This one of several special cross posts between Unplggd and WePC.com focusing on the topics and technologies leading up to the 2010 CES show. This week, we look at the hottest tech trend forming for 2010:
CES is really like any other large technology trade show: a lot of the "same" with just enough "new" to whet your appetite in anticipation every year. After years of attending the heydays of the spectacle which was once E3, or even more specialty niche trade shows like Siggraph, an annual attendee soon realizes these mega-exhibitor shows are a whole lot of style and not much substance (and they all seem to be attended by Olivia Munn and sports celebs who want the latest and greatest). This is not to say there isn't a significant amount of amazing technology and ideas being shared at CES...there is, and it can be awe-inspiring to see the results of years and millions dollars of investment, promising you an oh-so better tomorrow. But CES can sometimes end up feeling like purchasing a fast food meal: the picture in the ads rarely materializes into the same thing once you get down to the meal. Inbetween industry sponsored parties, booth babes and freebies, and the occasional celebrity sighting, there's only a few niblets of meat with a whole lot more bun than promised …
Yet every year, there's at least one outlying trend which both the industry and the public clamors in anticipation for and that does actually define the rest of the year, and 2010 is no exception. We'll see a continuation this year with eco-friendly solutions across the board in every category of home electronics, computing and home appliances. Energy saving devices, from OLED displays, self-regulating power supplies, more efficient designs within appliances and microchips, will all be heralded and promoted throughout the halls of the show. But green has lost its sex appeal after a few years of continual promotion and the industry is moving onto something new and less pragmatic. Last year everyone was all about the netbook going from niche to mainstream. Guess what? It didn't pan out. Despite the modest popularity of netbooks, we're predicting the industry will take what worked with netbooks (size/portability) and blow the lid off, literally, to redefine mobile computing into consumer grade computer tablets.