By Reyne Rice, trend hunter and thought leader, CEO ToyTrends
The latest and greatest innovations rocked the tech world at the annual Consumer Electronics Show, held in Las Vegas from Jan. 6-9. Trade guests viewed the latest virtual reality headsets; flew unmanned systems and drones; test-drove the newest automotive vehicles with built-in enhanced entertainment and digital connectivity for kids and families; and marveled at the enhanced 4-D TV and home entertainment systems. Hands-on experiences and product testing dominated the crowded show floor as global exhibitors showcased their newest launch products, services, apps, and devices.
The show has expanded to include the technology services, software, apps, developments, and alliances that will continue to improve lives, solve problems, and delight gadget lovers across the globe. This expanded charter has prompted the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) change its name to the Consumer Technology Association (CTA).
With more than 3,600 companies covering more than 2.3 million net square feet of exhibit space, CES 2016 included pavilions focusing on virtual and augmented reality, drones, robotics, automotive, health and fitness tech, 3-D printing, wearables, smart home, and Internet of Things (iOT) smart connected devices. An expanded presence for augmented reality, virtual reality, and gaming revealed the newest wave of immersive media in the new Gaming and Virtual Reality Marketplace. Attendees also gained insights from professionals and experts at the over 200 conference sessions available, throughout the CES 2016.
Entertainment Matters and Digital Entertainment expanded to cover events, exhibitors and conference sessions at the Tech South Aria Resort location, with additional exhibits in Tech East and Tech West. The Eureka Park new start-up area exploded to 500 exhibitors, indicating that an increasing amount of companies are targeting this lucrative and expanding technology arena.
New Toys, Games, and Kids Technology products were introduced at CES 2016, including the following:
Fisher-Price revealed its Think & Learn Code-A-Pillar, the first in a series of products which will be unveiled in 2016, to expose children to the foundational skills of coding, using thinking skills, problem solving, and sequencing.
Lego Education rolled out its enhanced WeDo 2.0 products, based on the Next Generation Science Standards. This program combines LEGO bricks, classroom-friendly software, and standards-based projects, to deliver real-world science projects to elementary classrooms.
Odyssey Toys launched a number of new drones, including the amazing Pocket Drone. This drone flattens to the size of a credit card, with the quad rotors folding neatly inside. Pop it out and within 30 seconds, users can activate their anywhere-anytime drone experience.
WowWee introduced CHiP, a robotic pup, with a follow-me feature, gaming, and tricks, all enhanced by the company’s proprietary BeaconSense technology. In addition, R.E.V. Air takes artificial intelligence to the skies, and the LUMI quadcopter adds new play patterns to drone technology.
Spin Master expanded AirHogs to the next level with augmented reality in the new Air Hogs Connect. This technology will allow frequent enhanced updates and upgrades, adding significant value to the Air Hogs experience.
Moff Bands has now partnered with both PBS and Bandai, offering a variety of new fitness and classic play options to their easy-interface wearable smart band technology. Pacman is now a kid’s gesture-activated video game experience.
Sphero Star Wars BB-8, will now use Force Band wearable technology band to use gesture control to activate the robotic droid.
Numerous new exhibitors from Taiwan, Korea, India and, Europe have added new play patterns and play systems for fitness, drones, programming and coding robots, 3D printing and robotics, and more. As the year unfolds, we will reveal more of this latest technology that spans multiple toy, game, and tech categories.