Autonomous vehicles. Superthin TVs. Triple-screened laptops. And Alexa everywhere. Welcome to another year in tech from Las Vegas.
John FalconeSenior Editorial Director, Shopping
John P. Falcone is the senior director of commerce content at CNET, where he coordinates coverage of the site's buying recommendations alongside the CNET Advice team (where he previously headed the consumer electronics reviews section). He's been a CNET editor since 2003.
ExpertiseOver 20 years experience in electronics and gadget reviews and analysis, and consumer shopping adviceCredentials
Self-taught tinkerer, informal IT and gadget consultant to friends and family (with several self-built gaming PCs under his belt)
Watch this: The best of CES 2017: Our final countdown
Fifty years from now, the
show floor may be some hybrid of the real and virtual world, as telepresence minidrones hover and swoop through the aisles, beaming the scene back to our VR contact lenses. But in 2017, the 50th anniversary show was something that would've been an equally unrealistic sci-fi vision to attendees of the first electronics exhibition in 1967: wall-sized
as thin as a house key. Electric cars that can drive themselves. Tiny robots that stand guard in your home. And an entire house that you can control with your voice. All of them real, touchable and available to home consumers soon, if not already.
Boring, you say? Stop being cynical, and start appreciating the fact that you're already living in the future: Take a look back at everything we saw on the show floor of the world's premier technology show, from the jaw-dropping to the groan-inducing to the just plain fun.
The voice-controlled smart home gets real, and Alexa is dominating
Watch this: Let Alexa handle your laundry for you
For at least the past 257 10 years, we've been saying the "real" smart home is just around the corner. But at CES 2017, it finally felt more tangible than ever before. That's because a flood of products are now offering compatibility with systems like Google Home, Apple HomeKit and (most of all) Amazon Alexa. Whether it's lighting, DVRs,
, robot vacuums, home security systems,
or cars -- to name just a few -- the list of stuff you'll be able to interact with by saying Alexa's name is set to explode in the coming months. And with such networked integration now becoming the rule rather than the exception in major
from the likes of Whirlpool, Samsung and
, there's no turning back.
CES was, is and presumably always will be "the big TV show." And while some of the players may have changed -- China's TCL and Hisense have replaced the likes of old-line Japan manufacturers such as Panasonic and Sharp -- the screens get better every year.
is offering a fresh alternative with its QLED sets, but LG's OLED technology is so good that rivals like Sony are now licensing it. LG itself, meanwhile, created its most stunning OLED TV showpiece yet: the W7 "wallpaper" TV. And this is no pie-in-the-sky prototype: You can preorder the W7 (albeit for $8,000 -- a rough conversion to £6526 or AU$10,964) now, for delivery in just a few months. Prefer a big-screen alternative? Plenty of tantalizing new short-throw projectors were on display, too.
Watch this: Hands on with Kuri -- an adorable wandering security cam
The CES show floor has always had its share of robots, but most of them were gimmicks. But no more: Robots at CES 2017 were transitioning to real consumer products. Pepper, Kuri and LG's Hub Robot are designed for consumers or businesses in the real world, and -- if all goes as planned -- you'll be able to buy them soon, in some cases for less than $1,000. Just manage your expectations: Don't expect C-3PO -- and don't expect them to climb stairs, let alone traverse shag carpets.
As expected, we didn't see a lot of fitness trackers or smartwatches on the show floor this year. But we did see wearable tech continue its evolution far beyond mere step counters. Products like the Aira (which allows remote viewers to guide blind people in real-time) and the FDA-cleared Willow Breast Pump show how the field is tilting toward full-on medical and assistive devices. And the Doppler Labs Here One headphones show that Apple's AirPods are merely the beginning of the market for "hearables" -- and the beginning of a whole new era that goes far beyond traditional headphones.