The countdown to the biggest tech show on earth is on. Held annually in Las Vegas, the 53rd CES is the place to be if you are interested in next-generation innovations.
Essential reading: Top fitness trackers and health gadgets
They say “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”- but not in this case. CES, which stands for the Consumer Electronics Show, first took place in 1967. In the 50+ years since, thousands of products have been announced, including many that have transformed the lives of people around the world.
The show will run between January 7th and 10th, with press conferences set to start a day or two earlier. Over 180,000 people will descend on the city, known primarily for its gambling, shopping, fine dining, entertainment and nightlife.
The 2.75 million-square-foot convention will host some 4,500 exhibiting companies, including manufacturers, developers and suppliers of consumer technology hardware and content. This will be accompanied by a conference program featuring more than 1,000 speakers.
Expect to see everything from self-driving technology and wireless to drones, to sleep technology, artificial intelligence and robotics. If you can imagine it, there is a good probability someone exhibiting at CES 2020 is already working on it.
Most big wearable tech companies will be there. A surprise is that Apple will be one of them. This is the first time the Cupertino outfit will make a showing at the event. However they won’t be announcing new hardware. Instead, its Senior Director of Privacy, Jane Horvath, will attend to discuss privacy at the”Chief Privacy Officer Roundtable”.
Here’s is a selection of wearable companies that may announce new hardware and our expectations.
Fitbit never fails to make a showing. It will be interesting whether it makes any reveal this year considering the upcoming Google acquisition. The deal is said to be under scrutiny currently by the US Justice Department on data privacy issues and anti-trust concerns.
The San Francisco outfit launched an updated version of its second smartwatch, the Versa 2 a few months ago. It comes with a better screen, longer battery life, more powerful processor and some other extras such as Amazon Alexa support. Earlier in the year we saw the unveiling of Inspire and Inspire HR.
Looking forward, there have not been any credible leaks on what could be next. Fitbit Charge 4 is a possibility as its predecessor was launched a couple of years ago. Ionic 2 is also a candidate as it’s long overdue for an update. But it’s equally possible the company uses the event, instead, to announce news on the software front.
Garmin is another wearable tech giant that is a regular at the event. Last year, it used the opportunity to announce its first cellular smartwatch, the LTE-enabled Vivoactive 3. It comes with support for phone-free safety features and music downloads. You are not able to make phone calls, but sending and receiving texts is supported.
The company has had a very busy 2019. A plethora of devices were released including the Forerunner 45, 245, 945, Fenix 6, Vivoactive 4 and more.
It is a fair bet Garmin will have something in store on the hardware front for CES 2020. It always does.
We have not had too much in terms of leaks. Vivofit 4 should see the light of day soon, but this may come before CES. We know lots of new devices are coming in the near future thanks to a recent leak. This includes the Forerunner 745, Forerunner 955 (plus an LTE edition), Fenix 6 Sport, Index Scale 2, Instinct 2 with solar charging and more. Expect one or more of these to be announced at the Las Vegas show.
In the past few months we saw the debut of Fossil Group’s 5th generation technology. This includes the addition of a built-in speaker, longer battery life via smart battery modes, increased storage capacity and the Snapdragon 3100 processor. A number of devices were upgrade with the latest tech including Carlyle HR, Julianna HR, Puma Sport Connected, Armani Smartwatch 3, Diesel on Axiel, Michael Kors Access Lexington 2 and Access Bradshaw 2.
Expect more of the same and new wearables across the Fossil Group range which includes Diesel, Fossil, Misfit, Michael Kors, Skagen and Emporio Armani. Also, several more Fossil timepieces are likely to come on the heels of the Hybrid HR smartwatch. Some of these will have e-ink displays, others will not.
Withings is another regular at the event. Back in 2016 the French outfit was snapped up by Nokia. It wasn’t long, though, before the tech giant found the health and fitness industry is a pretty hard nut to crack. Nokia wanted out, so Éric Carreel (co-founder and former chairman of Withings) took the company back under his wing.
Withings has, over the past year, refreshed its fitness tracker and health gadget line. At CES last year it unveiled a blood pressure monitor capable of tracking ECG and valvular health, as well as two analogue smartwatches – one of which has the ability to measure ECG. The devices have been released in Europe, but some are still waiting for the nod of approval from US regulators. We will be surprised if Withings fails to use CES 2020 as a platform to announce something new.
Huami has confirmed three new Amazfit-branded products are set to land at CES 2020. Judging by the teasers and statements, it looks like it will be a fitness product related to sneakers, smart earphones and an activity tracker. All will be known at Huami’s Global Product Launch on January 7th. The event theme is titled “LEAP OVER LIMITS”.
This is another company which has had a very busy 2019. Lots of devices were launched over the summer including the Amazfit GTS, Amazfit GTR and Stratos 3 smartwatches. One of the products we are looking forward to is the futuristic looking Amazfit X fitness band. It is expected to go into mass production during the first half of 2020 and will probably make a showing in Las Vegas.
We have come a long way since counting steps was the goal. With the number of fitness trackers and smartwatches in use forecast to double in the next few years, the market will continue to evolve and innovate.
CES never disappoints so look forward to a surprise or two. Announcements over the next month will set the tone on what wearable tech we can expect for the entire year. We will be covering all the news that matters as it happens.
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