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Consumer Electronics Show 2016: A glimpse into the future

Jan 12. 2016 

Last year’s connected devices seemed to have little in common, but 2016 heralds a new era of smart connectivity in all its forms.

The words on everyone’s lips at CES 2016 were user experience, a term we’ve been using for some time in the aviation industry as connected aircraft gradually make air travel a better experience for passengers.

So what does user experience mean today? It's what happens when a whole host of products and applications — some of them already available and others coming soon — are tied together to make our homes, cars and cities smarter and easier to live with.

What was striking at CES 2016 was the sheer number of innovations on show in the automotive industry. Forget the dashboards of today: tomorrow’s cars will have a connected cockpit, a cockpit that feels increasingly like a flight deck, keeping users informed in real time about what’s happening around them, or even in their homes.

There’s a lot of cross-pollination between the aviation and automotive industries. Advances in one sector often find applications in the other sector too. Sensors initially developed for aircraft have found their way onto high-performance cars, for example, bringing down costs and ultimately benefiting aircraft manufacturers.

And who knows what the future holds in store. Aerospace and automotive companies could be joining forces to develop the next generation of drones, combining their expertise to meet shared objectives. At CES 2016, for example, Chinese company Ehang unveiled a drone designed to carry a passenger. Is the self-driving drone on the way? No doubt we’ll learn more at CES 2017!

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