As this year’s Consumer Electronics Show comes to an end, consumers and critics alike are weighing in on the event, noting the various trends and showstoppers, as well as the products that could land under our Christmas trees in 11 months.
Benzinga spoke to Fox Business reporter Shibani Joshi this morning to get her take on the matter.
“We come here every year to scope out the newest hopefuls, the big scenes, and the ideas that will guide technology possibly for decades to come,” she said. This year, Joshi said that there are four key trends ruling the show.
(1) The Connected Living Room
Joshi said that while the idea of the connected living room has long been the promise of content creators, Internet companies, cable service providers and hardware makers, CES 2011 showed that the dream may finally becoming a reality.
“What we’re seeing is this category is getting some real presence, some real traction, and a lot of deal-making going on here,” she said. “Reed Hastings, the chairman and CEO of Netflix, is one of the keynotes here, and that is really reflective of the importance of the seam of the digital connected home. When you have a big content distributor like Netflix kicking things off here, it really sets the tone for what’s important.”
Everyone, Joshi said, is talking about Apple TV. Google TV has a big presence at the show as well, along with Intel and Logitech. “They have big booths here, and I’ve been to see all of their products, and they’re really putting their best foot forward,” Joshi said, noting that each company wants to be the first to deliver the best connected living room products, because they believe that the one who gets their first – and does it right – will be the winner in the long-term.
The second trend is an awfully familiar one: smartphones. The difference this year, Joshi says, is that the phones are being fired up with impressive computing capabilities. They boast quicker processors, download apps faster, and support 4G.
Smartphone makers are also carefully watching the operating systems, whether it’s Windows Phone 7 or Google Android, to see which one is adopted and which one consumers prefer.
(3) Television Sets
TVs are once again a big hit at CES, but this year, 3D is no longer the big push. “Samsung, Panasonic, Sharp [and other TV manufacturers] are boasting about 3D capabilities [but really] focus on TVs that can do all kinds of things,” Joshi said. “HD, very big, very thin, can do 3D.”
(4) Tablets Take Over The World
“We have tablets everywhere,” Joshi said. “iPad put the tablets on the map. Now everyone’s trying to compete and put out the new and the next iPad killer.”
Joshi said that almost every computer manufacturer has unveiled some kind of iPad killer.
“I’ve seen 20 of them myself,” she said. “One of them that I really liked is the one from Research in Motion, the PlayBook. I had a chance to play with it at CES and was really impressed. It competes head-on with the iPad with features the iPad is missing. It’s got a front and a rear-facing camera. It can take video and still images. It can run flash cards.
“And it has this unique synching ability, so basically everything you have on your BlackBerry gets wirelessly synched up to the PlayBook so that you have everything that you have on your BlackBerry on your tablet, and vice versa. That connectivity, that seamlessness, is something that’s going to be a growing trend and BlackBerry is picking up on that right now.”
— Louis Bedigian