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CES 2017 Preview: News, rumours, key dates and what to expect in Las Vegas

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What would you like to see from CES 2017?

CES 2017 is one of the biggest events in the tech calendar, and we’re now just weeks away from January's Las Vegas tradeshow. Read on for all the latest CES 2017 news, rumours, key dates, and more.

(Update: 8 December 2016): Nvidia is planning to release a new Nvidia Shield TV at CES 2017, according to the latest rumours. Read on to find out more.

What is CES?

One of the biggest technology tradeshows in the world, the Consumer Electronics Show (or CES, for short), takes place in Las Vegas every January. The show sees big-name firms like Samsung, LG and Ford flock to the city to flaunt their latest wares, and CES 2017 will be no different.

Media registration for the event has already begun. Here's how the organisers reckon it'll make you feel: "The moment you find what you didn't know you were looking for, when you feel like you might have found the next unicorn, when your eyes and your brain stare blankly at each other and the only thing your mouth can muster is 'whoa'."

Right...

When is CES 2017?

CES always takes place every January. For 2017, it's on 5-8 January. But you can guarantee that some of the bigger companies will show off their new goodies in the days leading up the show, typically at dedicated press conferences.

What to expect at CES 2017

Unfortunately, because it’s still early days, very few of the major companies have announced their press events, and the organisers of CES are still keeping a lid on the show schedule.

We're still a little way off CES 2017, so very few tech brands have highlighted their intentions for the show – and the CES organisers aren't coughing up much info either. That said, it's guaranteed that almost every major tech firm you've heard off will be attending – except for Apple, which doesn't do tradeshows.

What's curious about CES is that it falls straight after Christmas, which means most companies will have already announced their flagship products about three months earlier. This means CES tends to be a hotbed of (1) spin-off devices like the LG G Flex, or (2) concept products, like Razer's Project Christine.

Here's what we know so far:

Sony at CES 2017

The big news from Sony at CES 2017 is expected to be the long-awaited announcement of OLED televisions.

To date, Sony has never released an OLED television. That’s because LG Display is the primary manufacturer of TV-scale OLED panels, and gives priority to its own TV production business. But several reports have emerged suggesting that Sony has struck a deal with LG that allows the Japanese firm to release its own range of OLED TVs.

Sony TV deal

For the unaware, OLED screens are a popular (but expensive) type of display that are regularly used on smartphones, tablets, monitors, and televisions. Unlike conventional LED-backlit LCD displays, the pixels in an OLED screen produce their own light, eliminating the need for a backlight. The first benefit of this is that battery life can be improved. But as individual pixels can be turned on or off, the second advantage is that you can display far truer blacks than would be possible with a backlit TV.

Of course, neither Sony nor LG has confirmed any such announcement, so take the report with due caution.

Samsung at CES 2017

Samsung will be keeping its most prized announcements close to its chest, but we’ve been given a sneak peek of what will be in store.

Specifically, the Samsung 850 Pro 4TB solid state drive (SSD) has been revealed through Samsung’s own press materials for CES 2017. The 850 Pro is actually just an evolution of the existing 850 Evo 4TB drive that launched back in July this year. And as with all Pro versions, it features higher read and write speeds than the Evo predecessor. It’s also likely to have better endurance, i.e. it can be written over more times before kicking the bucket.

But it won’t come cheap. The 4TB Samsung 850 Evo currently costs around £1,300, so the Pro version is sure to cost even more.

As far as what else Samsung has in store, we can’t say for sure just yet.

Nvidia at CES 2017

Nvidia has teased its announcement line-up for CES 2017, and it’s got everyone excited.

It turns out that CEO Jen-Hsun Huang will be helming Nvidia’s first-ever keynote address at the CES technology tradeshow in Las Vegas this January. Nvidia has promised that he’ll be breaking news in “some of the areas” it’s focused on, including artificial intelligence, self-driving cars, virtual reality, and gaming.

