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CES 2016 Tech Trends To Watch Out For: Virtual Reality, Self-Driving Cars, Drones And More

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Samsung Rink

Consumer Electronics Show 2016 is just around the corner, with the global electronics and consumer technology trade show ready to launch on Jan. 6 and last for four days until Jan. 9.

The CES is tagged as the biggest annual technology conference, and is the event that predicts the upcoming trends in the global industry for the whole year. While certain concepts exhibited at the CES do not go on to become actual products, there are some that continue to develop into high-impact technologies such as virtual reality, high-resolution televisions and self-driving cars.

With days to go before CES 2016 goes online, here are the top tech trends to watch out for in the annual event.

Virtual Reality

Wearable devices were the star of CES 2015, and for this year’s edition, it seems virtual reality is the technology poised for a breakthrough. The show floor will feature over 40 booths focusing on virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR) that would be pitching different devices and services using the technology.

Sony, HTC and Oculus will be launching their virtual reality headsets in upcoming months, and Samsung will be featuring the Rink at the show, which is a motion controller worn on the wrist to work alongside the company’s Gear VR headset.

The technology has a wide array of uses, ranging from video games to business applications, and all of them should be expected to be in full display at CES 2016.

Self-Driving Cars

Toyota said it will be revealing autonomous car technology at CES 2016, and the car company is set to unveil a new mapping system that uses GPS and cameras in self-driving cars. The information will then be sent to data centers to update database information, with cross-checking between the data sent by different cars. An actual self-driving car by Toyota, however, will not be part of the show.

Kia, on the other hand, will be launching its autonomous driving program at CES 2016, and is planning to reveal its moves in connected car technology. Mercedes is also set to discuss its autonomous car development at the event, and even graphics card maker Nvidia is joining in on the industry with a planned announcement on an innovation for autonomous cars. CES 2016 should include a number of other auto technology innovations as well, shaping up the future of auto.


Drones are set to be an integral part of the event as well, with Qualcomm’s tease that it will be revealing the next step in the company’s development of autonomous drone technology at CES 2016. Not to be outdone, rival chip maker Intel will also be revealing its developments in drone technology.

One name to look out for is GoPro, with the action camera maker having previously stated that it will be launching a drone named Karma, which was used to capture scenes for “GoPro: Karma is Coming” last year. Rumors are claiming that the drone will be able to shoot with 360-degree views and have collision avoidance systems, but it is unknown whether it will be a part of GoPro’s CES 2016 plans.


Hoverboards were all the craze this holiday season, despite the scare of certain cheaper models posing risks of fire hazards due to batteries that could explode. With the popularity of the personal transportation device, expect CES 2016 to feature more ridables in the form of electric skateboards, scooters and bicycles.

Arcimoto will be showing off a three-wheeled electric cart, Inboard will feature an electric skateboard with motors at the wheels and Segway is also planning a big launch event at the conference.

Ironically, hoverboards are banned from being used at CES 2016.


This category is seeing a massive increase compared to last year’s CES, with 71 percent more space dedicated to robots this year.

Among the robots that will be at the show are Jibo’s social robot, French robots Buddy companion robot and Leka, which is a machine that stimulates children with developmental disorders such as autism, and Japanese Flower Robotics with its aesthetically pleasing robots.

Streaming Media

Streaming media will be a major topic at CES 2016, with YouTube and Netflix both slated to give speeches at the event.

With media steadily transferring online and customers looking for reliability and affordability in streaming services, having two of the top names in the industry at the event makes sense. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings will be discussing the plan for Netflix to go global by the end of the year.

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