The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is over for another year, with startups and established companies unveiling all the latest in the world of tech. CES 2016 had televisions, helicopters, and everything in-between, from already-on-the-shelves products through to gadgets that may never get a commercial release. Let's take a look at some of the best - and some of the weirdest - gadgets that were announced at what is the most exciting electronics show on the planet.
CES has become a major auto show in the last few years, with companies like Audi and Chevy showing off everything from autonomous driving systems through to car infotainment. The all-electric Chevy Bolt promises to be the first affordable and practical electric vehicle to hit the market, coming in at around US$30,000. Volkswagen are also ready to enter the green car market, with the all-electric Microbus designed specifically for the all-new Modular Electric Platform (MEB). Designed to embody "peace, love and happiness,” the new Microbus is pretty much a greener version of the classic Kombi Van.
In their vision of the driving future, Audi has decided to put screens pretty much everywhere. Their E-tron Quattro concept is said to debut by 2018, including multiple large AMOLED (active-matrix organic light-emitting diode) displays with integrated haptic feedback and gesture control. CES 2016 was not all about the open road, however, with one exciting new product taking to the skies. Ehang's autonomous futuristic quadcopter is large enough to carry a passenger up to 10 miles - and a pilot is not even required.
Televisions also featured heavily at CES 2016, with Samsung and Sony both showing off exciting new concepts. Samsung's modular concept allows viewers to arrange a selection of square panels in whatever formation they like, helping people to avoid the black bars that result from ratio incompatibility. This is essentially the same concept that allows huge screens like those in New York's Time Square to operate. Sony's Backlight Master Drive technology offers a different vision of the future, with a combination of hardware and software creating a HDR effect that's never been seen before outside professional production studios.
Flexible screens were also showcased at CES, including LG's amazing Rollable OLED. While this technology is still at least five years away from a commercial release, it will transform the way screens are used in everyday life. If CES is anything to go by, however, 2016 may be the year that consumer-grade virtual reality takes a bite out of the flat screen market. Oculus are opening up pre-orders for its US$600 VR headset, with HTC and Valve’s latest Vive VR headset also ready for pre-orders in late February. In what is a fully immersive experience, Immersit are offering a vibrating chair that lifts and rocks in synchronisation with games and movies that support it.
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