In less than a week, Las Vegas will be filled to the brim with nearly every major tech company and the respective media (i.e., us). The 2012 Consumer Electronics Showcase is very nearly upon us, and that means we are gearing up to bring you all the latest releases and news straight from the conference floor.
But before it all begins, we here at Digital Trends have our own hopes and dreams (and fears) about the show.
What am I most anticipating from CES? Long lines, elbowing journalists, distracted businessmen rolling over my toes with their wheeled luggage, and roaming acres of spongy, fragrant fresh carpet.
Oh yeah, and awesome new technology. I expect Ultrabooks to be at the forefront of everyone’s mind this year, which is fortunate for a lot of notebook makers who have had the wind taken right out of them by the buzz over smartphones and tablets. Some notebooks, like Lenovo’s new ThinkPad X1 Hybrid, will adopt technology from those mobile categories, which is another trend I think we’ll see. Tiny tablets and supersized smartphones have already started to blur lines in the mobile category, and laptops are the next logical product to throw in the blender, especially with Windows 8 ARM support on the way. I’m also excited to see real, commercial OLED TVs. We’ve been hearing about these things since I first attended CES back in 2007, and it’s about time I can finally go out and buy one. Well, not me but… you know. Rich people. –Nick Mokey, Associate Editor
I am most looking forward to seeing Justin Bieber introducing TOSY Robotics’ new line. What connection Bieber has with a Vietnamese robotics company is a bit unclear, but perhaps they are introducing a Bieber-bot that will begin the first wave of the robot revolution. I always knew Bieber would be the downfall of humanity, but I for one, welcome our new robotic overlords.
I am also excited to see more gesture-based controls for computers. I demand Minority Report-like controls for my PC so I can look incredible cool and forceful while sorting through my pictures and music files. I’m also hoping for new innovations in battery life for mobile devices. It’s great that one day I may have the technology to carve my initials into the moon with my smartphone, but if I can’t even turn it on for more than 10 minutes without it dying, the value drops a bit.
I am also hoping for at least one product to shock us. The last few years have been more of the same stuff–impressive, but not unexpected. I just want at least one “you have to see this!” product.—Ryan Fleming, Associate Editor
Since this will be my first go at CES, I predict an eclectic mix of frantic speed-walking, map-checking, WiFi-searching, laptop-cursing and, if I’m lucky, the occasional lunch-eating; all followed by a proportionate amount of beverage-imbibing.
I also expect the latest TV offerings to be more internet friendly than ever before. Perhaps even built-in NAS (network attached storage) devices? Hey, a man can hope, right? And how about “glasses-free 3D TV”? If 3D is ever to pick up in the consumer home, glasses-free technology will probably be what gets it there.—Caleb Denison, Staff Writer
This will be my second year at CES and while I’m looking forward to being a part of the show, I know that it will come along with long lines, walking for miles, a sore shoulder, and not much sleep. As for everyone in the media, those things are just a given.
Just like last year, I expect to see a flood of 3D TVs (a trend I’m still not on board with) at CES, but I’ll skip those in favor of checking out the serious small tablet competition and new micro four-thirds cameras. As far as lifestlye innovation goes, I’m excited to check out the offerings for integrating technology into the home, because who doesn’t dream of having a technology-smart living space? I’m also looking forward to seeing lifestyle products that are focused on using less energy and more environmentally-friendly materials. –Kelly Montgomery, Staff Writer
First, I’m anticipating that initial feeling of being equal parts overwhelmed and lost. After I’ve recovered, I’m going to make a beeline for the cameras. There are some rumored surprises in store from big names Fujifilm and Canon, but I’m not ruling anything else out quite yet either. Polaroid surprised us all with some flashy new, innovative products last year, some of which erred on the conceptual side. Which is exactly what I personally want to see.
While digital cameras that I can actually test and use in the coming year are exciting, I really want to get a peek at what manufacturers are looking at for the future of digital photography. It seems like more than ever we’re at a crossroads in this industry, and a little glimpse down the road is what I’m most hoping to get from CES. —Molly McHugh, Staff Writer
Seeing as this will be my first very first CES, I’m really excited to take in everything the show has to offer. While I can’t speak from experience, I imagine most trade shows generally have a company show up with a product that nobody was really expecting to see or get blown away by, but do, and I definitely want to keep my eyes peel for what I’m going to call my ‘digital unicorn’ — a truly unique technology, product, or device that just blows me away. I’m also really looking forward to seeing what advancements in audio and video technology companies are looking to explore, and given that smart device connectivity is starting to be pushed more and more into new autos, I’m intrigued to see how companies are looking to implement such technology in upcoming car models this year and beyond. —Amir Iliaifar, Editorial Assistant
As this is my first year as a dedicated, honest to goodness tech journalist, 2012 offers my foray into the frenzied world of CES. I have a good idea about what to expect — heaping piles of sleek Ultrabooks, tiny tablets, over-sized smartphones, and giant televisions I can never afford — but what most excites me is the unknown, the unexpected. My imagination runs wild with images of mind-blowing augmented reality glasses, thought-controlled toy helicopters and dexterous robot butlers. I salivate at the idea of finding that one staggeringly innovative gizmo, at a booth tucked into a low-trafficked corner of the Las Vegas Convention Center, that changes what I think about the future of technology. All the big releases will have their spotlight, as they should. But what I look forward to the most is surprise. That, and a robot butler. —Andrew Couts, Staff Writer
CES is the place where we learn which trends the tech world is latching onto and which ones it’s ignoring. Last year, it felt like everything was either a tablet or 3D. This year, it’s looking like Ultrabooks will be joining better 3D TVs and fancier tablets, but I’m really looking forward to seeing companies that are trying to solve some issues. There are some cool new types of displays coming and I’d love to see products that take advantage of Android 4.0’s ability to switch between tablet and smartphone resolutions. Maybe a Motorola lapdock that actually works? With tablets, smartphones, and PCs in the mix, I’m looking for ways for them to connect so that I don’t need three completely separate devices. The Asus Transformer Prime was a good start and also addresses what might be the biggest issue facing all of these new dual-core and quad-core devices: battery life. Whatever company can give a tablet the battery life of a Kindle will have my vote. Or, at the very least, can we get a few smartphones that have LTE and top-notch specs, but don’t need recharging twice a day? My Galaxy Nexus is nice, but it’s almost tethered to the wall.—Jeffrey Van Camp, Staff Writer