CES 2012 will run from January 10th through the 13th and will bring together an estimated 140,000 people from throughout the consumer electronics industry. Retailers, manufacturers, software developers and even a few celebrities will be there to show or be shown the latest in technology. For Geek Squad, this event gives us a sneak peek at all the gadgets and electronics we’ll be setting up for you over the next year.
Some of this year’s highlights are expected to include “ultrabooks” from a variety of computer makers. The term was created by computer chip-maker Intel to describe higher end ultraportable laptops. These ultrabooks differ from netbooks in that they don’t sacrifice performance and features as they become smaller and lighter. Ultrabooks, with a higher base price than a netbook and are designed for users who want access to the same power as a regular laptop but with the portability of a netbook.
Another item that I expect to see many makers showing off are Windows 8 devices. Although Microsoft has not announced an official release date for the next version of their Windows operating system, 3rd party hardware development has been underway for some time. Any Windows 8 tablets being demonstrated will be sure to capture attention. Windows 8’s cross-platform capabilities will interest consumers hoping to share more of their programs and data across their PCs, tablets and even smartphones and gaming systems. In Geek Squad, we love the idea of the connected world, where our tech talks to each other automatically for our benefit.
In 2011, “the cloud” became a mainstream term among tech consumers, and CES promises to show how the electronics market hopes to make your everyday gadgets make better use of it. Of course, not all data storage will be on the Internet, so I expect we’ll also see more devices coming with solid-state drives (SSD) to reduce weight and improve response times when accessing data.
In the home theater world, I expect we’ll see continued improvements with 3D and smart TVs, but I also am hoping to see some of the large screen OLED (organic light-emitting diode) HDTVs that have recently been talked about. OLED screens can display deeper blacks than an LCD resulting in huge contrast benefits and better overall picture quality. They’re also thinner, helping to make HDTVs lighter. Up to this point, however, OLED screen creation has not been cost effective for the sizes you need for that big screen TV you’d want in your living room. In 2012 we may start to see that change, and our Geek Squad Home Theater Installers can’t wait.
Finally, I’m excited to see all unexpected technology that shows up every year at CES. Whether it’s the seat designed to allow you feel the rumble of NASCAR racing, or robot pets designed for hospital waiting rooms, past shows never cease to amaze us at how ingenious tech makers can be.
Whatever it is, I am looking forward to seeing what the next 12 months of tech looks like at CES 2012. Stay tuned to the Geek Squad Intelligence Blog this week, and follow us on Twitter, @GeekSquad, andFacebook for the latest updates from this week’s Consumer Electronics Show