The Consumer Electronics Show held each January in Las Vegas is considered to be the most important display of everyday technologies expected to hit the market during the rest of the year. Judging by the sneak preview held recently in New York, consumers in 2016 can expect continued advances toward the ‘smart everything’ world.
High-definition cameras, sensors, electric motors and remote controls have become so small and cheap they can be put on most everyday objects. Using the processing power of our smartphones they become, well, robotic.
“Slowly, slowly we're going to see more robots in our lives. They're not going to look like actual robots but it's going to be robotic technology that's applied to other appliances or devices which are going to make our lives much easier," said technology analyst Jonathan Roubini.
A smart ball called Sensor Sphere can easily serve as a remote sentry, checking if everything’s fine when you’ re away from home.
“You can drive it around from one room to another and it can stream live video, audio, temperature and humidity information and even smoke information if there is a fire in your home," Sensor Sphere founder Omar Barlas.
The sensors are so tiny that there’s room for more, for instance a thermal imaging camera which can look for survivors in closed, tight spaces such as collapsed buildings.
Sports equipment manufacturer Adidas presented a soccer ball that will provide coaches and fans with exciting information.
“The soccer ball actually has inside of it a tri-axial accelerometer and some sensors that's able to pick up on the speed, the flight-path, the rotation or the spin and give an almost instantaneous feedback through the companion app on how you did with your kick," said Adidas spokeswoman Vinti Bhatnagar.
The smart ball called miCoach Smart Soccer is already available online for about $200.
Another smart device called Skulpit Chisel can measure up to 24 individual muscles in human body.
“It's the first device that lets you measure your fat content and your muscle quality so you could see how much fat you're losing and how much muscle you're gaining and how you're getting stronger," said CEO of Skulpit, Jose Bohorquez.
Virtual reality is also getting more affordable as well as mobile. A simple device called Weareality can turn any smartphone into virtual reality goggles.
“Now that we're seeing the phones double in performance every year what we're going to see is all this technology is going to be mobile and something you carry around with you," said David Smith of Weareality.
And this is only a preview of what we can expect to see at the world’s biggest Consumer Electronics Show, early January in Las Vegas.