If you want a glimpse of the technology consumers will be seeing in 2016, pay attention to the news from CES, the enormous trade show taking place in Las Vegas next week. Consumer Reports will be heading out to the show, where we expect to see tons of new tablets, laptops, drones, robots, gaming peripherals, cameras, and other products. While all those categories will generate news, we think that the following trends are the ones that will matter most to consumers.

4K TVs with HDR, Plus More OLEDS

Next year, 4K UHD sets will dominate store shelves—and at CES 2016, TV makers are moving on to other ways to enhance their displays. Many will be focusing on high dynamic range, or HDR, technology, which boosts contrast and color accuracy to make the picture more vibrant. Technical standards for HDR have now been set, and that should lead to a big increase in the amount of HDR content available—until now, it's been severely restricted, showing up mainly in a few Amazon Prime shows. (Confusion alert: Video HDR is different from HDR in cameras, in which multiple images with different exposures are combined to create a single, richer-looking photo.) In related TV news, 4K Blu-ray players will launch at CES 2016, and you’ll start to hear a lot about Chinese brands that most Americans don’t know. Finally, we expect to see more OLED TVs, which should be good news for television lovers who failed to buy a plasma TV before that technology disappeared. The rich, deep black levels of plasma have been reborn in OLEDs, which now top our Ratings. However, right now only LG is selling these sets; at CES, we expect to see one or two more manufacturers join in. 

Virtual Reality, Now on Sale

Virtual reality headsets and games have been a hot, almost-here technology at CES for the past few years, with companies showing off prototypes or equipment meant for content developers. It was only in 2015 that the Google Cardboard and the Samsung Gear VR put this cutting edge technology in front of the eyes of everyday consumers. At CES 2016, virtual reality is taking over a sizeable corner of the Las Vegas Convention Center. And we expect to see real-people-ready versions of the Oculus Rift, Sony PlayStation VR (aka Project Morpheus), HTC Vive, and other headsets. The primary use for all this technology is gaming, but CES-goers will also see VR used in other applications. For instance, Lowe’s Holoroom, which is already in limited distribution at the company's home centers, lets customers design a room, then explore it in a VR environment. We also expect to see lots of 360-degree cameras for shooting VR content, along with demonstrations of how virtual reality can be used in education.

The Internet of Things You Wear

Fitness trackers are mainstream devices now, and smartwatches have moved from a niche category into solid early-adopter territory. But those are just two subsets in the wearable-tech world. At CES 2016, more than 40 companies will be showing off wearables that will range from jewelry to computerized sports clothing to headphones with bio-tracking features—along with devices for measuring blood pressure, sleep cycles, and other health data. Finally, smartwatches will continue to take on fitness tracking features, while some fitness trackers will edge closer to smartwatch territory. 

The Internet of Everything Else

Houses that track their owners are either super useful or deeply creepy, depending on your perspective. But many companies at CES are going all in on the concept. Among the many connected products at CES, we expect to see more voice-activated devices such as the Sengled Voice—a microphone-plus-speaker built into an LED bulb—and off-beat products such as the Somabar, an automated cocktail-mixing machine that can be controlled from a smartphone. And, of course, major appliance makers (LG, Samsung) will be showing off their own products. We'll also be watching the development of competing smart-home ecosystems—including Google’s Works with Nest, Apple’s HomeKit, Amazon’s Echo compatibles, and Samsung’s SmartThings.

CES: The First Car Show of 2016

The Detroit Auto Show takes place just a week after CES, but that doesn’t keep Toyota, Audi, Chevrolet, Daimler Benz and other automakers from showing up in Vegas armed with innovative technologies. The production version of the all-electric Chevy Bolt, which we reported on last year, is set to debut in Vegas—as will a concept vehicle from electric car startup Faraday Future, whose leadership ranks are filled with Tesla alumni. Autonomous parking and steps toward autonomous driving were big topics at CES in 2015. This year, Ford is reportedly going to provide details on a joint venture with Google to build self-driving vehicles. We should also see a new digital-mapping initiative from Toyota, an intro from Volkswagen that could be a new microbus, and advances in user interfaces such as BMW’s AirTouch gesture-control system.