CES 2013: 5 Trends To Watch

Consumerized Tech

The Consumer Electronics Show is always a good starting point to see some of the new products and technologies that will help shape the industry over the course of the next 12 months. Here's a look at five trends to watch at this year's CES.

Phablets And Super-Sized Smartphones

These days, it seems like tablets are getting smaller (iPad Mini, Google Nexus 7, etc.) and smartphones are getting super-sized, like the new 5-inch Sony Xperia Z (left). In fact, there's so much crossover between these two mobile devices that we're starting to see smartphone-tablet hybrids or "phablets" like the 6.1-inch Ascend D2 and the as-yet-unnamed 5.9-inch ZTE Windows 8 phablet .

Higher High-Def

First, there was high-definition TV. Now there's ultra-high-definition (UHD) TV. A number of display and TV manufacturers, from Samsung and LG to Westinghouse and Sharp, will be showing off new UHD TVs in Las Vegas, and some of them will be very big (both Samsung and Westinghouse are rumored to have 110-inch models coming). So what's the big difference? Higher resolutions. Much higher, in fact. A 4K UHD TV supports a 3,840 x 2,160 display resolution, which is four times the resolution of regular HD (hence the 4K moniker). An 8K model, meanwhile, supports a 7,680 × 4,320 resolution, or eight times what regular HD offers.


A lot of big-name companies have downsized their presence at CES. Dell and Heweltt-Packard recently have been pulling back from the show, and neither will have a booth on the show floor this year. Similarly, Nokia confirmed last month that it had scaled back its presence for CES 2013. And some companies have even dropped out of the show completely; Microsoft said last year that the 2012 CES would be its last. Is CES losing its star power?

Windows 8 Watch

It's no secret that the newest edition of Microsoft's operating system hasn't set the world on fire. But there are still a number of vendors that have made commitments to Windows 8. For example, Lenovo introduced new Ultrabooks and a "table PC" based on Windows 8, while other vendors such as Acer and Samsung are also expected to have a few Windows 8-based products up their sleeves. But just how many Windows 8 devices will there be on the show floor this year? CES 2013 should be a good barometer for Microsoft's new operating system.

Smart TV

While Apple and Google have been facing off -- again -- in the TV market, more vendors are poised to enter the smart TV market this year with software platforms and hardware devices. The two most notable additions are Samsung's new Smart Hub platform (left) that combines live TV, streaming Web video, social media and TV-based applications into one interface; and Intel's new smart TV service and set-top box. In addition, a number of TV manufacturers are introducing new Smart TV-capable displays.