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Top Trends To Expect At CES 2017

The tech industry’s most wonderful time of the year is upon us, with CES 2017 just around the corner — by far one of my favorite events. Every inch of the show floor is jam-packed with innovations. From groundbreaking technologies at Eureka Park to seamless home automations at the Sands, CES embodies a new hope for retailers, consumers and technology enthusiasts.

The show is influential in showcasing new trends, ranging from robots to driverless cars. So, what can we expect to see at this year’s show? Here’s a list of the trends that I believe consumers and retailers can expect to see at CES 2017:

1. Content and Entertainment Innovations
Augmented and virtual reality have become mainstream topics. Consumers are increasingly embracing these technologies, and brands are capitalizing on this interest by debuting solutions that are affordable, high-quality and user-friendly. CES attendees can expect to see new VR headsets, smarter televisions and voice-activation solutions, all of which will be equipped with AR and VR capabilities. They will also feature a broader level of connectivity and better user experience for consumers.

2. Updated Smart-Home Protocols and Standards
The first few waves of smart-home products were costly and their functions were limited. Brands have shifted their mentalities of what a smart home truly looks like, and are looking to make IoT widely accessible to all consumers. The ultimate goal will be to break down the barriers getting in the way of adoption.

Smart-home enthusiasts can also expect to see collaboration between associations, brands and technologies, seamlessly working together through several different mega-tech platforms, such as Apple HomeKit, Google Home, Amazon Alexa, Samsung SmartThings and more.

3. Connected Vehicles
Building the cars of the future will continue to be a major focus for automotive companies. CES will likely reflect those developments as well as the latest on driverless vehicles and even remote connectivity to the home, which has been a highly desired feature by consumers throughout the IoT boom. Many see the connected vehicle now as an extension of the home environment, with massive potential for personalization in terms of the technology gaining more autonomy.

4. Privacy and Cybersecurity
Privacy and cybersecurity were trending topics throughout 2016, and will play a major role in the CES 2017 narrative. One major focus will be shaping drone policy, which has been regulated by government and international officials. With mega-tech corporations like Apple and Google seeking as much insight as possible from consumers, differential privacy is another trend to keep an eye on. It will be interesting to see how these solutions aim to both protect the consumer’s privacy and provide companies with the data and insights they desire.

5. Lifestyle Technology
Lifestyle technology is becoming more and more influential at CES. Often mistaken for commodity products such as wearables, the category has evolved and now encompasses growing areas such as healthcare technology, data, professional sport and biotechnology. Expect to see innovations that will help consumers seamlessly keep tabs on all aspects of their health, help athletes prevent injuries, and improve the overall life and health of the planet as a whole.

Rob Martens is futurist and VP of strategy and partners at Schlage, a manufacturer of locks and smart-home devices.