Connected cars, 5G technology, VR gaming dominated CES 2017

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​Las Vegas, Jan 11 (IANS) Not just smartphones, convertibles or cameras, it was time for ground-breaking products in 5G technology, self-driving vehicles, digital health, Artificial Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), robotics and machine learning to be showcased at the world's biggest annual electronics event here.

As CES 2017 celebrated its 50th anniversary this year, the mega electronics event was also a record-breaker in hosting more than 600 startups and more than 175,000 industry professionals -- including 55,000 from outside the US.

"Our industry is helping the world improve through connectivity and innovation, touching literally every facet of our lives. Today's connected world was on full display at CES 2017 -- our largest, boldest show in history," Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, Consumer Technology Association (CTA), told IANS.

The event also showcased the connected future of technology with more than 3,800 exhibiting companies and exhibit space of more than 2.6 million net square feet.

"This year's show was all about connectivity -- both in the form of the technologies unveiled and in the valuable face-to-face business connections happening throughout the show," added Karen Chupka, Senior Vice President, CES and corporate business strategy, CTA.

In the field of connected cars, Intel showcased a system with Microsoft Hololens (augmented reality headset) that sent signals to the Cloud via 5G and received commands from artificial intelligence (AI) servers, taking decisions for automatic driving.

"What you see here is all that needs to come together for automated driving to come a reality. At the Intel automated driving experience, the car has the sensors that are collecting information and processing it to recognise everything in its surroundings," an Intel exhibitor at the booth told IANS.

In a perfect vehicle-to-vehicle communication, the car could also connect with the traffic lights which, in turn, gives less traffic congestion and safe automated driving experience with very less or no accidents.

"CES 2017 was a global showcase that demonstrated that we are in a new era of innovation where technology is valued not just for the devices it produces but for the experiences it makes possible," Bridget Karlin, Managing Director, IoT, at Intel, told IANS.

Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Blackberry and QNX Operating Systems, Mitsubishi and Mercedes also showcased their electric and hybrid cars.

The US glass manufacturing company Corning introduced a car with Corning Gorilla Glass that provided toughness with a 30 per cent decrease in the vehicle's weight.

Chip manufacturer Qualcomm introduced its newest mobile platform Snapdragon 835 processor with X16 LTE modem, which will provide high performance and enhanced power efficiency.

Snapdragon 835 is designed to support next-generation entertainment experiences and connected Cloud services for premium consumer and enterprise devices.

The mobile platform is 35 per cent smaller in package size and consumes 25 per cent less power compared to the previous generation flagship processor Snapdragon 821.

Expected to revolutionise the connected world, 5G was a major focus throughout CES.

"CES 2017 was a coming out party for the future of 5G which, we estimate, will generate a net 20 million new jobs," Jim Mault, Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, Qualcomm Life, told IANS.

Companies like Samsung, TCL and Hisense came up with 8K TVs -- with Samsung and TCL building the new platform on Quantum Dot technology that offers true RGB colour mixing, more durability and is energy efficient.

Samsung also unveiled its much-awaited Gear S3 Smartwatch.

While companies like Lenovo launched machines dedicated to gaming, the onus was on virtual (VR) games. Several companies launched products that support VR gaming.

The show also received a huge social media momentum, including nearly 1.4 million mentions using #CES2017 hashtags.

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