As in every year, the IT world wakes up with the start of CES, the consumer electronics show held in Las Vegas every year. Here current trends are strengthen and future trends are shaped. Depending on customer's reaction to the new products, prototypes and concepts presented here all manufacturers decide to follow those trends or not as after all why bring to market a cool new product and never sell it because people don't want the new thing.
This year's CES was no different and I think I've spotted a few trends that will mature and set off this year thanks to the overwhelming number of news and products about those new niches. So in this article I'll try and sketch the things you should watch this year if you're into gadgets like I am.
First there's the touch screen tablet trend. Tablet PCs are not necessarily a new thing but slate tablets (tablet computers without a physical keyboard) are and CES 2010 was full of prototypes, concepts and rumors about them. Some of them were completely mobile, Sony had also a version with a laptop computer stand like mounting system that made it possible to be used in an office. The number of new tables was seconded by the variations of Operating Systems ranging from Windows 7 to Linux and Android OS to custom versions and hardware platforms like Atom, Core 2 Duo and ARM. Everyone is interested in tablets so now all we have to do is wait for prices to drop and multiple choices to hit shelves.
Avatar, the movie, showed that 3D cinema is the future, and what better future can you imagine than having this technology in your own home. TV sets manufacturers have seen this opportunity and presented during CES a few models of LCD TVs bundled with special 3D Glasses that can be used to get the same feeling of immersion into the screenplay as you do in an IMAX cinema. The technology is not expected to mature this year but it will go up as a trend and is estimated to become mainstream in a few years from now.
Amazon showed with Kindle that people are still into reading but during CES a lot of other brands saw the eBook trend as the future and launched a lot of eReaders ranging from normal eInk models to dual screen ebooks, tablets with ebook mode for their display and even color eBook readers. It remains to be seen how those manufacturers plan to distribute ebooks , as the Kindle model worked out very well for Amazon.
Do you know other trends you've spotted during CES 2010? If so let me know so that I can update this article.