AutoMatters & More #417: CES 2016 Preview


CES (formerly known as the Consumer Electronics Show) is the annual, international, consumer technologies mega-trade show in Las Vegas. In 2016, CES will run from January 6 – 9, preceded by Press Day on January 5.

Press Day’s scheduled exhibitors include Ford, Fitbit, LG Electronics, Bosch, Monster, Ultra-D (glasses-free 3-D), Panasonic, AutoTrader &, Qualcomm, Toyota, Samsung, Valeo (automotive technology), DISH & Sling TV, KIA and Sony.

CES encompasses a mind-boggling array of over 20 product categories, including 3-D Printing, Accessibility, Augmented Reality, Cyber and Personal Security, eCommerce, Education & Technology, Enterprise Solutions, Family & Technology, Fitness & Technology, Gaming and Virtual Reality, Health & Wellness, Kids & Technology, Robotics, Smart Home, Smart Watches, Sports Tech, Unmanned Systems, Vehicle Intelligence and Wearables.

For years major automotive manufacturers have had a prominent presence at CES, as state-of-the-art electronics are increasingly being integrated into – and controlling – brakes, infotainment, steering, suspension, comfort, safety, navigation, convenience and more. The development of autonomous (self-driving) vehicles continues, and some of that technology is becoming available to consumers. You can already buy a Tesla which, under certain driving conditions, will steer for you, apply the brakes, maintain a safe distance from the car you’re following on the highway, and even change lanes. I cannot wait until this technology works its way down into more affordable cars, so that I will no longer have to deal with stressful, stop-and-go, gridlocked, bumper-to-bumper traffic on Southern California’s freeways.

Massive video walls will once again overwhelm the senses in huge exhibits by Sony, Panasonic, Samsung, LG and others. As TV screens continue to get larger and larger, along with high (4K) resolution, it will be interesting to see the latest innovations. It is getting to the point where almost anything that can be imagined, can be made. Wouldn’t it be cool to have holographic, three-dimensional projection of TV programs, providing the ability to virtually interact with the actors and scenes in our living rooms?

Just like computer software with its continual updates, electronics are continually evolving and improving in surprising new ways. For example, at CES 2015 (last January) Oral-B introduced show-goers to a new toothbrush innovation, while a dental hygienist answered dental care questions and offered advice (drink plenty of water, brush morning and night, and floss daily). The Oral-B Pro 5000 rechargeable electric toothbrush connects via Bluetooth with a free cell phone app, to design and program custom brushing modes; track how long you brush; play educational dental care videos; and even inform you with highlights from the news and weather while you brush. Together that reduces the boredom of brushing and helps you take better care of your teeth. For more information go to

IRIS by Lowe’s makes home automation affordable and simple to install. Using a cell phone, computer or tablet, control almost everything in your smart home – anytime and from anywhere. The IRIS by Lowe’s system offers dozens of controllable devices that, in conjunction with an internet connection, an IRIS Smart Hub and the IRIS app, will enable you to equip a home security system, water the lawn, remotely lock and unlock doors, turn on lights, close a garage door, sense water leaks and shut off the water, and much more. There is even an available electronic doggy door, electronically keyed to let in your pet.

At the heart of the system is the new, second generation Iris Smart Hub. A Basic Plan for monitoring – complete with notifications sent by IRIS if an alarm or alert is triggered – is free. The Premium Plan is $9.99 per month. Find out more at

The entertainment at CES is also world class. From its humble origins as a manufacturer of high-end audio cables, Monster has developed a large product line that is sold by dealers world-wide. Each year at CES it honors those dealers with retailer of the year awards. After the awards are given out, the evening concludes with a phenomenal concert featuring A-list entertainers. In past years some of the headliners have been Earth, Wind & Fire; Diana Ross; The Steve Miller Band; Legend; George Benson & Al Jarreau; Chicago; and Alicia Keys. For 2016, the concert will be a tribute to Michael Jackson. Entertainers will include several of the Jacksons. I look forward to once again bringing you some of my photos from that event.

Happy New Year everyone! I wish you the very best in 2016. Please write to with your comments and suggestions.

Copyright © 2015 by Jan Wagner – AutoMatters & More #417r1