Each year, the Consumer Electronics Show manages to generate quite a buzz weeks in advance. This year is no different, with plenty of new laptops, mobile phones, and televisions expected for release.
Ramona Emerson of Huffington Post reports in a recent article: “The Consumer Electronics Show, the world’s largest consumer tech expo, is less than a week away and the blogosphere is abuzz with predictions for the Super Bowl of tech. The ultrabook, a new kind of laptop, is expected to make the biggest splash at CES.” Ultrabooks are a miniature breakoff of laptop tech. They are defined by a thin shell (<0.71 in.), light weight design (<3.1 lbs), and moderate price (below $1000).
Emerson tells us: “Wired estimates there will be 30-50 ultrabooks on offer at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, calling them the “year’s hottest gadget.” According to The New York Times, the term ‘ultrabook’ has been bandied about since May.” These new devices follow in the wake of Apple’s wildly successful MacBook Air. Intel, multinational computer chip company, coined the term as a marketing strategy.
Not only are ultrabooks expected to be a big hit, but mobile phones are also expected to reach new heights: “In a preview post, Engadget predicts a rash of “superphones” which will have incredible cameras (13 megapixels!) and HD displays. Other smartphone offerings that the folks at Engadget are looking forward to include an abundance of near field communication capabilities, more advanced handsets for the Windows Phone platform and new additions from Nokia, LG, Motorola and Sony Ericsson.” For the last decade, each new round of phones has lessened our need for a separate camera entity, and this round may be the title fight that removes casual photographers from their Nikon.
Non-wired chargers are another accessory expected to be utilized by this year’s phones (a technology first used in video game remote controllers). Emerson writes: “2012 could be the beginning of the end of wires. Inductive, or wireless charging, will supposedly be big this year. We’re talking more convenient ways to wirelessly top up your phone, possibly integration into your car and home—all in a way that’s far more subtle than that black industrial mat of yesteryear.”
We can also look forward to: “Other hardware announcements could include a slew of smaller tablets (in the 7-8 inch range), point and shoot cameras with lots of features, cool new media upgrades for cars and super-thin TVs.”
The Consumer Electronics Show is also receiving buzz for other, less groundbreaking upgrades. TV’s are expected to be thinner than ever: “On the super-thin TV front, there will likely be a new 55-incher with organic light-emitting diodes (OLED) from LG. This fancy set — no price has been released, but estimates put it above $5,000.” However, this TV is not expected to find its way to the market until the fourth quarter of 2012, just in time for the Christmas rush.
Though there is plenty of hardware to look forward to: “Andrew Nusca predicts that CES 2012 will be, ‘one of the worst years in recent memory for new products,’ because these days it’s all about software.” It’s not like it was in the 90’s and early 2000’s, where one needed an upgraded device in order to accomplish new feats. Now, we already own the platforms (smart phones and laptops), and it’s up to the software to provide the bells and whistles.