CES 2016: The Trends

Decoded Fashion - Weekly Stories - CES 2016 Trends
Image source: The Associated Press

The new year ushers in a whole host of tech innovations, and the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last week offered up a slew of exciting projects that could change the shape of fashion and retail as we know it. As smartwatches grow smarter and the humble mirror gets an overhaul, we round up some of the most exciting trends from CES 2016.

Smartwatches

Unsurprisingly, smartwatches were one of the biggest trends at this year’s CES. While many brands made the fatal error of producing smartwatches with no aesthetic appeal, some managed to get it right.

  • Samsung announced two new versions of its Gear S2 Classic watch, in both platinum and 18k rose-gold finishes, adding a new, luxurious feel that will certainly attract fashion-conscious buyers. Due for release next month, the new Gear S2 also boasts NFC technology suitable for Samsung Pay.
  • Fossil’s new Q54 Pilot watch also adopts a ‘traditional’ watch appearance, making it look less intimidating and more stylish. Inspired by vintage aviation design, the Q54 Pilot may look like a smart analogue watch, but it packs a punch with an array of features powered by Intel Innovation connectivity.

Fitness Tech

In an increasingly health-conscious society (partly fuelled by the abundance of wellness-focused apps), fitness tech was another key trend.

  • One product generating a lot of buzz was Under Armour’s HealthBox, which incorporates three devices – a fitness band, wi-fi-enabled scales and a heart-rate monitor – into one kit, retailing at $400. It’s a bold move for the fitness brand, which, up until now, has only produced sportswear and footwear.
  • Meanwhile, Fitbit’s new watch, the Fitbit Blaze, was presented as a new rival to the Apple Watch. With its five-day battery life, three exercise-specific modes and a built-in library of workouts, the Blaze seems the obvious choice for those seeking to get the most out of a fitness tracker.

Magic Mirrors

We’ve seen tech-enabled mirrors before, but with more of them on display at CES, many retailers may now be reconsidering their worth.

  • The Memoni Memory Mirror – which has been trialled for over a year – uses Intel RealSense technology to allow users to try on and change the colour of clothing without actually going into the fitting room.
  • Elsewhere, the ModiFace Mirror enables users to try on an array of cosmetics and experiment with new beauty looks by simply taking a photo of themselves, with no actual make-up required. ModiFace’s existing clients include L’Oreal, so we predict it’s only a matter of time before the ModiFace mirror hits the big-name beauty counters.

Redefining Retail

From extensive displays of contactless-payment-enabled devices to MasterCard’s presentation of e-commerce start-ups, there were plenty of retail innovations at CES this year. The most interesting products on offer, however, were those clever projects that aimed to enhance the existing bricks-and-mortar experience, rather than just add to it or change it entirely.

  • One such example is ZipLine, which aims to tackle one of the consumer’s biggest nightmares: queuing. ZipLine’s technology uses in-store infrared body-heat sensors and a dedicated app to enable smartphone users to find out how many people are in a particular queue, and how quickly that line is moving. This alleviates shopping stress by enabling users to head for the fastest-moving queue.

Reported by Grace Howard