Friday 30 September 2016

Driverless cars and virtual reality takes centre stage at CES in Las Vegas

Published 01/01/2016 | 00:11

Driverless cars and virtual reality are expected to feature heavily as one of the biggest technology conventions in the world, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), begins in Las Vegas on January 5.

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The annual show, which has been running for 47 years, has become the trendsetting event for the technology industry for the coming year, with key products and ideas often seen here for the first time.

Ultra high-definition television, drones and virtual reality have all previously made their first major public appearance during the event, which is expected to be attended by around 170,000 people.

Industry giants including Samsung, Sony, LG, Huawei and Netflix as well as car manufacturers including Audi and BMW will all have a presence at the show, as well as demonstrate new technology.

Open to both the media and then the public, the four-day show sees the Las Vegas Convention Center filled with thousands of booths and kiosks as the big brands, as well as hundre ds of smaller start-up companies, demonstrate their latest products to visitors.

This year's event is set to be dominated by virtual reality, as several companies are set to launch headsets to the public for the first time.

Oculus, a start-up which funded its headset through crowd-funding before being bought by Facebook, has confirmed it will launch its Rift headset in 2016, with CES likely to see the public debut of the final design.

Sony's PlayStation VR, which is also set to go on sale in 2016, is also expected to make its debut.

CES is not adverse to banning certain technology either, with the show confirming that popular but controversial hoverboards are not permitted at the show as a way of moving around.

The transport devices were withdrawn from sale by websites, including Amazon, over safety fears regarding the devices over-heating and catching fire.

In a statement, CES said: "Wheeled transport devices (with or without motors) are not permitted at any CES venue. This includes Segways, hoverboards, skateboards, uniwheels and similar products.

"Exhibitors are permitted to demo such products within the confines of their exhibit space.

"They are not permitted at any other venues for any purpose."

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