CES Preview: What to Expect at January's Show

The 2010 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), which takes place Jan. 7-10 in Las Vegas, is fast approaching. Numerous important technologies, such as 802.11b, the first really widely adopted Wi-Fi standard, won early boosts at CES. Here's what to expect. Smart TVs. TV manufacturers such as Vizio have been steadily talking up smart TVs (GigaOM Pro, subscription required) that incorporate widgets, full-blown software applications, and many other features pointing to convergence between computing and TVs.CES is expected to be a major step forward for next-generation TV sets.TV Everywhere implementations (GigaOM Pro, subscription required) are likely to be abundant, too. Intel's Cores. Intel CEO Paul Otellini is delivering a keynote speech at the show, and the company has said that Otellini will discuss new chip sizes and manufacturing technology, as well as Core processors for desktop and laptop computers.In total, Intel is expected to launch a whopping 17 processors at CES. USB 3.0 Devices and Connectors. Version 3.0 of the Universal Serial Bus (USB) connection has the potential to be even more disruptive than USB 2.0 was—and that technology merely became the de facto way to connect everything from iPods to digital cameras with computers and other devices. The new USB 3.0 standard transfers data 10 times faster than USB 2.0 and is bi-directional. Expect new types of devices, dongles, connectors, and applications based on it at CES. Increased Smartphone Competition. In addition to a keynote address featuring Nokia executives, CES will feature a Palm event, which some are predicting may include a major announcement. Expect new Android phones on display, plus lots of smartphones with new and different form factors. The Camera Cavalcade. CES is always a big show for digital cameras, accessories, and software for photographers. This year's show will be no different, with fuel cell-driven cameras and models with advanced touchscreens considered potential debuts on the floor this year. As usual, point-and-shoot cameras will be abundant. Android-Driven Home Entertainment. MIPS Technologies and Tensilica just announced a joint system-on-a-chip alliance that's designed to accelerate the deployment of the open-source Android operating system in home entertainment devices. (MIPS already has its own Android distribution focused on the same goals.) At CES the companies will be demonstrating the potential of their joint alliance for everything from Android-based "mobile wireless phones to low-cost digital picture frames, high-definition DTVs, set-top boxes, Blu-ray disc players, and more," as they note in their announcement. Android Tablet Devices. As Colin has reported, Android tablet devices are set to appear in numerous form factors.Some are already here, such as the Archos 5 video tablet. Expect to see several of these at CES. Windows 7 Everywhere. Microsoft is riding a more positive wave on the operating system front than it has in years with the recent release of Windows 7. CES is likely to be packed with many new netbooks running the OS, numerous laptops and other devices that take advantage of its touchscreen capabilities, and more. GigaOM will be reporting from CES, so stay tuned.

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