The start of a new year is a time for setting annual goals and recovering from the stress of the holidays. However, it’s also when the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) takes place. Held in early January at Las Vegas’ Westgate Theatre, the conference features the hottest new technologies on the market along with a full schedule of events and speakers.
CES is an important event for all business owners, so let’s check out these five new products expected to revolutionize small business ownership in the years to come.
1. Toshiba’s dynaPad
Toshiba’s dynaPad might seem like just another wannabe iPad, but the truth is that this piece of technology offers far more for small business owners to appreciate. Claimed to be the “world’s thinnest tablet,” this product features a 12-inch screen and weighs less than a pound and a half. When used in conjunction with the Toshiba TruPen stylus, the dynaPad is the perfect “notebook” for small business owners to tote to meetings and seminars, as well as on business trips and flights.
As an added benefit, customers can pre-order the device for just $569.99, a considerable discount over the iPad Pro.
2. Fitbit Blaze
A device that tracks health and fitness stats might not seem like a must-have for small business owners. Even so, Fitbit’s new Blaze provides tremendous value for busy small business owners who can’t always make it to the gym or fitness studio. The device is a modular smart watch that offers Bluetooth connectivity and phone service along with the ability to detect and measure physical activity.
Unlike other brands, the Blaze can operate for five days on one charge. Wear your device around the office as well as while you’re on the road or sleeping. The goal is to track the different indicators affecting your heart health, no matter how busy your day becomes.
3. LG Roll-Up Display
CES typically features the latest innovations in television technology, and the 2016 exhibition is no exception. What stands out, however, is the LG Roll-Up Display, which can provide great benefits for businesses of all sizes. Featuring a fully flexible screen, the LG Roll-Up measures 18 inches diagonally and offers full HD display.
The benefit of the product lies in the fact that users can roll, bend, scrunch and move it easily. Not only is the device perfect for small offices, as it can be stuffed in a cabinet or closet with ease, but it’s also great for telecommuting and presentations on the road. In the future, business owners can expect to purchase 55-inch flexible TVs with screen quality ratings of 4K.
4. Almond 3
Small business owners often talk about data security, but protecting your brick-and-mortar shop from theft is just as important. A new router from Securifi, the Almond 3 can do just that. While the Almond 3 can’t protect an entire property all on its own, this device works in conjunction with compatible sensors placed around the house. These sensors alert the Almond 3 in the event that a window or door is opened by an intruder. The device then sounds an alarm.
Expected to go on sale this summer, the Almond 3 includes some features not common to other security devices. For example, users can set up the system to detect whether or not your phone is connected to the home Wi-Fi. As a result, the alarm won’t go off when you’re on the premises.
5. Self-Driving Cars
Reports from CES reveal that Ford and Google will be partnering to create a self-driving vehicle for release in the coming years. Combining Google’s car research with Ford’s manufacturing savvy, the end result could represent a significant step forward in the field of autonomous cars. In fact, Google believes self-driving cars could be on the road as soon as 2020.
Small business owners are unlikely to be purchasing their own self-driving cars in the next few years. Eventually, this technology could be a serious boon to busy owners who struggle to fit all their responsibilities into a single day. Not only could these vehicles make life easier for small business owners, but their deployment could also have a profound effect on corporate vehicle fleets.
Self-driving cars aren’t the only auto-related tech coming out of CES. According to recent reports, car audio vendor Harman is planning to add Microsoft Office software to vehicle consoles. In the future, small business owners might be able to send emails and check their spreadsheets while on the road as part of a safe and automated ride.
From state-of-the-art drones to self-lacing sneakers, technology is constantly evolving in new and fascinating ways. Stay abreast of the latest developments to give your small business a leg up on the competition in 2016.