It is the last day of CES and I am ramping up to finish off as many booth visits as possible. Here are the trends I am seeing, I will write up the specific products that relate to this in the next weeks. Check out CoolMomTech over the next few weeks for my coolest CES catches!
1. Gadgets are morphing into all in ones: PC's can stream data to and from personal devices (many in 1080p). Music can be streamed from your PC to a tablet to a music player to speakers with wireless adapters or new wireless features in devices. The process of syncing music between devices can be done wirelessly where syncing is automatic.
Smart TV's also joined the line-up, participating in the trend that will offer consumers a simplified way to access many channels of content from one device – such as Google TV with Sony and Logitech as well as new functionality being built into TV's to interact with other devices. This new technology will enable consumers to have access to content across devices, so content companies are trying to figure out how to enable this by creating new business models.
PC's are sliding, flipping and converging with tablets as new multi-touch technologies advance. There are also new features added to Bluetooth headsets and GPS systems that provide multiple functions in one.
2. 3D: While last year the 3D TV's were eye candy, I did not think it was ready for prime time. This year, I am a 3D believer. Three technologies made me excited about 3D above the basic "wow" effect of the beautiful images that 3D bring:
- First are the "passive" 3D TV's which means that they don't require a signal from glasses – and consumers can use regular 3D glasses that can be purchased for $30 instead of $150.00. The passive 3D technology includes some PC's that provided amazing 3D images. With a family of 5, $30.00 glasses lowers the barrier to entry to bring 3D entertainment in my house.
- Second are the new 3D enabled PC's, cameras and camcorders.
- Third are the new "Glasses Free" 3D devices.
But for those serious 3D'ers or Gamers – there are new 3D glasses that while they may be pricey – they will enable that fully immersive 3D experience. Each 3D TV manufacterer has their own 3D glasses that interact with the 3D tech on their TV's or PC's. But there are some sophisticated 3D glasses that also work with any TV (one is made by Monster Cable).
3. Accessories: I was thrilled to see more fashionable accessories and finally more with stands included for viewing content. Although the most fashionable accessories seems to be iPad,iPod, iPhone centric, I did some some great laptop, general tablet and computer bags – I would of preferred to have seen a whole line of tablet covers that are in different sizes, colors and patterns (with detachable straps). Because tablets are generally around the same size, I imagine I use some of the iPad cases for other tablets. But the models that secure the iPad in place and allow access to the ports would not work with other tablet models.
I also saw interesting docking stations, including some that added "keyboards" to smartphones and tablets.
4. Processing power and Operating Systems: The Intel 2nd generation Core processors are more energy-efficient, faster performance and have improved graphics that are integrated into the processor. The Intel WiDi wireless display technology allows streaming of media from a laptop to a Netgear Push2TV box then through HDMI to a display (such as a TV). While Netgear announced a new 3D HD Home wireless system, they also announced an updated Push2TV box (with HD added). I also saw another gadget that works with the WiDi: Logitech Wireless speaker adapter.
The new processors were in some great thin and light computers that made me think "I gotta have that – NOW!" (as I lugged my heavy cart with my current devices around CES).
Microsoft announced that the next version of Windows will support a system on a chip, a touch mouse and the next generation of Microsoft Surface.
5. Home Energy Management and smart devices: I am about to head to the home area of CES and will not have as much times as I would like to cover it – but I do know that Maytag, LG and Kenmore are using smart technologies in their home appliances that also are more energy efficient.. more to come. I also saw more home energy management systems and gadgets that not only automate the process but allow remote access.
4. Tablets, Tablets and more tablets. There were multiple new tablets at CES 2011. And while many were not as exciting as the iPad, I did see a good list of those that give the iPad a run for it's money with great interfaces and resolution that pops.
5. Apps and more apps. Many devices have related apps and there were also companies at CES that just had apps.
6. Retro: While I will mention specifics later – both Polaroid and Casio brought back their products with modern functionality that is very noteworthy.
7. Cars are getting smarter: There are new and exciting developments in car technology that provide seemless access to media and driving information. There are also new developments for energy management in Electric Cars (an area that is very exciting to me).. More to come..
8. eReaders: There are new features in current eReaders and new eReaders that are enabling a better overall interface and new functionality.
9. 4G: The new 4G enabled devices were not only interesting but made me want to buy one because the WiFi in the convention center was so bad. Next year I will have a 4G device with me on the floor. Maybe by that time I will have a super thin laptop that is 4G enabled? For now I can dream..
10. Celebrity obsessed gadget fans will be excited to know that entertainers such as 50 Cent, Lady Gaga and others came to discuss their consumer technology iniatives or new devices. Of course, I was too busy visiting booths to join in the celebrity fun (feeling very geeky as I type that).
11. Moms (and women) who tech were rockin CES: I was thrilled this year to meet up with fantastic mom and women tech bloggers that are rockin CES. This included some fantastic events such as breakfast hosted by Sarah Kimmel, The Clever Girls Collective and I (sponsored by SWAGG), blogger meetups, a dinner hosted by ChicaLogic, meetups with Logitech Executives and their CES team and the MommyTech at CES Summit which included a fashion show. More pictures to come.
13. Gaming – Talk of the Nintendo 3DS was buzzing as well as gaming on smartphones and advances in motion based gaming. Lots of fun gaming accessories were on display.
Off to sneak in as much of the show floor as possible before I head back to Silicon Valley and try to process all the exciting consumer electronics I have seen this week!
Disclosure: While Logitech sponsored my travel expenses to CES, I was under no obligation to cover other then what I was interested in. My words are my own. This is not a paid post.
Please excuse any rambling or typos – as many at CES I am sleep deprived and running on gadget bliss at the moment..