CES 2012: Top New Technology Trends to Look For

on January 02 2012 6:33 AM
Attendees preview the latest gadgets in the South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center at the 2011 International CES.
Attendees preview the latest gadgets in the South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center at the 2011 International CES. CES

If you are yet to figure out how to use the new gadgets you've received this Christmas, hold your breath as another set of mind-blowing tech bonanzas await you next week. This year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is scheduled to be held in Las Vegas from Jan. 10 to 13.

Reports say that CES 2012 will uncover ultra-thin TVs, lightweight computers and new gadgets that can control home lighting, energy and other systems via the Internet. And yes, there are more tablets waiting to sit on your palm.

The host Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) has conducted surveys suggesting that Americans were expecting to spend an average of $246 on electronic gifts this past holiday season, which is up 6 percent from the preceding year.

Let's have a look at the top up and coming technologies that are expected to set the show on fire.

Next Generation TVs and 3-D Without Glasses

According to reports, improved software, added apps and more-powerful processors will be on board with the next generation of connected TVs. The newer TV sets and set-top boxes could be managed by smartphones and tablets as remote controls and auxiliary displays as well, The Seattle Times reported.

The big-screen OLED TV sets with thicker and ultra sharp displays are also among the much-anticipated devices. LG is reportedly bringing a 55-inch OLED set, along with closer-to-reality sets such as an 84-inch 3-D Ultra Definition 4K TV set with a resolution four times that of the current high-definition sets.

The CES 2012 is also expected unveil more glasses-free 3-D sets. A company called MasterImage 3D plans to show off its glasses-free technology on 7-inch and 10-inch displays, CNET reported.

The show is also likely to reveal entertainment systems with voice and gesture control, something which is similar to Microsoft's Xbox Kinect sensor.

New Models of Ultrabooks

New models of Ultrabooks, the Windows PC industry's answer to Apple's MacBook Air, are reportedly set to debut at the show. The event will play host to the launch of as many as 30 to 50 new ultrabooks next week.

Despite the downbeat global economy and the fact there are already five ultrabooks (MacBook Air, Aspire S3, IdeaPad U300s, Portege Z830, and UX21 ultrabook) from leading manufacturers, Shawn DuBravac from the CEA informed PC Pro that new laptops are yet to come, The Verge reported.

Ice Cream Sandwich Tablets

Until now, no major hardware maker has released an Ice Cream Sandwich tablet, but this CES is expected to reveal a few of them. In December, Coby Electronics revealed five Android 4.0 tablets that are likely to make their Las Vegas debut.

The new ICS tablets will reportedly feature 1GHz Cortex A8 processor, 1GB of RAM, HDMI out and a microSD card reader. There would be five different displays -- 7-inch, 8-inch, 9-inch, 9.7-inch and 10-inch variants, Techcrunch reported.

Considering the internals, the ICS tablets from Coby don't seem to be the best Ice Cream Sandwich tablets at CES this year. We can definitely hope for other ICS tablets with enhanced set of internals from leading manufacturers. 

Smart Home

The CES 2012 will introduce enhanced energy management system in your home, using gadgets like thermostats that can be controlled remotely via browsers and smartphones. Broadband companies are also getting into the scene by selling home-automation bundles. In October last year, Verizon started offering a Motorola system for remotely monitoring energy and cameras in the home, which was previewed at the CES last year.

In addition, there will also be online fitness products and health-care systems and doorknobs that can be unlocked with a smartphone, The Seattle Times reported.

At CES next week, all these products will be showcased in a model home - the NextGen Energy Miser Home - created by Bellevue, Wash.-based marketing company iShowMedia.

Cameras That Aren't Smartphones

According to Harry McCracken of CNET, the CES 2012 will be the photography industry's big trade show and it will show off new models that would make us rethink what a digital camera should be like in 2012 and beyond. We do agree to that. Considering the fact that latest smartphones such as the iPhone 4S can take pictures that are almost of the same quality as those captured by standalone cameras, digital cameras need to pick up on both the image-quality and feature fronts to remain relevant.

Surprises from Microsoft

Microsoft is expected to announce a set of details regarding its new Windows Phones that include the new Nokia handsets and models that work with 4G LTE networks. The company is also expected to show off Windows 8 running on Ultrabooks, traditional PCs and new tablets.

Adding to the release date of the next test version of the operating system, Microsoft is also likely to reveal entertainment features added to Windows 8.  

However, CES 2012 will be the last edition of the show in which Microsoft will take part. Last month, the company said it was going to stop using CES for big announcements and will not provide any keynote speeches after this year's event.

The 2012 International CES will kick off with press events on Jan. 8. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will give the opening keynote presentation on Jan. 9.

The actual show will be from Jan. 10 to 13 at the Las Vegas and Venetian convention centers. However, some companies like Nintendo will be holding meetings in hotel suites across the city, reports said.

Exhibition Hours from Jan. 10-13:

Tuesday, Jan. 10: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Wednesday, Jan. 11: 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

Thursday, Jan. 12: 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 13: 9 a.m.-4 p.m.