Ok, so we didn’t really drive, but we did attend this magnificent event! Each year in Las Vegas, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) draws about 140,000 people to a conference of geekdom unparalleled anywhere in the world. Bloggers, industry analysts, retail buyers, and journalists converge at the local convention center and numerous hotels. This year, we sent four of our QuiBids representatives to the conference to find the hottest products and to see what’s trending in 2011.
1. 4G is finally here
From the very first press conference, the main theme from the show emerged: your next smartphone or tablet will likely connect to a 4G network. We were able to test the new Dell Streak 7 tablet, which connected to a 4G signal at a mouth-watering 6Mbps – faster than many DSL connections. With that speed, video chats with colleagues stayed smooth and it took only 8 minutes to download an entire Hollywood movie. For business use, 4G on your smartphone or tablet means easier Internet back-ups, smooth video chats, and snappier Web viewing.
2. Tablets will be everywhere
Apple has sold 7.5 million iPads since its original debut. Yet, instead of just admitting defeat in the tablet market, several companies – including HTC, Motorola, and Samsung – announced new models, some that connect to 4G service. At CES last year, many companies announced or released an e-reader, but it was more of a groundswell uprising against the Amazon Kindle. This year, the industry switched to tablets and it seems as though every other booth had one on display. One interesting model to watch: Illuminus will release their T9 tablet this quarter that connects to an HDTV over a Wi-Fi signal in just a few steps.
3. 3-D TV is Booming
Big-budget 3D movies like Avatar are great the first few viewings but wear thin eventually. Consumer electronics giants like Sony really want you to buy a 3DTV, even if you already own an HDTV, but the content is slim. The answer: the company announced a consumer camcorder called the 3D HandyCam HDR-TD10, available this April, that shoots video in 3D and costs only about $1500.
A major 3-D TV product release at CES was Toshiba’s glasses-free 3-D technology and may turn out to be the winner in the race to develop 3-D technology that consumers will want to use. For those that prefer 3-D glasses, many brands developed designer 3-D glasses so that you can be a stylish couch potato.
4. Convergence and the Connected Home
Another major trend at CES this year was convergence and creating a connected home. Convergence was one of the overarching themes of the show this year, and leading the march to this converged new world were the connected televisions. After years of guesswork about how the growing catalogue of video content on the Web would make it to the small screen, this year, a union between the Internet and television finally took place and many expect this trend to grow beyond the convergence of TV and Internet. As televisions and tablets are becoming smarter and more connected, so too are our appliances. The theme of a connected, smart home made its debut this year, as exhibitors showed off technologies that would have consumers controlling their water and electric usage from a television or a tablet.
Overall… a great and very informative time! An event like this definitely makes our mouth water for these amazing products. We’ll be back next year!