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CES Wrap Up

(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
The Consumer Electronics Show is over and am I glad to be home. I can emphasize with tech correspondent Daniel Sieberg and producer Alec Sirken who each got sick during the show. This is the first CES in three years where I didn't get sick.

During my many live radio segments about the show, anchors at local stations would typically start out saying how they are jealous about my getting to see all the latest tech toys. It is true that there is a lot of great new technology at CES, but the majority of exhibits actually aren't showing off particularly innovative technology. There are a great many pedestrian products like cases for iPods or power adapters for cell phones and far too many "me-too" products that look just like the one from the booth down the aisle. The fact is that there really aren't that many innovators at CES.

But sometimes the biggest innovations come from companies I had never heard of like Greenplug which is developing technology that will help manage the way external power supplies deliver power to gadgets – something that could save an enormous amount of energy. Then there is DisplayLink – a simple USB graphics adapter that lets you add an extra external monitor to a laptop or desktop PC without having to take about the machine. The $99 device, which will be available from Kensington later this year, lets you spread out your Windows desktop so you could, for example, have your browser on one monitor and your word processing program on another. I tried it at home and installation was a breeze. My machine already had two monitors thanks to a two headed video card but now I have three.

Describing CES is like a vacationer trying to describe Europe. You can't see it all in one trip. Still, I was able to pick up on some trends including wireless video, increased use of touch interface, tech going green and the emergence of affordable high-end digital cameras. For more on these trends, please check out my CES wrap-up column and my po podcasts from CES here on