CES 2011 has been going on in Las Vegas for the past couple of days, and there’s a buzz in the air that will definitely take a while to die down. There have been plenty of really big announcements from companies large and small, and these announcements have definitely made a lot of people happy. There have also been some trends that have developed in the last few days, and it is these trends that are going to carry the electronics industry farther this year.

One of the biggest trends that came out of this year’s Consumer Electronics Show was the advent of 4G. Sure, people have been talking abut it and a few companies have even started offering 4G services, but now it's completely out in the open. Several manufacturers have been showing off their 4G enabled mobile phones as well as tablets. The 4th generation of cellular wireless standards will enable high mobility communication at blisteringly fast speeds. You could be traveling by train and browsing at speeds of up to 100 Mbit/s. Low mobility connection speeds will be way faster at speeds of up to 1 Gbit/s. And all this, as I sit and work on my 512 kbps connection. Whoa!

Among the devices that have been announced, a few have really caught peoples’ eyes. The most eagerly awaited device is definitely the RIM’s Playbook tablet . This awesome gadget sports a 7-inch display with a dual-core and is lighter than the iPad by 400g. This wonder-tablet will hopefully start shipping sometime early this year.

RIM's Playbook - this will definitely be fun to play with

RIM's Playbook – this will definitely be fun to play with

Another device that was unveiled at CES 2011 was the Dell Streak 7, and it is looking good! This is Dell’s first 4G tablet and will run Android 2.2. This 7-inch tablet will have some killer features such as the almost indestructible Gorilla Glass touchscreen, NVIDIA’s Tegra dual-core processor and front and rear facing cameras to name a few. The Dell Streak 7 will be launched with T-Mobile.

Well, it looks like we’ve got a long way to catch up here in India, because we’re still waiting on the damn 3G connections to be easily available. But that doesn’t stop me from drooling, as it is my right. And yours too!

Another trend that has been popular this year is 3D TVs. It was big all of last year as well, but this year’s going to be even bigger, as there are plenty of glassless 3D TVs on their way. I honestly don’t like 3D vision too much and a lot of my dislike probably stems from the fact that I have to wear those weird, uncomfortable glasses every time I want to watch 3D content. But that’s all going to change; soon.

Sony announced a prototype 3D TV that doesn’t require glasses. This TV apparently has a supremely wide viewing angle even for 3D content. Now that’s something! On a similar note, Sony has also announced the launch of 27 new HDTV models, 16 of which will support 3D playback.

CEO of Sony Corporation of America, Howard Stringer gives a speech about 3D

CEO of Sony Corporation of America, Howard Stringer gives a speech about 3D

This next one is from a relatively unknown Korean company called iStation. They’ve announced the launch of a tablet called the Zood that supports 3D without glasses. And what’s more, it also supports 2D to 3D conversion, as well as full HD.

TVs seem to be getting a whole lot thinner as well. AMOLED screens are making it possible for companies to produce wafer-thin screens that look mind-bogglingly beautiful. Some of these TVs are so thin that they might as well be invisible!

Samsung has announced the launch of 16 new ultra-slim plasma TVs, the D6500 and D8000 Series, which feature a new narrow bezel design that adds an extra inch of viewable screen size over last year’s products. These TVs also offer better connected entertainment options, as they will include more apps and connected devices.

LG has really outdone themselves this year, as they showcased the world’s slimmest AMOLED TV that measures just 2.9 mm in depth! This TV boasts of features such as a 1920 x 1080 resolution, passive 3D playback capabilities, a super-wide viewing angle and an “infinite” contrast ratio.  

LG's new AMOLED screen - deliciously wafer-thin

LG's new AMOLED screen – deliciously wafer-thin

While I’m talking about TVs, did I forget to mention that they’re getting bigger too? And I’m not talking about a small growth spurt here, as some of these TVs look like they’ve been fed chickenfeed from KFC’s farms (figuratively speaking, anyway). Oh well, you know what they say; the bigger the better.

LG and Sharp seem to have fed their TVs well, as they’re getting bigger! LG has announced the launch of a 72-inch LED TV, the LZ9700 which is capable of 3d playback and work a smart TV. Sharp has also launched the 70-inch C-70LE732U, which is its latest Quattron LED-backlit model. Although this TV has some decent features such as Wi-Fi, it’s quite surprising that they’ve left out 3D, as everyone seems to be jumping on that bandwagon.

I thought I’d leave the best for last. Panasonic displayed a 12.6-ft wide 3D plasma TV this year. Yes, that is correct. Panasonic says that they’ve developed “ultra high-speed 3D drive technology,” new chips necessary to enable high-quality Full HD 3D display on this gargantuan 4,096 x 2,160 pixels panel. This TV is expected to cost half a million USD or more! Wow.

Panasonic says that bigger is definitely better

Panasonic says that bigger is definitely better

So that wraps up some of the biggest trends to emerge for this year’s Consumer Electronics Show. I really liked what I saw, and I’m sure those of you who have been following the stories feel the same way. I only hope all this exciting technology makes it to India soon.

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