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January 4, 2016updated 31 Aug 2016 12:04pm

Las Vegas CES 2016: What to expect from the latest wearable tech and devices

Analysis: The Oculus Rift release is expected to have its price nailed down, and will Fitbit be releasing a new device?

By James Nunns

CES 2016 gets underway this week in Las Vegas, with the world’s largest tech companies expected to showcase what the future will bring.

The Consumer Electronics Show is a technology tradeshow that runs from Wednesday 6th of January to Saturday the 9th, although plenty is also happening on the Monday and Tuesday.

With keynotes being delivered by the likes of Ginni Rometty, CEO, IBM and Brian Krzanich, CEO of Intel, the biggest tech companies in the world are represented at the event which takes place in Las Vegas.

The show is an opportunity for companies to lay out plans for the year ahead, unveil new products and showcase some concept pieces that we can all get excited about.

The area of TV should be an interesting one to watch, with manufacturers Samsung and LG both expected to focus on High Dynamic Range.

HDR aims to deliver millions more shades of colour, a wider dynamic range and more shades of brightness between black and white. All of this combines to allow for more detail and a greater viewing experience.

Sticking with HDR, an inter-industry group will be revealing a new specification that overcomes problems created by competing standards. This means that the likes of Netflix and Amazon will be able to fully get behind HDR.

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Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix will deliver a keynote on Wednesday which may well address this.

With fingers in many pies across the consumer market, Samsung is expected to make its next range of Smart TVs double as smart hubs. This will mean that users will be able to control their smart home devices from their TV.

LG, however, has already announced the SmartThinQ Hub which will do pretty much the same thing.

Look out for the keynote from Dr. WP Hong, President Samsung SDS while LG will be holding a press conference on Tuesday morning at 8am PT.

Nicholas Woodman, founder and CEO of GoPro is another attendee at the event; he will be speaking at a dinner event on Wednesday which could be related to the launch of Karma.

The drone called Karma from GoPro is rumoured to offer 360-degree views and collision-avoidance technology. However, it is unknown whether Woodman will be just giving an update on the product or setting in stone release dates, pricing and specifications.

Talk about virtual reality has been going on for years and so it shouldn’t be too surprising that it is well represented at CES as companies continue to push it further into the mainstream market.

HTC will be showcasing its re-vamped Vive VR headset on Monday, while Sony is planning to show off its PlayStation VR, which will be an add-on headset. Oculus, meanwhile, will be focused on Rift, with consumers hoping for some details around pricing.

John Curran, MD communications, media and technology, Accenture, said: "There is expected to an 80 percent increase in virtual reality exhibitors. There will be examples of VR use in education, healthcare, sports and retail covering hardware, software and accessories."

On the subject of technology that has been talked about for a long time, we move on to robots. This year robots have been allocated 71% more space than in 2015, suggesting a much greater focus on the technology.

One example of the robots on display will be Leka, it is designed to stimulate children with developmental disorders such as autism and Down’s Syndrome to help them learn.

Car manufacturers will be out in force with the leading 10 manufacturers all represented at the event; Dr Herbert Diess, CEO, Volkswagen AG will be among the keynote speakers, as will General Motors CEO, Mary T. Barra.

Ford’s CEO Mark Fields will be in attendance with plans between the company and Google to build an autonomous car expected to be one of the areas up for discussion, while issues around self-driving cars are also likely to be hot topics.

Curran, said: "There will be plenty more news about self-driving (driver-less) cars. There is a general consensus among auto experts that driver-less technology will reach widespread adoption by 2030, but there are many unresolved security and legal challenges.

"Actually there have been safety issues with self-driving cars – they go too slow for normal traffic and committing violations as a result. These challenges will be key storylines at CES."

Wearables of course can’t be forgotten, big players such as Fitbit and Huawei will both be present with Fitbit holding an early morning Tuesday press conference, suggesting the release of a new product. Huawei meanwhile are expected to unveil a new smartwatch, this time aimed at women.

If all this tech isn’t enough to keep you occupied, you could go in for some celebrity spotting. Stars such as Shaquille O’Neal the former NBA player, Mark Cuban a billionaire investor and Tony Gonzalez the former NFL player will all be present along with many more.

Then to finish off all this excitement you can pick from numerous parties to attend, although some are invite only.

The Hulu Happy Hour takes place at the Aria on Wednesday, while a Google Content Cocktail party which is invite only at the Bellagio is also taking place Wednesday. Don’t worry, these aren’t the only events, there will be plenty of opportunities presented to network.

Poker competitions and tech awards in areas such as wearables are also on offer at this packed event that promises to offer plenty of talking points.

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