CES 2016: The Biggest Takeaways on the Future of Tech

The future will include some super-smart technology.

ByABC News
January 11, 2016, 2:44 PM

— -- The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is a technology nerd's playground -- and this year it was bigger than ever.

There were more than 3,600 exhibitors spread across 2.47 million-square-feet this year. The Consumer Technology Association, which hosts the annual trade show, said the show brought more than 170,000 people to Las Vegas.

Show participants are given a glimpse into the future and new technology stars are born at CES. Here were the biggest takeaways from this year's show.

Virtual Reality Is Here to Stay

There's no doubt 2016 is the year virtual reality begins to go mainstream. Jaunt, NextVR and Oculus all grabbed headlines last week for their VR cameras -- and in the case of Oculus -- its $600 consumer headset. Luna 360, a consumer-friendly camera about the size of a pool ball, made its debut at the show ahead of a planned release later this year.

"This year is really the first year consumers have access to this," DJ Roller, founder of NExtVR, told ABC News last week. "Virtual reality is a whole other medium, as different as radio was to television."

Smarter Drones and Autonomous Vehicles

Intel showed off a fleet of drones that use the company's RealSense technology, which enables them to map an environment in real-time and react to it. Intel included the technology in Segway's Advanced Personal Robots. A race car driving experience using RealSense showed movements on the screen.

Chipmaker NVIDIA showed off another super-powered computer called the Drive PX2, which is designed to be the brain inside of self-driving cars. The car is about the size of a lunch box, the computer can process 8 teraflops, which by comparison, the company said is the equivalent strength of 150 MacBook Pro computers.

"When it comes to drones and autonomous vehicles, you are finally seeing solutions out there that aren’t perfect but are solving the biggest issues that are out there without needing a supercomputer. To make something autonomous it needs to be able to see, perceive and act," Patrick Moorhead, an analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, told ABC News.

Robotic Helpers

In the future, robots will cook and clean for you. Your kitchen will also be smarter.

A robot can scrub your grill while another cleans your windows. Samsung showed off a refrigerator equipped with a camera inside, allowing people to peek inside their fridge even when they're not home. Somabar, a robotic bartender, can make up to 300 different drinks at the push of a button while Segway's Advanced Personal Robots can deliver a snack to kids in another room.

Your Medicine Cabinet Will Be Connected

There were dozens of products at CES that measure how we look and feel. First Response showed off a Bluetooth enabled pregnant test. A device called Skulpt Chisel rates the quality of your muscle using an accompanying app. L’Oréal debuted My UVPatch, which looks like a Band-Aid but packs a UV sensor and Near Field Communications chip. When scanned using an accompanying app, it will let the wearer know how much sun exposure they've had.