As many as 140,000 executives, engineers, programmers, PR people, reporters, and general high-tech industry types are expected to pass through the Las Vegas Convention Center through Thursday. (Closed to the public.) According to organizers it's the most floor space they've ever had -- about 1.85 million square feet -- but I've heard a couple rumors of moving the CES outside Vegas next year? Totally unverified rumors, mind you, and officials with the Consumer Electronics Association were coy and dismissive. But you never know. Hard to imagine which other city could sustain the sprawling event, other than maybe Atlanta, San Francisco or L.A. Hosting it in New York seems logistically impossible. Hmmmmm.
In any case, the trends are similar to last year: smarter, wireless, more efficient gadgets. Thin is REALLY in with TVs, including flat-panels from Sony that measure only a few millimeters thick with an eye-popping OLED display. Big is back, too, as the largest plasma weighs in at 150" from Panasonic. There's plenty of touchscreen around like LG's Voyager (likely thanks to the success of the iPhone -- no sign of Apple here with MacWorld happening post-CES). Most analysts here see a slow shift in the high-def DVD format as Blu-Ray surges and major companies like Warner Bros. pull out of HD-DVD. What a difference a year makes. And GPS is absolutely everywhere in watches like one from Garmin to nearly every cell phone. Plus, a major presence from companies who produce in-dash technology for vehicles, which is a rapidly growing market. There's also an SUV from GM that drives itself...but I'll have more on that later.
Check back for regular reports and video clips from behind the scenes at CES here on CBSNews.com. It's stuff you won't see anywhere else!