CES 2009 predictions

The worlds biggest consumer electronics show CES 2009 is about to being next week (Jan 8-11 in the US, 9-12 Australian time). There’s a lot of rumours about what...

The worlds biggest consumer electronics show CES 2009 is about to being next week (Jan 8-11 in the US, 9-12 Australian time). There’s a lot of rumours about what will and won’t arrive this year, I thought it was time to make some predictions.

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HDTV’s
Kind of a no brainer, but this year will extend on last years trend of thinner, larger, cheaper and blacker.

3D, New emerging themes will be 3D technology with a number of manufacturers already claiming they have the world first 3D-enabled TV on the market, others are sure to follow.

RSS, Ethernet ports are sure to become widespread across many manufacturers. Allowing for firmware updates, news, weather and media all to be streamed to the TV over a wired connection. Samsung already offer this in their VERY expensive top-end models, let’s hope this finds its way down affordable TV’s.

Crazy, Quad-HD or 4x the quality of 1080p is sure to be hanging around, but ultimately these are many, many years to early and expensive to be practical any time soon. Sony may have larger OLED TV’s, but don’t expect you’ll be able to afford them without extending your mortgage.

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Netbooks
Clearly a hit in 2008, every manufacturer and his dog will have new skews on Notebooks in 2009, all vying for a piece of the low-cost market share. Expect skews in almost every colour of the rainbow, especially if these are to be the hot new accessory.

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Consoles
Don’t expect any news about the next generation gaming consoles from Nintendo, Sony or Microsoft. I think 2009 will simply be profit years for at least Nintendo and Microsoft, hopefully Sony can turn the corner with the PS3 and make it into the black as well. Announcing new consoles at this point would be very risky, even if they were 2 years away, some potential customers would hold off from buying current gen consoles.

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Mobile Phones
Expect a number of Android-based phones to be displayed at CES and be released in 2009. Also be sure Ballmer will make a big deal about Windows Mobile 7 during his keynote. Right now 8 megapixel cameras are the top of the market in phone cameras, let’s not go crazy getting to 10 and beyond and focus on better lens and image processor technology including auto-focus, stability assist and other features typically reserved for point and shoot cameras. My hope is we actually see mobile phone cameras become good enough for average consumers to do away with a dedicated camera.

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Home Media Streaming
Many will try all will fail. Don’t get me wrong I think individually a lot of companies are doing great work on the problem of getting content to our big screen TV’s, but don’t expect CES to fix the piecemeal fashion in which this is done. Microsoft’s Windows Media Center especially the Windows 7 version is almost there with even better codec support, but fails with the lack of iTunes support. Apple’s Apple TV (which will get a makeover at MacWorld) does their own content well, but forgets about the world outside their ecosystem.

USB3

USB 3 and Wireless HDMI
News online the last week suggests we’ll see the blazing speeds of USB 3 demonstrated at CES 09, but just how many devices supporting USB3 ready to ship will be the question. Wireless HDMI doesn’t interest me, I’m sure there’s going to be news about it, but for some reason I just don’t care.

What I’m really looking forward to is surprises, things that we never even knew were coming, but absolutely will fundamentally change the way we work and live. There’s every chance in the world this won’t happen, but one can dream 🙂

I’ll be covering CES next week (getting up early for Ballmer’s keynote) so make sure you have http://techAU.tv open while the show’s happening.

You may also want to follow 2009CES for direct updates via twitter.

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Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis.