Off To Consumer Electronics Show

I'm off to the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) tomorrow and madly trying to corral some cool products to show you on Monday morning's Early Show. It takes place in Las Vegas from Jan. 8-11, and this year marks the 40th anniversary. But you won't find many people waxing nostalgic for 8-track cassettes or VCRs. This massive gathering showcases the future of what we'll all see on store shelves in the coming months and years.

About 150,000 people are expected to converge on the desert city, and this will be the fifth time I'll brave the surging crowds. Click here to read what I rounded up last year for CNN. It can be tough to feel the pulse of what's cool. As my former producer and friend at CNN used to say, absorbing all that CES has to offer is a little like drinking from a fire hose. But according to the organizers, much of what will be offered this year won't necessarily be new innovations but new ways to expand existing technologies. For example, tapping into the whole "content anywhere" mantra that seems to drive the R&D of every media company these days. Of course we'll see plenty of shiny objects in the form of MP3 players with more storage space, flatter and bigger plasma or OLED or LCD TVs, wireless integration with your entertainment system, etc. But we'll also parse out the stuff you may not have heard about.

On Saturday night, there's a media huddle when we'll get a first look at some of the hottest items. Then on Sunday, I'm interviewing Microsoft's chairman and co-founder, Bill Gates. It's been rather, um, interesting trying to line up this sitdown chat with the world's richest man and I'll blog about my behind-the-scenes adventure on Sunday night once it's in the can, as they say. Then on Monday morning we'll be live from the show floor on the Early Show with a round up of CES toys. What happens in Vegas does NOT stay in Vegas when it comes to CES!

In the meantime, stay connected.