The annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is the world’s biggest gadget-fest, providing a pipeline view of major technology trends and a heads-up on what products you can expect to see in stores in the coming year. Here’s our selection of the 2010 standouts.
1. 3D TVs
The product of the show – no question – and no lack of content will stop them from coming. Of real interest is whether 3D will succeed through gaming rather than movies and sport, and only time will tell on this count.
2. Panasonic 3D camera
There’s no real point in having 3D television without something to capture it with. The 3D camera may look a little like Wall-E, but it does the job… for around $US20,000.
3. Skype on TV
So you thought you had to huddle around your PC to conduct a group Skype video call – think again. LG and Panasonic have come to the party with new TVs that integrate an additional USB camera and four-way microphone to allow for Skype-from-the-couch.
4. Quad Pixel
Sharp has added a fourth colour to the traditional RGB video spectrum, with the new yellow pixel introduced at CES increasing the number of colours in the company’s LED televisions from one million to one billion. The company also introduced a new dimension to television, with a 68 inch version of its new LE920 Aquos series.
5. Sony Dash
Specifically named for the hectic nature of its target market, Dash is a photo frame with the functionality of a wireless internet device. Check your social networking, email, news headlines, weather and interact with music and video in the one device.
6. Wireless home theatre
Most of the major companies displayed the latest in DLNA technology and other wireless technologies. This is improving wireless home theatre systems and the transfer of information between PC and AV devices.
7. Cell TV
Toshiba came to CES with one product – the Cell TV. This uses the chip technology co-developed with Sony that features in the PS3, with the television promising to upconvert all 2D images to 3D.
Beating Apple to the punch, a number of companies – including Samsung and iRiver – released readers with reading, writing and MP3 functionality. These take advantage of inbuilt memory and upgradeable SD card slots.
Now available in 64GB and potentially 2TB capacities, this new format of SD card is so good that Sony has loosened its ban on the format and integrating it into its products.
10. 3D Blu-ray players
The most crucial part of the next generation home theatre will be the 3D Blu-ray player. This will need to be purchased from major suppliers alongside a 3D panel and an HDMI 1.4 connection. As for the television networks, we’ll all have to wait for them to contemplate how to broadcast in 3D.