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Smart bed, ‘emotional’ Honda and insightful shoes at technology show

Smart bed, ‘emotional’ Honda and insightful shoes at technology show

Technology companies headed into the 50-year-old consumer technology show (CES) fighting what has become a difficult narrative to shake: that there’s nothing new to show. It has been years since the show has turned out a really exciting gadget. That reflects broader criticism of an industry that seems to have no blockbuster follow-up to the smartphone. The industry is still innovating, analysts say, but just in a different way. Consumers will see more services instead of gadgets coming out of this year’s show, with products that combine both hardware and software.

Take smart-home technology, for example. This area has been a highlight for several years, and analysts expect it will make some of the biggest splashes in this year’s show.

There still will be eye-popping gadgets of note, even if the top trends that analysts say to watch this year are much like those in years past: internet-connected appliances, drones, robotics, artificial intelligence and wearable devices. LG previewed a levitating speaker that’s supposed to stay floating for up to 10 hours. Under Armour is showing off a new line of smart shoes, which will track your steps and offer insight on muscle fatigue. There are also new areas of the floor devoted exclusively to smart energy tech and sleep tech. Sleep Number has a new smart bed that continuously adjusts itself to make your sleep more comfortable.

While there aren’t that many new types of products to talk about, there’s a lot of growth within categories people already know. Wearable technology exhibitors are up 100 per cent, Shapiro said, while virtual reality, smart home, drones and robotics companies have upped their space on the show floor by more than 30 per cent. CES runs from Jan 5-8 and is expected to feature 3,800 exhibitors showing off their latest products and services to more than 165,000 attendees.

—By arrangement with The Washington Post

Published in Dawn, January 5th, 2017

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