2010 CES Preview and Technology Trends

ces-2010

Hoping to start the year off right and get the jump on 2010’s hottest technology trends? Then look no further: This year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) – the annual high-tech tradeshow that’s chock full of gadgets and technological innovations – will showcase a rather impressive number of tends we can expect to see more of in coming months from personal to automotive to hosted services. It will highlight what will likely be the fight that will define at least the first half of the year between the rumored iSlate from Apple and the massive number of Google Android devices that will populate the show. And, as an added bonus, this year’s CES will also preview the beginning of the biggest change to TV since color graphics – specifically, the introduction of 3D viewing. Let’s chat about some of the major trends we are likely to see coming out of CES and what they may mean for you in the next 12-24 months.

eReaders Everywhere

There are a lot of eBook readers launching at CES. Most are using a variant of e-Paper and are wirelessly connected. 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. Prices aren’t moving much either, with smaller eReaders that aren’t 3G connected starting at around $200 and larger products that are 3G connected still in the sub-$500 range. I expect these prices to drop across the board by year-end 2010.

apple-tabletTablet PCs and Smartboo** ‘R Us

One of the big battles in 2010 will be between the rumored iSlate from Apple (although it’s still not clear if this is a real name or just one of the typical red herrings Apple leaks to keep us off the scent) and the massive number of Android-based Tablets launched at CES. What is interesting is that it looks like most of the Android products have sub-7” displays while the rumored Apple tablet has a 10” display, putting it clearly in the netbook-size category and running it up against eBook readers as a potential alternative.

These appear to mostly fall into the sub-$500 class though the Apple tablet is rumored to be much more expensive, which also could be a problem or more false information. It will be interesting to watch people make the tradeoffs between tablets (which can handle multimedia more successfully and provide a better Web experience than eBook readers) and eReaders (which will have better battery life and be vastly easier to read, particularly in daylight) conditions. There will be a number of tablets with keyboards as well.

We used to call these keyboard-equipped options Smartbooks, but the company that thinks it owns the name in Germany keeps threatening to whack our wiener schnitzels if we didn’t stop. Since that sounds rather painful, we’ll try to keep from doing that more than 10 or 20 times in a given piece. (Interestingly, Smartbook AG – the folks trying to protect the name – did bring out a $3,000 netbook, and doesn’t actually build Smartbooks.) Anyhow, we expect this pricey netbook will sell like used Pampers, as with it you pretty much get a bottle of expensive champagne and the right to buy your girlfriend an “I’m with Stupid” T-Shirt.

google_android_nexus_one_htc_passion_smartphoneSmartphones and OLED Displays

Google’s smartphone, the Nexus One, could be the product of CES much like the iPhone owned the show two years ago and the Palm Pre owned the show last year. (Yes, ironically, the iPhone wasn’t actually at CES, but it took it nevertheless.) Underground reviews have indicated that it outperforms both the iPhone and the Motorola Droid, which has been the hot ticket in the fourth quarter and used heavily in the battle between AT&T and Verizon. This phone will open the door for OLED Smartphones with increasing focus on graphics potential for the next generation of devices. I have a feeling that anyone who just bought a smartphone recently is going to wish that they’d waited.

It’s an ARM World

Speaking of all of these new amazing devices, it should be noted that they are powered by ARM and not x86 like the PCs that proceeded them. Companies like Qualcomm, Marvell, and NVIDIA are driving what appears to be a revolution of cool stuff from eBook readers to these new tablets and smartphones, and all use different variations of the ARM processor. Intel will be striking back with its Atom platform, but this is going to be a fight and ARM initially appears to have the high ground.

The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not reflect the beliefs of Digital Trends.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: camera with A.I. director, robot arm assistant

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Home Theater

OLED or LED? We pick the winner in the battle of competing TV tech

The acronyms OLED and LED sound and look very similar, but the two technologies are vastly different in terms of engineering, performance, and capabilities. Which technology wins when you pit OLED versus LED in a TV?
Wearables

10 top features you should be using on your Apple Watch

The Apple Watch can do more than just tell you the time, but you may not be aware of all the different functions it has. Our list of the 10 most often used functions and features will help you understand what it can really do.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Opinion

As Amazon turns up the volume on streaming, Spotify should shudder

Multiple players are all looking to capitalize on the popularity of streaming, but it has thus far proved nearly impossible to make a profit. Could major tech companies like Amazon be primed for a streaming take-over?
Gaming

Throw out the sandbox. ‘Red Dead Redemption 2’ is a fully realized western world

Despite featuring around 100 story missions, the real destination in Red Dead Redemption 2 is the journey you make for yourself in the Rockstar's open world, and the game is better for it.
Gaming

These are the best video games you shouldn't leave 2018 without

Developers showed up with a number of amazing games this year. Each capitalized on something unique but there's always one that outdoes them all. Here are our picks for the best video games of 2018 and game of the year.
Gaming

‘Diablo Immortal’ is just the beginning. Mobile games are the future

Diablo fans were furious about Diablo Immortal, but in truth, mobile games are the future. From Apple and Samsung to Bethesda and Blizzard, we’re seeing a new incentive for games that fit on your phone.
Movies & TV

He created comics, movies, and superheroes. But Stan Lee lived for joy

Stan Lee was a creator, a celebrity, an icon, and beneath it all, a real-life good guy with all the same human qualities that made his superheroes so relatable. And his greatest joy was sharing his creations with the world.
Music

Brian Eno sets out to change music (again) with Bloom: 10 World

We always felt that Bloom was a musical system that could be developed further -- it was as if we’d built a CD player and only ever released one CD. For this release, we’ve created ten new worlds, starting with a reimagined version of…
Computing

Can two operating systems coexist? The Pixel Slate thinks so

The Pixel Slate is a 2-in-1 device like no other. It’s not the most polished product we’ve ever used, but Google has laid the foundation for letting mobile and desktop software live side-by-side in peace.
Android

Why commercials in Android Auto could turn your dashboard into a dumpster fire

Google announced some tweaks to the Android Auto experience, focused on making messaging and media easier, but I worry about the future of the platform. For better or worse, there’s a real chance our dashboards could turn into dumpster…
Home Theater

Will Marvel’s shows lose their punch if they move from Netflix to Disney Plus?

Disney could pick up the Marvel shows being canceled by Netflix, but the idea raises all sorts of questions. Is continuing Daredevil, Punisher, or Jessica Jones on Disney's own streaming service a good move?
Gaming

‘Far Cry: New Dawn’ is a fresh, post-apocalyptic spin on a stale formula

Digital Trends visited Ubisoft's Montreal studio for an in-depth demo of 'Far Cry: New Dawn', the 'Far Cry 5' follow-up that's aiming to serve as both a sequel and standalone adventure in the sandbox series.
1 of 2