CES: top 10 products and technologies
We roundup 10 of the most interesting things to come out of last week's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
It's been coming for a while. Given the success of app stores in the mobile arena, and web connectivity's spread to devices of all shapes and sizes, it was just a matter of time before one of the consumer tech giants rolled out a multi-platform app store to serve as a one-stop content shop for all manner of devices.
2010 prediction: Samsung has got there first, but we're still a ways from cross-platform apps gaining serious traction. This time next year it may be a different story, however.
Nvidia's sequel to its ARM-designed 'system on a chip' is set to play a huge part in the mobile industry in 2010, with general manager of Nvidia's mobile business claiming "hundreds" of devices are in development. One of them is rumoured to be Apple's iSlate, but from smartphones and netbooks to tablets and more, Tegra 2 will be making its name known this year in a big way.
Key appeal: Performance never seen on such a compact platform. According to ARM, Tegra 2 gives netbooks the same performance as full-blown laptops.
2010 prediction: Anything with a screen from five to 10inches in size is fair game for Tegra 2, and it looks all but unbeatable for now.
The Eee PC's maker is running no risk of being typecast as a budget operator with the monstrous NX90, a powerful entertainment laptop with an 18.4in screen. Add in sizeable Bang & Olufsen speakers beside the screen and twin touchpads either side of the keyboard and you've got one of the biggest, and the best, gaming laptops ever produced.
Key appeal: Quality, size, power, performance... the Asus NX90 has it all. And just as well, as its size means you won't be moving it around much.
2010 prediction: It's an expensive niche product, so is hardly going to redefine the mobile computing game. But it's nonetheless very very good.
Standardised wireless charging
The second half of 2009 saw the wireless charging movement gain impressive momentum here in the UK thanks to the likes of Powermat, and 2010 should see that momentum continue, if the Wireless Power Consortium is successful in setting up the single magnetic induction standard it was talking up at CES.
Key appeal: Now that a single USB-charging standard is being wrapped up, wireless charging is the next step. But the former didn't exactly happen quickly, so any optimism should be cautious by nature.
2010 prediction: Despite the WPC's efforts, we'd be surprised if consensus was reached as soon as six months from now. But we might see significant progress by this time next year.
The show must go on
If we had to pick an 11th winner, we'd go for the show itself. CES 2010 was a massive return to form, particularly after last year's rather anaemic fare, and augurs well for a bright year ahead in the world of consumer technology.
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