The 2012 International Consumer Electronics (CES) show is opened yesterday in Las Vegas, and this year's extravaganza, as in previous years, could give us a sense of what's going to be hot and what's not for the new year.
To cut to the chase, one of the most-watched items in this year's lineup is the Ultrabook.
The super-thin laptops, being offered by such manufacturers as Samsung, Lenovo, Dell, and HP, are seen in some quarters as the next evolution in small, lightweight computing products, following on previous waves of netbooks and tablets.The Ultrabook spec was dreamed up by Intel, which is so eager to get a bigger foothold in mobile that it is trying to invent its own category -- laptops that are generally under three pounds, very thin, with fast boot-up times. Unlike netbooks, Ultrabooks are powerful and pricey, with most expected to be about $1000, give or take. Unlike both tablets and netbooks, they are powerful productivity tools. The key question, which CES may partially answer, is whether they can catch hold.
Wearable computers have been a trend that's been "just around the corner" for a couple of decades now, but this year's CES may actually see a critical mass of useful examples. For instance, there's BodyMedia's Armband, which reads 5,000 points of data from one's body -- assumedly so one can find 5,000 more health-related things to worry about.
Net-connected TVs are rapidly becoming a standard feature, but increasing levels of on-board intelligence and related features are expected to be on display in Las Vegas. New Android-powered sets are expected from Google, Samsung, Broadcom and others.
Probably not big news to anyone in Europe isNokia's Windows Phone, which gets it's first State's side taste of the Finish manufacturers plans. The buzz is whether or not it will still be here next year?
Also on the horizon are plenty of Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich" products, and "lots and lots of things that move video and data to and from the cloud , and around your home."
Lastly, other key releases at this year's show include devices that can work with LTE 4G high-speed wireless transmissions, tablets and other mobile products with quad-core processors from Nvidia.