The annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the biggest technology exhibit in the world, will celebrate its 50th anniversary this year and it’s become a closely watched indicator of where the tech sector is headed.

CES — which formerly kicks off tomorrow — attracts an increasing number of start-ups. One of these, Faraday Future — founded just two years ago — will unveil the fastest ever fully electric car at this year’s event.

Other tech on display at CES 2017 includes a fridge you can ask to order your groceries, a new water-resistant Samsung Galaxy phone and a levitating sound speaker.

Verdict took a look at the biggest trends to watch out for at the Las Vegas expo this year.

Autonomous vehicles

The Fiat Chrysler Portal, a semi-autonomous, electric car will be on display at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), taking place from tomorrow until Sunday 8 January 2017 at the Las Vegas Convention Centre in Nevada.

Autonomous vehicles — sometimes referred to as driverless cars — will feature heavily at CES 2017. Delphi Automotive, one of many car electronics suppliers at this year’s event, will offer attendees the chance to jump in the front seat and try out Audi’s driverless cars.

Industry heavyweights like Ford will will debut their sleek next-generation Fusion Hybrid autonomous vehicles featuring three cameras mounted on two rooftop racks, while Fiat Chrysler will showcase its battery-electric concept car capable of semi-autonomy.

Autoliv, the global leader in automotive safety systems will demonstrate its various new breakthroughs, including a brand new highly sophisticated GPS system for autonomous vehicles, complete with radar and night vision capabilities.

Virtual Reality (VR)

The buzzword in tech circles, new headsets and virtual reality gadgets will be everywhere at this year’s event. There will be 71 VR exhibitors at CES 2017, up 48 percent from last year. Qualcomm, the US-based  telecommunications equipment company will have a demo space allowing attendees to experience a Power Rangers themed VR experience based on the upcoming film.

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Other more unusual VR launches, include a pair of shoes created by Japanese tech company Cerevo where wearers feel different textures under their feet.

Vayyar, an Israeli startup, will showcase its sophisticated 3D sensor technology to see through solid structures like walls and everyday objects, including smartphones.

Drones

Attendees at this year’s CES will see how highly sophisticated camera chips developed by Japanese tech company Ambrella allow drones to capture high quality video footage, even in difficult outdoor conditions.

US startup Alarm.com will showcase how drones can be used for security purposes, monitoring homes for suspicious activity. Not only do the flying cameras pick up sudden noises and unexpected movements, they also send a video of the disturbance directly to the user’s smartphone.

What is CES?

The annual Las Vegas show, organised by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), runs for four days, showcasing the latest gadgets from high-tech wearables to unmanned drones. Last year alone, the show attracted representatives from 81 per cent of the world’s countries, including an estimated 68,331 company executives and 200 government officials.

This year, 177,000 people are expected to attend the CES at a venue which boasts over 1m square feet of floor space.

Since its launch in 1967, tech giants including Samsung, LG and Dell have chosen to unveil their new products at the trade show. Major electronic commerce companies like Amazon and global online streaming services like Netflix are also annual attendees.