This announcement has launched speculation into what Nvidia might announce. Last year, Nvidia showed off DRIVE PX 2, the world’s first supercomputer for driverless cars. And the year before that, it ignited conspiracy theories by commissioning a crop circle in California – oh, and the launched the Tegra mobile processor too.

Check out this year’s teaser video:

So what might Nvidia actually announce? It’s hard to say, but we could see anything from new processors to a brand new GeForce graphics card to improvements in deep learning AI technology to a new accelerator for self-driving cars. There’s even a chance we could see a new device to follow on from the Shield hand-held console.

Perhaps the most exciting possibility would be details on the new Volta GPU architecture, the sixth-generation technology that’s set to follow Pascal (launched 2016). After all, rival AMD plans to show off its new Zen ‘Summit Ridge’ CPUs at the show, and has been heavily teasing its next-gem Vega graphics cards.

It's also heavily rumoured that we'll see the first laptops running Nvidia's budget GeForce GTX 1050 and 1050 Ti graphics cards at CES 2017. Asus, Gigabyte, MSI, and Lenovo are all reportedly planning to unveil gaming notebooks with the budget 10-series GPUs. That means we may finally see gaming laptops that offering compelling Full HD performance from a 10-series card for below £1,000.

And if all that wasn’t enough, Nvidia is also set to be planning the launch of a new Android-powered Shield TV at CES 2017. According to Slashgear, which cites an anonymous sources with knowledge of the matter, the device will be a reboot of the first Shield TV set top box, which launched back in 2015.

The device is expected to retain the Shield TV branding, and will come with support for 802.11ac Wi-Fi and MIMO antennas to further increase wireless speeds. It’s also tipped that we’ll see a new controller that relies on Bluetooth Low Energy for connectivity, rather than Wi-Fi.

Netflix at CES 2017

For Netflix, CES 2016 was huge. The streaming giant finally rolled out its service globally, launching in almost every country in the world – China being the most notable exception.

But in CES 2017, it’s not clear where the company will go. Most rumours suggest that Netflix is finally readying an offline viewing mode, which has been a long-requested and long-denied feature.

netflixing

For a long time, Netflix was openly shutting down any suggestion of offline viewing, but the company’s public stance has softened in recent times. Sources say Netflix will have the feature ready by the end of this year, so CES 2017 would be the perfect opportunity to announce something like offline viewing.

Xiaomi at CES 2017

Xiaomi has confirmed that it will be attending CES 2017, but it hasn’t detailed exactly what we can expect. All we know is that an “all-new product” will be launched globally. And we’ve got this frustratingly vague statement to boot:

“At its CES debut, leading technology company XIaomi will be showcasing an exciting new product that illustrates how it is pushing the boundaries of innovation. XIaomi was founded based on the vision “innovation for everyone” – with the belief that high-quality products built with cutting-edge technology should be made widely accessible."

Under Armor at CES 2017

Under Armour plans to show off new tech hardware in early 2017, although we’re not sure whether CES 2017 will be the chosen launch platform. UA’s first HealthBox devices were unveiled at CES 2016, so it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see gadget sequels in January next year.

Speaking to specialist site Wareable, UA Chief Digital Office Mike Lee said: “We plan to make more announcements on this front in early 2017."

Faraday Future at CES 2017

At CES 2016, Faraday Future caused a stir with its reveal of a high-performance electric concept car.

The good news is that the company now appears to be readying a production car to show off at CES 2017, following on from the FFZERO1 concept.

A cryptic tweet from the company hinted that it would “unveil the future” at the Las Vegas tech tradeshow, with Engadget reporting that Faraday Future will indeed reveal a production vehicle.

When Faraday Future showed off the FFZERO1 in 2016, the car was claimed to boast 1,000 horsepower, a 0-60mph of less than three seconds, and augmented reality capabilities. The firm said it would have a production vehicle ready in two years, and promises that it will be a “premium electric” car that “combines extreme technology, industry leading range, and holistic design”.

