LAS VEGAS: Here are some key highlights from the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show, which concluded Saturday:
1. Netflix stunned the show with the announcement that it added 130 new countries for its streaming TV service to bring its total to 190, calling it “the birth of a new global Internet TV network.”
India will be one of the new markets for Netflix, which is still studying ways to get into China.
2. Google and Lenovo announced plans to produce the first consumer handset using the US computing giant’s Project Tango 3D technology.
3. The 4K high-definition television format became the standard base for manufacturers, which showcased thinner and more spectacular displays for those willing to pay the price.
4. The Internet of Things showed spectacular growth from products like a smart mirror from Haier that delivers news and weather and connects to other appliances, and connected spoons and diet scales.
Samsung unveiled a smart refrigerator that lets its owner use a smartphone to virtually peer inside and see what should be on a shopping list.
5. Wearable technology probed deeper to get more data about health, while making inroads into the medical field: diagnosing conditions and even offering treatment for pain and other ailments. Shoes measured steps and shirts kept tabs on heart rates.
6. Automakers moved to connect not only to the smartphone, but to the smart home and other parts of the digital life.
Ford teamed with Amazon to link up the carmaker’s Sync vehicle hub with the online giant’s smart home hub called Echo.
7. Virtual reality spread beyond video games to touch sex, sports, sales and space exploration. Facebook-owned Oculus began taking pre-orders for its eagerly-anticipated Rift VR headsets at a price of $599, and CES was rife with companies scrambling to field competing devices or content that could draw people into faux worlds.
8. Startups turned attention to ways to tap into the brain.
A “mind control” headband unveiled by startup BrainCo effectively hacks into brain signals with a range of possible applications—from helping to improve attention spans, to detecting disease, controlling smart home appliances or even a prosthetic device.