CES 2016: You Can’t Get More Connected Than This

Another year of CES under the belt! The Olson team was excited to attend this year, and the conference didn’t disappoint

After all the innovations, people-watching, and networking, we left inspired. Here is a look at some of our biggest takeaways:

The Internet of Things really means the Internet of everything.

Pet collars, suitcases (Bluesmart), handheld ECGs, kitchen counters, vacuums, light bulbs that are actually stereo speakers … you name it, and you can probably operate it from your smart phone.

Brands are increasingly  specializing in everything.

Brand’s ecosystems are getting bigger and bigger—all in an attempt to hook you in and never let you go (witness Samsung). First the phone, then the TV, then the refrigerator, then the smart home hub, then the … who knows what? The more pieces of the pie there are, the more brands want all the pieces.

Wearables are becoming more wearable.

Companies have finally wised up, realizing that a device meant to be worn 24 hours a day should actually look good, and they’ve stepped up their design game accordingly. Misfit and OURA stood out in the crowd, displaying some beautiful watches and rings that were just as stylish as they were connected.

Television’s playing field has leveled.

Sure, LG had the most impressive display of 4K televisions at CES, but a side-by-side comparison revealed all the major TV brands had the same technology. This is good news for lesser-known, lower-priced brands like Hisense and TCL, who could give some healthy competition to long-time category leaders LG, Sony and Samsung.

Capturing content goes beyond human limits.

With 360-degree cameras that fit in your palm, 4K video drones that soar above the clouds, and even a GoPro camera fastened to an actual bird, we can now see the world in ways we never thought possible. And, wow, is it ever beautiful.

Technology amazes but utility still reigns.

Although it’s relatively easy to get swept up by the “wow” factor at CES, some of the most fascinating products were those that served a real purpose. Like a washing machine that can do two loads at once, a window washer that washes and squeegees in a single pass, and a wearable thermometer patch that transmits a baby’s temperature to the parents’ smartphones.

Virtual reality is here.

One of the scariest sights at CES was the line of people wearing blindfolds, aimlessly shooting their weapons. Just kidding. It was really the virtual reality booths led by newcomer Oculus Rift. Virtual reality is jonesin’ for a second chance at consumer wallets, and is aimed squarely at the gaming crowd.

Our favorite quote of the show
Our robot dog is the only robot dog with a robot ball.

Amidst all this competition, it’s no wonder that it’s a dogfight to differentiate. Vendors and brands seemed to know this as well; our favorite quote from the whole show: “Our robot dog is the only robot dog with a robot ball.”

We’re already wondering what the big highlights will be next year! Any predictions?

Check out our livetweeting from CES under the hashtag #OlsonAtCES