Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2010 | 2:05 a.m.
Gadget lovers from across the globe will convene in Las Vegas this week for the Consumer Electronic Show, the world's largest technology expo.
The show is expected to bring more than 110,000 attendees and 2,500 exhibitors who will be showing off their latest and greatest innovations. Here's what tech writers and bloggers are saying about some of the buzz-worthy trends and products expected to hit this year's show floor.
• "There's some buzz around the emergence of 3D. I agree, it'll be big in 2010, but let's not forget that we were talking about 3D as one of the big trends at CES 2009. The difference this year is, of course, that many TV manufacturers are behind the idea, and we're going to see lots of new TVs, comfortable eyewear, and even some 3D Blu-ray content (and maybe players). So, sure, 3D is an important CES 2010 story, but it's no surprise," -- Lance Ulanoff, editor in chief for PCMag Digital Network.
• "Inflamed by the $150 million in marketing behind the new James Cameron epic 'Avatar,' 3D hoopla will be everywhere at CES. But what will we see in terms of actual product? More than one maker will likely announce a "3D TV" at the show this year, but what that actually means is unclear. I'm guessing they'll offer some kind of 2D to 3D upconversion system, to apply a 3D effect to existing sources, as well as compatibility with future 3D formats. In any event you shouldn't expect the same kinds of results you'll see when you sit down for "Avatar" in the theater, at least for a year or two." -- David Katzmaier, Senior editor for HDTV at CNET
• "The mobile market in 2010 will be a cage match. Palm's already scheduled another press conference — maybe this year they'll save the company — and with a bit of Apple-like flair, Google has announced a January 5 event that's expected to be for its Google Nexus One Android-based smartphone for T-Mobile. Moreover, Dell is rumored to be announcing something mobile — maybe an Android phone, maybe a tablet PC — at CES. And have we mentioned Google Chrome OS yet? Something tells me HTC's got something in the works. -- Andrew J. Nusca, associate editor for ZDNet
• "You can tell a lot about the future by studying the not-too-distant past. The megapixel war is officially over, as 8 to 10 megapixels has become the default resolution for even the lowest-end pocket cameras. Instead of racing to add resolution, camera makers will be rushing to capitalize on some of the big developments of the past year." -- PCWorld's Tim Moynihan on new camera trends for 2010.
• "I think most of us like the idea of using our laptop to broadcast whatever we're watching to our big-screen TV, whether it's Hulu, YouTube, or family videos. Why bother with an HDMI cable if you don't have to? At CES I expect at least three different approaches to compete, all attempting to cut that cord while delivering high-def video quality." -- LaptopMag's Mark Spoonauer on wireless TVs.
• "Though many are leaning more toward netbook-like clamshell machines, some companies see an even more lightweight and portable future for smartbooks as tablets. Freescale Semiconductor unveiled their reference design, a 7-inch touchscreen tablet designed to make smartbooks relevant to mainstream consumers. The tablet is designed to offer "all-day" battery life in conjunction with instant-on functionality and persistent connectivity, just like a smart phone." -- LaptopMag's K. T. Bradford on tablets expected to debut at CES.
• "TVs will continue to morph into living room-based computers in 2010. The industry calls the new generation of televisions "Smart TVs" or "Connected TVs," and they do things like download Netflix films, stream Pandora music, check e-mail and communicate with other electronic devices in the home. One spinoff trend to watch: Several new services, like Boxee, offer interfaces to help couch potatoes surf Internet video without having to jump from one TV network's Web site to another." –- CNN's John Sutter.
• Obviously tablets will be a big deal in 2010. Unfortunately, Apple will not be at CES but according to All Things Digital, Apple will announce a brand new product. Microsoft will not be announcing any tablet news, at least that is the rumor. The story stands that the Google - HTC camp will have tablet news." -- Ramon Nunez of Huffington Post
• "Other device makers plan to show tablets and touch-screen gadgets at CES, in the hopes of deflecting some attention from Apple's product, rumored to be called the iSlate. In a research note Monday, Steven Fox, an analyst at Calyon Securities, said CES "will be an interesting early test for the shares as competitors attempt to take advantage of Apple's typical CES absence by taking turns at the 'bully pulpit' with announcements around new products, etc." -- Andrew LaVallee, Wall Street Journal.
• "At last year's CES, we saw 3D displays from various companies, but they were mostly a novelty. This year, recent developments suggest that HDTV manufacturers are making a big 3D push. New 3D technologies, such as the upcoming HDMI 1.4 specification and the recently-approved Blu-ray 3D, are on the way. Both could help make 3D television more common." -- PCWorld staff on 3D TV.
• "3D televisions and video players will make the biggest splash. After trickling out for years, 3D televisions will be mass produced this year by companies such as LG. Hollywood's pushing things along by producing 3D versions of its major films, and the industry has agreed on a standard for discs that play movies in both 3D and high-def Blu-ray formats, avoiding another format war. Expect to see new combo players that Blu-ray, 3D and standard DVDs." -- Brier Dudley, Seattle Times.
• "Given the weak economy, netbooks are still hot sellers. So, it's no surprise that manufacturers are trying to milk the trend. In 2010, expect a wider variety of sizes in the low-budget-computer price range ($300 to $500)." -- Wired's GadgetLab staff.
• "There are a lot of eBook readers launching at CES. The more affordable models will have only Wi-Fi, while the more expensive products will add Kindle-like 3G connections. Expect faster page refreshes and the first color products to be showcased at the event as well, though the color products are likely to be more proof of concept than market-ready." -- Andrew J. Nusca, associate editor for ZDNet.