With a new year and a major technology conference on the immediate horizon, what new tech trends can consumer expect?
Next week, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the annual tech convention, will kick off. Thousands of companies, from gamers to automakers and everything else in between, will be showing off their latest technologies. Yet which of those have the inside track to emerge as breakout successes, and which ones could disappear?
One gadget to watch is part of the smart home craze. At the end of 2015, Amazon entered the voice assistant market with a device called Echo ($175). The cylindrical speaker sits in your home and connects to the Internet via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. Users can ask the device questions —such as what the weather is like—and "Alexa" will answer. —Another useful task: It can add and place orders on an Amazon shopping list.
Users also have the ability to control compatible "smart" electronics such as Belkin's WeMo switches, Philips Hue lights, and SmartThings.
"Right now there's a million different connected gadgets you can put in your home, on your wrist, and they're all connected to Wi-Fi, but they all require a different kind of portal to use them or interact with them," Jordan Crook, Techcrunch's senior writer, told CNBC's "On the Money."