Thinner, faster, shinier! CES 2012 predictions roundup
Topping the list of trends is the rise of ultrabooks. Consumer Reports proclaims the overall trend at CES 2012 will be "thinner yet stronger." Wired predicts ultrabooks will dominate at this year's show and estimates 30 to 50 of the slim laptops will be on display.
So, what exactly is an ultrabook?
According to the New York Times, an ultrabook is "an ultra-slim laptop (think MacBook Air) that maxes out at 0.8 inches thick." The phrase is reportedly a marketing term coined and trademarked by Intel.
CES 2011 was all about 3D, but the market didn't quite follow the hype. And the lack of a standard for 3D glasses didn't help the industry. Forbes asserts that "until prices come down further, a single 3D TV standard is agreed to, and more content in 3D becomes available...3D TV is still more of a 2013-2015 CES theme rather than 2012."
Cloud computing takes a bite out of hardware
Cloud computing is a trend that continues to grow rapidly. ZDNET points out that CES itself could face trouble because of the decline in hardware. While computing power moves out of homes and into data centers, software will be king.
"You will see a lot more press photos of screen projections than actual plastic or metal curves," ZDNET's Andrew Nuscea predicts.
Forbes predicts organic light-emitting diode (OLED) screens will be a key feature for TVs, tablets and smartphone screens. OLEDs are noted for bright, high resolution displays with no backlights, which means deeper blacks.
Cars, cars, cars
The auto industry is making a bigger presence at CES 2012. Expect to see news from companies like Ford, Mercedes-Benz, Tesla and Audi. But it won't be about hard bodies and shiny wheels. Apps are beginning to make a mainstream cross over to automobiles.
According the Engadget, Audi and NVIDIA will make a joint announcement. We have smart phones and TVs - perhaps we'll soon see a truly smart car. Welcome to dashboard 2.0.
CES takes place Jan. 10-13 in Las Vegas. Keynotes speeches start Jan. 9, including Microsoft, Sony and Samsung. Visit CNET for a full list of events.
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