The largest consumer tech trade show in the world pops off today in Las Vegas, and what better way to prepare for the big week than with a rousing episode of Hashtag Trending.

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With the launch of Google Home and Amazon Alexa Echo devices in Canada in 2017, those of us in North America are officially living in a smart assistant device powered world, and that’s only going to continue at CES 2018 this week. Expect everything ranging from smart home devices like locks, fridges, and lights to TVs and stereos to come equipped with either Alexa or Google Assistant. Samsung is also expected to put its own smart assistant, Bixby, in all of its new TVs and home appliances as well.

Every year at CES automakers showcase their cool new concept cars with all sorts of technological innovations, and 2018 will be no different with Ford even having its own press conference on stage Tuesday morning. Expect to see all types of electronic smart cars – autonomous and human controlled – in all shapes and sizes from nearly every major car manufacturer. And this may extend to air travel, with Uber late last year announcing its new helicopter drone ride service.

Lastly we have augmented reality taking the stage front and center. Nearly every premium smartphone manufacturer made an effort in 2017 to showcase new AR capabilities, with a significant portion of Apple’s iOS 11 presentation revolving around its new ARKit. In the mainstream AR is looking at a big 2018 with the follow-up to Pokemon Go in a new Harry Potter game expected to take the world by storm, so expect businesses of all kinds to take advantage of new AR ideas is the technology becomes even more popular.

That’s what’s trending today. Hashtag Trending is produced by IT World Canada. Today’s episode is brought to you by SAS, the world leader in advanced analytics and Official Analytics Partner of the Canadian Olympic Team.