What else is coming at CES 2017?

TrustedReviews' Editor Evan Kypreos got a sneak peek at what's coming up at CES 2017 after attending CES Unveiled in Paris. Here are some of the innovative products he saw there:

Buddy: The Family Companion Robot

If Jonny 5 taught us anything, it’s that robots can have feelings but more importantly that they can be cute. None are cuter than Buddy and its kawaii features. It pootles around your home checking for intruders, and can manage your smart home products, remind you of important events, play music and even call the fire brigade if it senses a fire.

Jooki

Jooki Bluetooth Speaker

Bluetooth speakers are ten-a-penny but Jooki is a little different. For a start it's also a Wi-Fi enabled which means it can work like a Sonos or other streaming speaker. It's also different because it's aimed at children. It combines Amiibo-like toys with playlists so kids can decide what to listen to simply by placing the right toy on top of the splash-proof Jooki. You can even record your own voice reading out stories so your kid can listen to your voice when you’re travelling abroad.

CT Band

CT Band

If you’re a bit of a watch fiend then the idea of dumping your favourite Rolex for a fitness band or Apple Watch Series 2 will freak you out. The CT Band attempts to give you the best of both worlds by providing fitness tracking capabilities and a small LED screen in the strap instead. Still in its prototype stage, the CT Band looks a little chunky, and I’m not convinced a screen that small is useful or needed, but getting fitness tracking capabilities using any watch face is a great idea.

Roolin

Rool’in

This is one of the smartest ways I’ve seen a traditional push bike transformed into an electric bike. All you do is attach the wheel to your bike and the small communication to your pedal and off you go. The Rool’in is available to buy now in three sizes but one that can be charged by the sun as you pedal is also in the works.

What happened last year?

If the above hasn't sated your desire for all things CES, let's take a trip down memory lane. Here's what some of the biggest tech firms showed off at CES 2016:

Acer: Aspire Switch 12 S | Liquid Jade Primo (Windows 10 Phone) | Iconia One 8 tablet | 11.6-inch Chromebook 11

BlackBerry: QNX automated driving software announcements

Blu-ray Disc Association: Announced Ultra HD 4K Blu-ray

Fitbit: Fitbit Blaze

Ford: News on Ford Smart Mobility plan (driverless car technology)

Garmin: Fenix watch redesign | Garmin Drive sat nav updates | Varia Vision HUD

Hisense: 22 televisions, including 4K and HDR models

HTC: Second-gen dev kit for HTC Vive | UA HealthBox fitness kit

HP: Updated Spectre X360

Huawei: Huawei Mate 8 launch details | New Huawei Watch editions | Huawei MediaPad M2 tablet

Intel: RealSense camera update | Start-up tech showcase

Lenovo: Yoga 900S | ThinkPad X1 updates

LG: LG Signature range (TVs, washers, fridges) | New Super UHD TVs | New soundbars (SH8/SH7/SH6)

Nvidia: ‘Supercomputer’ for driverless cars | In-car artificial intelligence

Panasonic: New cameras (TZ family) | DMP-UB900 UHD Blu-ray player

Qualcomm: Showcased automotive tech | SD820 launch details

Razer: Razer Blade Stealth Ultrabook and Razer Core desktop graphics hub

Samsung: New SUHD TVs | Luxury Gear S2 Classic | Galaxy TabPro S Windows 10 2-in-1 | New sounder (HW-K950) | Samsung Family Hub fridge

Sony: New action camera (HDR-AS50R) | XD93 TV | PS-HX500 Hi-Res Audio turntable | New speakers, headphones, and AV players

UHD Alliance: Announced specifications for Ultra HD Premium certification

Volkswagen: Electric van concept | E-Golf Touch new-gem infotainment system with gesture control

Related: Best 4K TV 2016

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What would you like to see from CES 2017? Let us know in the comments.

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