CES 2017 is sure to be a time of gadgetry and new revelations, as numerous tech companies, both major and minor, are set to unveil new items. Samsung has promised to reveal “the future of audio” at the event, while even the aging automotive industry has some contributions to make this time around.
Wall Street will be watching tech stocks closely next week, as analysts expect CES 2017 to cause volatility in some names because the event has in past years.
Samsung promised “the future of audio” at CES 2017
Samsung has a lot to lose in 2017, as it needs to make things up to those who purchased an exploding (or even just recalled) Galaxy Note 7. The Korean tech giant has promised to show off what it calls Ultra-High Quality Sound, a technology designed to upscale audio. Samsung advertises the technology a converting audio signals that are between 8 bits and 24 bits into 32-big signals. The company says the benefit from doing this is incredible clarity in the music, although whether or not the average listener will even notice a difference is debatable.
The company is also expected to show off its H7 wireless speakers, a sleeker addition to its lineup, and its Distortion Canceling algorithm, which is said to be able to intelligently predict movements within a woofer and then stabilize the sound by controlling the sound waves.
Self-driving cars at CES 2017
The automotive industry stayed pretty much the same for many decades, but self-driving technology stands to make sweeping changes in the future of the industry. CES 2017 is expected to bring the newest in technology for vehicles, including tech related to autonomous driving.
One legacy automaker that’s expected to participate in CES 2017 is Ford, which is expected to show off the concept for its next Fusion Hybrid self-driving car. The automaker teased the concept ahead of the show in a video. Although we don’t know much about the next Fusion Hybrid, we do know that the autonomous car will feature redesigned electrical controls and a pair of 360-degree LiDAR sensors.
Honda also said it will have some things to show off at CES, including concept vehicles related to urban mobility, robotics and artificial intelligence. The Japanese automaker plans to show off its NeuV concept vehicle, which will look much like a box coasting down the road. Honda’s press conference is set for Jan. 5.
Tesla, which has long been making headlines for its self-driving technology, doesn’t usually participate in CES, but this year it is planning an invite-only investor event on Jan. 4, ahead of the conference, at its Reno, Nevada Gigafactory. Although Tesla itself won’t be participating in CES 2017, its supplier NVIDIA will be giving a keynote speech at the event. Of note, the chip maker won a contract to supply chips for the automaker’s future self-driving systems.
Former Tesla supplier Mobileye is also expected to make a key announcement at the event, possibly related to a partnership with Volkswagen.
CES usually roils tech stocks
The annual Consumer Electronics Show is notorious for rocking some tech names as investors consider the impacts from anything the companies themselves or their competitors reveal. Goldman Sachs analyst Katherine Fogertey said in a Dec. 28 research note that volatility is rife among the stocks of companies that attend CES. In fact, she said that just having a presence there can be a catalyst for some stocks. In particular, BlackBerry has been volatile around CES, with shares moving 9% around the event over the past five years. Other names that have seen action around the annual conference are Micron Technology, with a 7% average move over the last five years, Alibaba, with a 7% move on average, and Ford, with an average 4% move.
The Goldman analyst feels that the options market in particular is failing to capture the potential for volatility around CES For example, she explained in her note that NVIDIA stock has moved up or down 7% over CES since 2006. In this year’s keynote, the chip maker is expected to talk about products for artificial intelligence, autonomous driving and gaming. Fogertey suggested buying NVIDIA March calls to capture both the Consumer Electronics Show and the company’s next earnings report in February.
CES 2017 runs from Jan. 5 to 8 in Las Vegas. Jan. 3 and 4 are press days, so we could see some unveilings on those days as well.