As with every Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the flagship technology conference this year will be attended by hundreds of the most influential tech companies in the world and be subsequently defined by the announcements that a select few make. Among others, you’ll find a diverse collage of brands this year, from Ford and Chevrolet to Google and Sony, who will unveil innovative new projects and products.
Heading into the event, which will take place in Las Vegas between January 6 and 9, there are some major rumors circulating across the Internet about the next great gadget that could redefine the way we live, much in the same way that the iPhone forever altered the smartphone landscape. With a big year in tech ahead, what could CES bring? Among the top CES 2016 rumors: an unveiling of Samsung’s Creative Labs (for wearable tech), a new Google-Ford project and more on Sony VR.
Here are five of the top CES 2016 rumors we’ve heard about:
- According to ReCode’s Ina Fried, AT&T is set to unveil a series of smart city tech initiatives that will “turn everyday objects like traffic lights and parking spots into tools to manage congestion and conserve energy.” The announcement comes as AT&T looks to diversify their business portfolio. The telecom-centric news is expected to be joined by the unveiling of several key project partners in various cities. AT&T will likely play in a few smart city “areas,” including lighting, parking and transportation, per the report.
Samsung’s secretive Creative Labs could be revealed
- Creative Labs is Samsung’s secretive wearable technology laboratory that is tasked with engineering the next great wearable—be it a smartwatch, belt, shoes or shirt. Though there is relatively little information about Creative Labs, this year Engadget reports that it could change with the release of several projects. It would be the first time that a Creative Labs’ product is showcased. According to Engadget’s Mariella Moon, Samsung will unveil Welt, a smart belt that counts steps and monitors inactivity along with eating habits, and Rink, a hand-motion controller paired with virtual reality headsets, at CES.
- Chinese smartphone maker Huawei has been gaining momentum over the last several years, as they’ve been able to excel at home and grow business in Europe and the U.S. That growth was especially evident in the partnership they formed with Google, to construct a joint smartphone called the Nexus 6p. Even so, Huawei doesn’t typically sell all of its smartphone models outside of China. The company’s new flagship Huawei Mate 8 debuted in China in late 2015. Now there’s rumors that Huawei will expand business in the U.S. and will use the Mate 8 to start that journey. What we know for sure, is that Huawei’s Honor line of smartphones will definitely debut at CES for the American market. The Honor smartphone line includes the Honor 5x, Honor 6 Plus and Honor 7 phone.
Ford + Google
- A Google-Ford partnership, that combines Google’s software with Ford’s vehicles, has long been one of the more popular rumors in various tech publications over the last several months. It’s unclear whether the hypothetical partnership will lead to an autonomous car or, for example, a next generation OS for Ford’s upper tier models’ entertainment systems. Could CES provide the stage for a big announcement between the two brands?
- Sony first unveiled its Oculus Rift killer in detail, renamed Playstation VR while previously known as Project Morpheus, at the 2015 Game Developers Conference buthas released very little information since then. Many believe that Playstation VR could finally receive a price tag and final spec sheet at CES 2016. Outside of virtual reality hardware, expect Sony to drop several new mobile devices and video games. In terms of smartphones, a report from CN Beta suggests that Sony will only release two phones in 2016, with both being powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor. That CN Beta report, however, runs contrary to previous reports that suggested as many as six models for 2016: Xperia Z6, Xperia Z6 Plus, Xperia Z6 Ultra, Xperia Z6 Mini and the Xperia Z6 Compact. We’ll be looking at CES for an update on Playstation VR and more clarity on Sony’s erratic smartphone division.