Set to kick off for the 50th year in a row Thursday, CES 2017 will feature hundreds of startups as well as exhibits by existing big name tech companies, including Amazon, Facebook, Google, Intel and Microsoft. Being held at several venues across Las Vegas, CES is scheduled to run from Jan. 5 through Jan. 8.
In addition to new products in the usual consumer device categories -- TVs, audio equipment, video game technologies and more -- CES will showcase the latest innovations in augmented reality and virtual reality, drones, biotech, robotics and smart home devices.
Among the speakers set to give keynote addresses during the conference are Nvidia founder, president and CEO Jen-Hsun Huang, Huawei consumer business group CEO Richard Yu, Nissan chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn and Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf.
A number of companies, including automotive startup Faraday Future, LG, Qualcomm, Samsung, Sony and Toyota, have scheduled press events during CES to unveil new products. As usual, though, Apple will not be attending, so iPhone fans will have to wait until later in 2017 for that company's latest device rollouts. And Samsung is not expected to make any announcements about the Galaxy S8 launch until the spring.
Smart Car Demos and New Models
Smart car technology is one area where CES is set to make plenty of headlines. The California-based electric car startup Faraday Future, for instance, plans to unveil its first model, the FFZero1 (pictured above), from Las Vegas in an event that will be streamed live later today. Like Elon Musk's Tesla vehicles, the FFZero1 was designed from the ground up as a new kind of car and features a carbon fiber body, connected intelligence and a top speed of over 200 mph.
Meanwhile, Microsoft and several partner companies have scheduled a media event for tomorrow to demonstrate a "highly automated vehicle" that uses bots, secure communication technologies and artificial intelligence for improved road safety, traffic flow and mobile entertainment.
"This collaboration at CES 2017 is another example of how we work together to continue testing, to see what sticks, and to help automakers bring truly personalized experiences to drivers and services that learn unique behaviors and can make improvements over time," Kevin Dallas, corporate vice president of business development for Microsoft, said today in a statement.
Enterprise Focus on the 'Experience Economy'
In all, this year's Las Vegas event is expected to feature more than 3,800 exhibitors and attract more than 165,000 visitors over four days. Beyond the keynote addresses, CES will feature panel discussions and other sessions on topics ranging from accessibility technology, cybersecurity, business use of drones and delivery robots, sports tech and cognitive technologies.
Enterprise applications will also be in the spotlight, with Carnival Corp. president and CEO Arnold Donald scheduled to deliver a keynote on the "experience economy" and Mastercard hosting a conference track on digital money. Mastercard, CardConnect and Walmart will also be among the companies on hand at the CES e-commerce and enterprise solution marketplace.
Microsoft today also highlighted a number of devices from Lenovo that will be unveiled at CES. They include the 2017 ThinkPad X1 Carbon laptop, as well as the ThinkPad X1 Yoga and ThinkPad X1 Tablet, all of which are set to hit the market in the U.S. in February or March.
Other News Out of CES
Some of the other developments likely to come out of CES this year include a growing presence for Alexa, Amazon's intelligent digital assistant, across a range of offerings from the DISH network's DVR platform to a new smart clock from the startup Vobot.
Google's Project Tango, a "spatial perception" technology for the Android mobile operating system, is also making a new appearance through Asus' launch of the ZenFone AR. It's the second smartphone after Lenovo's Phab2 Pro to support Tango.
Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, meanwhile, is expected to discuss how new tech from his company will enable virtual reality applications for "almost every aspect of our lives." His press conference, to be streamed live, is set for tomorrow afternoon.
Another no-show at CES this year is Oculus, Facebook's virtual reality property. The first consumer version of the Oculus Rift headgear hit the market in the spring, and Facebook is already said to be planning an update, although it's not expected to be released until later this year at the earliest.