Five key trends to watch out for at CES 2012

    Fresh off the back of the quiet holiday period, the tech industry is about to have one of its busiest weeks of the year. The Consumer Electronics Show 2012 is about to kick off on Tuesday, but not everyone can wait. We’ve already seen a number of pre-CES announcements from companies looking to avoid getting lost in the noise of announcements this week.

    So it’s time to take a second and take a look at what to expect for this year.

    ICS on tablet

    1. Tablets
    The iPad kicked off serious demand for tablets a couple of years ago, but in 2012 the marketplace is going to look very different. Android 4.0 is finally a viable competitor to iOS and Windows8 is also due out this year. Expect a LOT of tablets to be announced, hopefully some of them actually innovate, rather than continue to play copy cat. History tells us, that’s not a winning formula.

    LG 4K CES 2012

    2. HDTVs
    OLED and 4k are the new hot topics in the TV market now that every manufacturer has checked the 3D box. The price of both, are still likely to be out of reach for everyday consumers, but the rich may actually be able to buy one before the end of 2012. Now if only someone could come up with a way of getting a 84” display through the front door, that’d be innovation. Foldable displays anyone ?

    Internet connected TV’s will play a massive part of this year’s offerings. Once the domain of premium HDTVs, IP-connected televisions will become a standard feature. An announcement from Google last week that Google TV will run on the ARM architecture rather than Intel’s Atom is a great indication of where things are heading.

    While Yahoo widgets were once the most widely used television platform, Google TV embedded into TV’s looks set to take over that title. Of course they’ll have still competition from manufacturers that roll their own software like LG and Samsung.

    Windows 8

    3. Windows 8
    With a beta release of Windows 8 due in mid-late February and all these tablets floating around, it’s unlikely Microsoft are going to be able to keep quiet on Win8. They have however been burnt on-stage before with announcing tablets that never actually shipped, so they may be a little shy about singing its praises too loudly.

    Don’t expect Microsoft to divulge any game changing announcements on the platform, they’ll likely hold that off for an event in Feb to coincide with the beta release.

    What would be awesome to see is Microsoft go head to head with Google TV, announcing that TV’s will be able to run Windows8, unlikely, but we can dream.

    Car Tech at CES

    4. Car Tech
    Last year’s CES featured a number of announcements from Auto manufacturers like Ford and Telsa who’s vehicles rely heavily on technology. Expect Car Tech to be a strong trend again at this year’s CES. As a lover of cars and technology, this is two fantastic worlds colliding to benefit consumers.


    5. Ultrabooks
    Laptops that are thin and light, run and SSD, low-voltage CPU and missing an optical drive are marketed under the Ultrabook banner. The 2nd generation Macbook Air threw down the challenge for a new generation of laptops, but on the Windows-side, it still hasn’t been beaten. While some like Acer, Asus and Samsung have tried, they still can’t match the features and hit the same price point. Fingers crossed we see someone innovate and not only match the Air, but actually make something better.

    What are you looking forward to the most at this year’s CES ? As always, we will be teased this week, but then have to wait months before seeing these products in the store.

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    This post is authored by techAU staffers. Used rarely and sparingly when the source decided to keep their identity secret, or a guest author who isn't seeking credit.

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