CES 2011: A curtain raiser

Wednesday, September 8, 2010, 12:34 by Tech Correspondent

CES 2011, Las Vegas, will see a bouquet of new launches from electronics giants

CES 2011 logoTech lovers, tune yours ears and eyes to the CES 2011, coming to you live at Las Vegas, January 6-9, 2011.

One of the largest annual technology industry events, the CES 2011 is expected to showcase players of all levels – from giants, such as Sony, to upcoming software ventures. Minus Apple.

3D technology stole the show at CES 2010 and is likely to be a major crowd puller this time round too. We just saw the influx of new 3D televisions and Android tablets at the IFA 2010. In some ways, we guess you can consider IFA 2010 a curtain-raiser for CES 2011!

Sharp, which stayed in the background last time as far as 3D products were concerned, is expected to announce new 3D offerings in 2011. The company launched several products at IFA, and had an interesting 3D smartphone prototype to show off. It is likely that the final production version of the 3D phone will make its appearance at the CES.

Visitors will also find a range of universal 3D glasses (needed for 3D TV viewing) at the CES 2011. Well, with so many 3D TVs already launched, and more ready for official launches at CES, it is not surprising that manufacturers will want to market just as many 3D spectacles.

LED is expected to steal the show with its OLED tech, overshadowing LCD products. At the 2010 show, next-gen OLED technology was only visible at the Sony, Samsung and LG stalls. Sony unveiled its 11-inch XEL-1 TV, Samsung displayed an OLED laptop and 40-inch TV prototypes, whereas LG showcased UK’s largest OLED television set (about 15 inches). Some would also recall the innovative Toshiba Regza Cell television. This year, more manufacturers are expected to join the OLED bandwagon.

Also on the horizon at CES 2011 are a range of Google TV devices.

Moving on to the wonderful world computing, visitors can expect the show to be flooded with tablets. You can also expect to find larger successors to the Dell Streak, along with a tablet PC from HP.

Engadget reported that HP spoke to its employees about plans to launch its webOS tablet in the first quarter of next year. So it would not be too far-fetched to imagine the launch of the tablet at CES 2011. The webOS tablet is referred to, for now, as the HP Palmpad.

More than the specs on upcoming Android tablets (more or less similar across manufacturers), consumers are awaiting news of which operating system will be the choice of the show. There is the possibility that Android 3.0 aka Gingerbread would be released by 2010-end, in which case, we can expect to see some Android Gingerbread 3.0 tablets at CES 2011.

Augen is another company is believed to be planning some Android tablet launches at CES.

It is a toss-up between many – Snapdragon (which ruled the Lenovo roost at the 2010 CES), Android (which has been steadily gaining ground over the year) and Google Chrome OS (the new kid on the block). And let’s not forget Windows 7.

Sony’s next 3D VAIO is also headed for the CES 2011. The VAIO will feature a wide and big LCD – the laptop is being touted as a desktop replacement – and will also serve as a portable Blu-Ray 3D player. The Bravia’s 3D active shutter glasses can be used to view content on the new VAIO, which has hardware buttons (ASSIST and VAIO) and a 3D button to transport you into a 3D world.

New attractions are promised at the CES 2011. The Connected Home Appliances and Broadband Telecommunications TechZones are two such additions to the 2010 format.

Another TechZone open to visitors will be Access on the Go, co-sponsored by the International Digital Publishing Forum. The Access on the Go TechZone will display devices that promise to change the way content is accessed. It will showcase innovative portable devices, such as the latest eBooks, netbooks, smartbooks and tablets, which offer connectivity to consumers at home or on-the-go. The zone is expected to feature brands, such as Handii and the Entourage eDGe. The zone will be located in the South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Visitors can also check out new releases at the Electric Vehicles, FitnessTech, iLounge Pavilion, Location Based Services and Sustainable Planet TechZones.

As the countdown begins to the CES 2011, application developers get ready to a battle of skills. CES has announced a Mobile Apps Showdown to be held at the CES 2011. Submission of nomination entries for the showdown has begun. Submitted apps will be judged by a panel of technology experts and the the most innovative app will be announced on January 8, 2011, at the CES show.

Application developers can log on to www.MobileAppsShowdown.com for details of the competition. Nomination forms can be downloaded from the website. Once the entries are submitted, the judges (tech veteran Robin Raskin and a team of mobile experts) will shortlist twenty-five semi-finalists. Online users can vote for their favorites apps.

Only the top ten finalists will be allowed to demonstrate their apps live at the CES 2011, where a winner will be picked based on audience applause and online voting.

The Mobile Apps Showdown will pick winners from five categories: Android, Blackberry, iPhone, Nokia, and Palm Web OS. Submissions made before July 15, 2010 will get a discount of $200 on the $1,000 submission fee.

Let the show begin!

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