When it rains, it pours. And on the first day of CES 2018, the monstrous gadget expo that drew an astounding 184,000 people to Las Vegas this year, it rained. Hard. Traffic snarled, Google’s parking lot tent at the Las Vegas Convention Center flooded, drones were grounded, autonomous cars sat parked.
The next day, a power outage plunged the entire show floor into darkness.
It would be fair to say that CES 2018 gave us plenty of ominous reasons to remember it, but fortunately for us, there also were plenty of fun things to see when the lights were on. From the usual spate of wall-sized TVs to servile robots, crazy-fast PCs, and new VR headsets, all the usual culprits were in attendance. But we set out to find the best of the best for our annual Top Tech of CES awards.
Digital Trends section editors trudged through downpours, waded through darkness, and choked down gallons of press room coffee to uncover the tech that will define 2018. We discovered a tech world on the precipice of tilting into a new era of autonomous cars, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and connected everything. As those fledgling technologies mature, there’s also plenty of exciting news from established categories, including some of the most promising computers we’ve ever seen, cameras that let anybody shoot like a pro, and new phone sensors that will make the next generation even sleeker.
Here’s what we found!