We have yet to get Christmas out of the way, but the vibe for CES 2010 is already building...
The monstrous Vegas show kicks off every January and despite the global economic apocalypse (apparently the horsemen are beginning to consider taking their ponies back for a hay net) around 2,700 companies are again exhibiting and more than 110,000 visitors are expected. Naturally, we'll also be out there with eyes peeled and ears to the ground (however daft that may look and painful it sounds).
Big trends to make you prematurely sick of your Santa sacks this time around are anticiptated to be OLED HDTVs out in magnum force as they inch towards the mainstream (circa 2012!). The trend for ever more bulimic LED TVs is set to see sub 6mm thick models (wall mounts to match please!), as well as the long awaited arrival of netbook challenging format the smartbook (circa £150/200 with 7in displays and mountains of battery life). As for tablets, I'm predicting them by the bucket load - especially in prototype-for-Q3/Q4 form.
Speaking of which there has also been great speculation that Apple (see what I did there?) may attend the show for the first time in its history following the last ever Macworld. It could happen, though Apple as a company is such a control freak I'm not convinced it would be comfortable in this kind of free-for-all environment. Then again, should it turn up then it will want to dominate the show and that could only happen with a major announcement. iTablet, anyone?
Dumb tablets, also known as eBook readers, should be offered by just about everyone with dual and colour screens coming to the fore and a major drop in pricing. Notably, the Plastic Logic Que and Spring Design Alex are potential head turners.
Micro four thirds cameras are set to take off this time around too with Kodak looking to make its latest in a long stream of unsuccessful comebacks (I'm not hopeful) and Intel's second generation Atom should see some netbooks with performance that isn't embarrassing to demonstrate around your friends. Other popular tech will be USB 3.0 based storage products, multi-touch displays, the world finally getting capacitive screen technology en masse and a general love for putting SSDs into everything.
In short: it might be better to ask for money to be left under the tree this year...