CES 2012: What it's got, what it doesn't
What attendees and analysts are looking for right now is that sought-after, life-changing digital device that will define the show. Not going to happen, some analysts have said. Still, the show does have devices that could change, if not the world, your small corner of creation.
Gaze-interaction technology, which tracks eye movements, allows a user to navigate the Web using just his or her eyes. The technology obviously has wider implications than the Asteroids video game that Tobii Technology was using at the convention to demonstrate its software.
Allure Energy Inc.'s "wireless energy network" is part of the intelligent-home movement. You can use your mobile phone to communicate with your house, such as heating it or cooling it for when you get home. Automating energy use by hooking up appliances, thermostats, etc., to the Internet can help cut down on costs.
Hundreds of new TVs, smartphones and tablet computers are expected to be announced this week by exhibitors.
Still, enthusiasm for the show has been dampened as top firms -- including Verizon Wireless, Motorola Mobility and T-Mobile, have scaled back their presence. Microsoft has its exit planned too, saying it wants to announce its products on its own timetable. And the absence of Apple has long spurred manufacturers to bring out Apple-type products, many of which quickly fade from the marketplace.
"If you really take all the big guys out of there, all you have is a bazaar," Roger Kay, an analyst at Endpoint Technologies Associates Inc., told The Times' David Sarno.
Yet a huge number of exhibitors and attendees are expected this year. Organizers said there were about 2,700 exhibitors and more than 150,000 people who would attend -- the highest number since 2006. That turnout is in keeping with the estimated $1 trillion -- yes, trillion -- expected to be spent globally on tech devices in 2012.
"You're talking about a market of 3 1/2 billion people that all want TVs ... phones," Steve Koenig of the Consumer Electronics Assn. told The Times' Andrea Chang. It's a huge opportunity, he said.
-- Amy Hubbard
Photo: Nick Laperle displays SonoFit custom-fitted earphones at the Consumer Electronics Show on Sunday. Credit: Frederic J. Brown / AFP/Getty Images