possibilities of what a single screen can do.
4. Subtle tech
After decades of tech appeal based upon the shiny and new, a handful of companies are embracing a more subtle approach. User interfaces are being reimagined in ways that allow them to blend in more naturally, as evidenced by offerings like this natural wood touch-panel display system.
5. Plant-based meat
Not all of the tech at CES is electronic; at last year’s show, the Impossible Foods truck handed out thousands of plant-based burger sliders to prove that a process with a much smaller environmental footprint could still produce an authentic meat taste. This year’s show introduced Impossible Pork, taking aim at the high popularity of pork-based products such as bacon and sausage.
Of course, in a show featuring over 4,500 exhibiting companies, these are just the tip of the iceberg. Read CNET’s full story here.