If there was one thing shouted repeatedly from the rooftops at CES 2010, it was surely “3D TV!” Which, much like “HDTV!” ten years ago, seems to us to be, well, still ten years from really being a big deal (find good perspectives at Gizmodo and the NYTimes).
While there were any number of big, thin, sexy hi-def TVs on display, the emerging ebook-slate-tablet-netbook scene struck us as more newsworthy. It remains to be seen which combinations of design, form factor, and interface will win the hearts of the crowd, especially with Apple’s entry still a semi-mystery. But here’s a look at some of the promising early entries:
For sheer futurific wow-factor, it was hard to beat this prototype laptop with a transparent OLED screen. Of course, the odds of getting your hands on anything like this soon are plenty slim.
The “connected” TV was also fairly ubiquitous. We doubt these hybrids will kill the PC, but some services are no brainers, like the Skype TV touted by Panasonic. Of course, as TV’s get more sophisticated, something’s got to be done to improve their interfaces and input devices. Today’s remotes won’t fly, but something like this from Sling (via from your cable or sat provider) or this remote/interface combo from Boxee could provide the missing link.
The cultural and commercial impact of the iPOD and IPHONE revolution was fairly obvious on the convention floor. In addition to endless cases, carriers, earbuds and headphones, skins, and the like, we particularly liked these clever i-extenders: the Evenno Fingerist, a sharply designed “guitar amp,” and the iDiscover keboard/music studio.
For just-plain-fun, we found the AR Drone, a cool copter with an onboard camera remote controllable via iPHONE, to be hard to beat—if they can really get the thing mass-produced and delivered for Xmas like they promise. (Honest-to-God quote from a guy demoing the thing: “Some Hollywood guy told us he HAS to have this before anyone else, no matter what the cost.”) Failing that, we may have to settle for the faux x-wing Striker fighter, if Lucas doesn’t shut them down first.
Lego is a quality company showing plenty of imagination, and we loved their demo reel for their upcoming Lego Universe MMOG (“launching in 2010″), another great example of how brands can now live online and offline and every dimension in between.
Last, but not least, was a little trend we think has big potential: the mini projector. The ShowWX was one memorable examples; roughly iPHONE sized, this class of device could provide a bridge connecting the personal and public possibilities of all those portable media devices already referenced.