Tech's biggest trade show, the Consumer Electronics Show, is just a month away (January 6 to 9, 2011 in Las Vegas). It's the industry event that lays out what new technologies will be the buzz of the year—or does it?
For example, last year 3-D technology for the home was big. Eleven months later, I don't know anyone watching Avatar in 3-D at home.
For what its worth, these are my predictions of what you can likely expect a month from now:
1. Tablets. Lots and lots of tablets. Android, Research in Motion (Blackberry), Windows 7, and maybe Chrome OS tablets. Tablets will be the big story of the show, specifically the emerging bare-knuckled battle of the operating systems. What platform will prevail? Apple should finally be getting some real competition for the iPad. The question is can the others catch up fast enough. With a new iPad 2 expected out by the end of February, it looks dicey.
2. Google TV. Or rather Google's big push for Google TV. Sony, Samsung, Vizio and Toshiba are just a few of the major television manufacturers promising to show Google TV enabled sets at CES. Standby for speculative stories on whether 2011 will go down in history as the year broadcast and cable television were finally dealt the death blow we've been expecting for sometime. If so, don't expect a quick death. There will be blood.
3. Accessorize, accessorize, accessorize. Forget the new marquis technologies. As always, some of the best of CES will be the wide array of gadgets designed to enhance what we already have. Look for new and better audio equipment (speaker systems, ear buds, etc.), 3-D gear like glasses that work for all 3-D formats, and even an iPod docking station by Pico to project your favorite videos in HDTV on the nearest white wall of your convenience.
4. Green gadgets. The question for some new products won't be what it does. Rather, how it does it what it's supposed to using a smaller carbon footprint. Green technology is only getting bigger. Expect it to be gi-normous in 2011.
5. Faster, lighter, stronger. Whether it's a new line of laptops from Toshiba or a digital camera from Kodak that can withstand a three-meter drop in the drink (and even Polaroid); the watch words will be faster, rugged, and lighter (but not necassirally smaller). Yeah, yeah, this is always popular fodder for bragging rights. But now more than ever, it's important. It's all about computing on the mobile web. That means devices need to be as portable and as hearty as possible for use in multiple environments while on the go.
6. Devices for location-based services. Here's just one example: GPS-embedded ski goggles that not only feature a beacon for the saint bernard with the brandy barrel to find you, but also will calculate your downhill speeds, distance traveled, and even the temperature.
Oh yeah, also watch for more e-readers (color will the be the word of the week on this one).