Hyun-Suk Kim, president and chief executive officer of Samsung Electronics, speaking at CES this week. Photo by Bloomberg

LAS VEGAS—Predicting which technologies at CES—the giant consumer electronics show taking place here this week—will become part of our lives and when is always a crapshoot. 

Personal robots, 3D television sets and a long list of operating systems and devices that debuted at the show in past years all ended up flopping. If there is one technology that attendees at this year’s show regard as a sure bet, though, it is 5G, which promises to be more than just a mere generational change in wireless networking. It could well end up being the cornerstone upon which other consumer electronics—such as augmented reality and autonomous vehicles—build because of its promised speed and minimal networking delays.