The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) ended last week in Las Vegas, with over 60 acres of exhibition halls and 170,000 visitors it's the largest tech show in the world.

It's hard to describe how massive this conference is and despite walking over 20,000 steps every day, I still did not manage to see all of it.

Through the bright sea of giant TV screens and the constant hum of camera-wielding drones, virtual reality, smart home technologies, and robotics shone out for me as the top technology trends that will soon be part of our normal lives.

Virtual reality or 'VR' isn't new, however expensive headsets and a lack of engaging content has kept it from becoming part of most people's lives – it has remained very much the domain of tech enthusiasts.


This year there were a couple of major advances showcased that could help to make virtual reality more mainstream in the future.

The first big change is the increasing mobility of virtual reality headsets.

Previously, these have needed to be attached by wires to a computer, or connected to your smartphone.

Several new headsets out this year have been built with mobile processors inside - meaning that you can instantly pick up and use a VR headset wherever you are, making them much for suitable for classrooms and training workshops.

The types of content available for VR are also increasing, with more educational and skills training experiences being built, helping to bring more quality content to this new virtual learning world.

The integration of virtual reality with 5G networks was the second major advance in this field on show.

Using the 5G connectivity I was able to seamlessly play a graphics-filled VR game with another player in a different location – all in real time, and without any lag.

The much higher speed and capacity of the 5G mobile network will also help to advance other new technologies like self-driving cars, remote health care, smart cities and connected devices, or the internet of things.

Talking about the internet of things or IoT - smart homes were the next major trend I noticed at CES.

Using artificial intelligence-powered voice assistants like Amazon Echo and Google home, household objects including showers, kettles, lights and window blinds were all able to be controlled remotely just by speaking to them.

There were lots of smart appliances including smart fridges that notify you when you are low on milk, and smart washing machines that give you the perfect and most economical wash every time.

My favourite however was a voice activated smart toilet that provided mood lighting, a heated seat, foot warmer and an advanced bidet and air dryer function.

IoT is incredibly powerful, but it can't solve everything - the smart ovens that I saw for instance can talk to your fridge, and offer advice with recipes, but they still won't fully clean themselves. This is where my third trend comes in: the emergence of personal robotics.

There were hundreds of different robotic solutions available which could do everything you could imagine - vacuuming your home, bringing you a beer from the fridge, playing table tennis with you, reading stories to your children and providing companionship and support for your elderly relatives.

Although many were still a bit clunky looking, the advances in facial and object recognition which allow robots to identify things around them was both amazing and a bit creepy at the same time.

There was a clear push towards consumers owning multiple robots around the house to help carry out daily tasks. I even saw a robot dog available for people who can't own the real thing.

In a show the size of CES, there are of course many more inventions and innovations that have the potential to really impact our lives – lots of these didn't come from the big manufacturers, but instead were hidden in the crowded tech start-up hall of the conference.

The level of interconnectivity and intelligence has the potential to make a huge difference in the way we go about our daily lives and I'm excited to see where these tech trends will take us in 2018.