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Drones, VR, connected cars - The Wrap, CES 2016

On The Wrap this week, we take a look at the best of CES including virtual reality, the latest drones and connected cars ... and Nick says goodbye after 8 years of bringing you the latest tech news.

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Virtual reality, drones and connected cars – we're at CES in Las Vegas.

The Wrap


In your tech top 3 we'll look at some of the biggest announcements and trends.
Sony announced a suite of items designed for the home and home entertainment. There was a particular focus on the aesthetics of these devices, like a glass tube that houses a light bulb and doubles as a speaker. For its 4K TVs, Sony debuted Ultra, a service that will let users to download and stream content. That's important because the current lack of content could stall the progression of the format.

Look up in the sky, is that drone following you? AirDog showed off a more polished version of its tracking drone that will start shipping this year. You tether a small tracker onto your arm and then the drone follows you, getting sweeping , impressive shots along the way. Battery life is only 14 minutes so do whatever you're doing quickly. At Parrot there was the Disco, which is a winged drone that can fly up to 50 miles per hour, but the form factor means it can't hover like others.

Last in our top 3 is virtual and augmented reality. The HTC Vive Pre will start shipping in April and it's one of the most impressive VR devices we've seen at the show. Holding controllers in each hand you can interact with objects in a virtual 3D space. Helping to improve the accuracy are two lighthouses that track you as you move in a 15 by 15 foot space. On the control side was uSens, an SDK that can track your hands allowing you to interact with virtual objects.

In focus this week is a vertical that has exploded here at CES over the past few years: cars.
At Volkswagon there was the BUDDe, an all electric concept car with a range of 233 miles. It can be charged to 80% capacity in 30 minutes. VW said it could be a reality by the end of the decade.

Audi placed an important emphasis on the cloud with its concept car, the e-tron Quattro. It will be able to anticipate your destinations after analyzing your driving habits and POIs. Of course that brings up some privacy concerns, but the strategy is a unique one that could leverage the millions of miles driven to help make autonomous driving safer.

Ford said that Apple CarPlay and Android auto would come to vehicles with Sync 3 by the end of the year. It also showed off how the cars will integrate with Amazon's voice assistant Alexa so that you could, for example ask it to start your car from the kitchen. Ford also showed off a new LIDAR sensor for Velodyne. LIDAR is an essential component for self driving cars and now that it is smaller with no moving parts, it will be easier to integrate onto next generation cars.

An important note before we go. This will be my last Wrap and last World Tech Update. After 8 rewarding years I'll be moving on from IDG. Thank you to my colleagues and especially you who have helped make World Tech Update a success. Your comments and views have always meant a lot. I'm Nick Barber and for the last time, that's a wrap. Thanks everyone.