Every January, the tech world converges on Las Vegas to spin, schmooze, and showcase the stuff that the gadget-obsessed will spend the next year bickering about. Sure, not every significant electronic device gets announced here (see Apple), but the floor is essentially a view into the near future of consumer tech. In lieu of showing you every fitness tracker, personal drone, and oversize headphone being hawked, we picked out the overarching trends coming down the pike.
Sleep gets quantified.
Fitness trackers – tiny gadgets that count calories burned, steps taken, and more – have already become ubiquitous. Companies that hadn't been in the game before, like Garmin and Sony, each showed devices at CES and the fitness-tracking wristband received some innovations as well. LG unveiled the Lifeband Touch, and Razer showed its Nabu, both of which have screens that show real-time results (prior wristbands needed to be synced with your device to see live results).
But the big change was that some of the most interesting trackers measured not activity, but inactivity, logging how well you're sleeping and attempting to help you get some rest. Withings announced the Aura Smart Sleep System, which includes a gadget for your bedside table that records temperature, light level, and air quality, along with a mat you place under your mattress that registers your breathing cycles, heart rate, and how much you toss and turn. Also in the sleepstakes: Sleep Number. Its $8,000 x12 bed (pictured) not only pairs with an app to show you how well you're sleeping and suggests ways to improve your sleep, but it also allows you to automatically tilt your partner's side up or down if he or she happens to be snoring.