CES 2016: TVs And Virtual Reality Devices Take Center Stage At This Year’s Show

This year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas revealed some of the most innovative and advanced pieces of technology of this generation.

While the main focus of device announcements in recent years has been smartphones and tablets, it seems that particular niche has taken the backseat and given way to virtual reality and home entertainment devices.

Rise of HDR TVs and Displays

In the TV department, big electronic companies, such as Sony, LG, Samsung, and other known brands, have upped their game in designing displays, making them even thinner than the most recent models.

LG’s new TV, for instance, is a mere tenth of an inch thick, or just the thickness of four credit cards stacked together.

In addition, the technology used in television and displays nowadays are definitely better and more advanced.

The typical 4K resolution has been a staple of some displays in recent years, but manufacturers are beginning to adopt HDR technology.

“The idea there is you have improved color and you have improved range from black-to-white so the picture can look a lot better,” CNET Senior Editor David Katzmaier explained about HDR technology.

He added that while 4K means more pixels, HDR results in better pixels.

Unfortunately, because HDR technology is fairly new in the market, not a lot of manufacturers are using it now. In addition, the ones that will actually hit the market will certainly be priced steeply.

Virtual Reality for Home Entertainment

Aside from the innovations in televisions and displays, CES 2016 also featured a number of virtual reality devices.

Two of the more popular virtual reality devices that will arrive on the market are the Oculus Rift and the newly announced HTC Vive Pre. Both devices are said to begin selling in stores later this year.

Virtual reality devices vary depending on the goal of the manufacturer. There are some models that are worn on the head so that the person can immerse himself in the environment of the VR.

There are also other bigger virtual reality devices that include arm chairs as well as other implements that move to provide a full-body experience.

As for the Oculus Rift, which Facebook bought in 2014 for $2 billion, the company has reportedly opened pre-orders for the device. The virtual reality headset will cost $599, although the user needs a high-end PC to run the program accompanying the Rift.

Oculus announced that the required hardware needed to run the device includes an “Nvidia GTX 970 or AMD R9 290 graphics processor, an Intel i5-4590 processor, 8GB of RAM, HDMI 1.3 video output, multiple USB 3.0 ports, as well as a USB 2.0 port. The operating system should also be Windows 7 SP1 64 bit or newer.”

Meanwhile, HTC’s Vive Pre device will be released in April, although no exact pricing details have been revealed. The device has a built-in camera that provides the boundaries of the virtual reality. With the help of the camera, the user will know his current location in the real world. It also comes with a controller.

Aside from the virtual reality devices themselves, VR device manufacturers are also preparing the content that will come with them. Some content that will work with the Oculus Rift in the future includes games, travel, and tourism materials, as well as educational content such as space exploration or even simulated medical operations.

CES 2016, the year’s biggest event for showcasing technology, also saw new smartphone releases. A number of tablets, convertibles, and laptops were also launched.

As the CES 2016 draws to a close, people are expecting to get more virtual reality devices and related technology in the future.

[Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images]