Earlier this month the Consumer Electronics Association hosted their annual Consumer Electronics Show — showcasing upcoming trends in electronics and the newest advancements in geeky gadget technology. After 40 years in the business the trade show has grown to over 2,000 members, all of who are on the cutting edge of electronics research, development, design and distribution.
This year’s event was held on January 6-9 and yielded 4 clear trends in consumer electronics that should be a focus for IT geeks in 2011: that everything will be internet-enabled, the app frenzy will continue, tablets will continue to explode, and we should finally start seeing in 3D.
Internet Everywhere on Everything
All of the most popular gadgets coming out are Internet-enabled — cell phones, PDAs, tablets and now — TVs. After last year’s 3D TVs became a focus, with their built-in Wifi jacks, even TVs will be Internet-enabled. TV has literally become the final Internet frontier.
There are an elite few that already have TVs connected to the net that can be used like giant PC screens, but the trend should be coming to the mainstream very soon. As the CES trade show hosts tech-heads from every aspect from R&D to distribution the connections were undoubtedly made that will cement the promise that we will all be watching YouTube on the big screen soon enough.
Looking forward, we may see the fine line between computer screens and TV screens disappear completely as the two become interchangeable. This change will not happen overnight though as first-adopters are only just beginning to pickup on this technology.
The app frenzy is on as Google’s Android app developers compete with Apple iOS developers to come out with the newest and coolest apps. The two companies are neck and neck in a death-match to find out which company will see the most apps created.
Apps permeated all sectors of the CES show as they are being created for practically every hardware-based device out there, not to mention the permeation of the software realm.
Apps have begun to change our hardware appliances, which increases their importance within the electronics realm. You can now Jailbreak your iPhone and add cell phone functionality to your iPod or iPad through a simple app from Toktumi. Yes apps will be a huge trend in 2011.
2010 was a huge year for tablets but that does not mean that 2011 won’t be. Last year saw the release of the now unbeatable iPad, and honorable mentions go out to several other developers. Tablets can be picked up for anywhere from $99 to over $1,000, meaning they are priced for everybody — and prices are dropping.
There is one tablet in particular that should be making big waves in 2011, Notion Ink’s Adam. If Notion Ink can get their production up to speed this could the tablet-to-buy in 2011.
The importance of tablets in 2011, as opposed to 2010 is that 2011 might very well belong to the little guys. The iPad still carries a costly price tag yet lacks certain features, which has opened the door for the little guys.
The iPad isn’t in decline though, as iPad sales are expected to spike again in 2011, as many iNuts are holding their breath for the release of the iPad2.
3D — For Real This Time
In 2010 3D technology was touted as the biggest and most exciting trend to watch — and it has made the list again this year. While the new technology stunned users with its visually impressive graphics last year, the public has now had time to really examine the trend and 2011 might really be the year for 3D.
The production of 3D DVD and Blue-ray players, the upcoming release of 3D channels, 3D gaming from Sony on the PS3, and 3D TV production all might signal that 2011 will be the year of 3D adoption. While still early in the adoption phase, early-adopters should be picking up on the technology shortly. Also, as those who purchased the original flat-screens and plasmas start to come to the end of their life cycle they may want to upgrade to bigger and better — meaning 3D.