What Tech is Coming in 2013? CES Knows

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The Consumer Electronics Show – commonly known as CES – kicks off in Vegas next week, and while that might not mean a lot to most folks, it’s a downright cataclysmic event in the tech world. There’s no other single trade show that gets more attention in the US (though CeBIT takes the prize in Europe). CES is where pretty much any company with a product with batteries shows off their wares and unveils their new stuff for the upcoming year.

And that’s why I’ll be at CES.

I know that just about everyone – even folks who don’t eat, breathe, and sleep tech the way that I do – is interested in what cool new products will be appearing in 2013. I’ll be blogging next week from the show to keep you abreast of what I think is especially cool or innovative, and we’re planning to shoot some video as well, which you’ll be able to see later this month in a look ahead to the tech you can expect this year.

And I suspect that CES won’t disappoint. The 2013 show features a record amount of exhibit space – 1.87 million square feet. That’s right, million. The show takes up the cavernous Las Vegas Convention Center, as well as additional floor space in hotels scattered across Vegas. In my experience, the hardest part of “doing CES” as a journalist is seeing all the stuff that you think is important, since it can take an hour or more of valuable show time to get from, say, the Convention Center to the Venetian if you’re unlucky enough to have appointments in two different locations.

If all that isn’t enough for folks with a tech tooth (you know, like a sweet tooth. I just coined the phrase, and I encourage you to use it among your friends and family), there are a slew of specialized mini-shows at CES as well. Eureka Park will be packed with start-ups; Living in Digital Times hosts a pair of pavilions for “Tech and the Family” and “Health, Fitness, and Longevity.” ShowStoppers. Digital Experience. The list goes on and on, literally.

Despite the fact that CES is “the” tech show of the year, the industry’s two biggest giants won’t be there: Apple and Microsoft. Apple has never attended CES, and last year was Microsoft’s last appearance. So who will be at CES? Well, pretty much everyone else. As hard as this might be to believe, Apple and Microsoft will hardly be missed.

Here are a few of the things I am hoping to see and tell you about next week:

Some cool Windows 8 slates. I already told you about Microsoft’s own Surface, but a lot of other companies should have hardware to share – even if stats show that Windows 8 itself is not faring well.

Some 4K televisions. 4K (also known as Ultra HD) is the next big thing in television, offering a dramatically higher resolution than current HD sets. Does anyone really need more pixels? That’s arguable. But I’m totally excited to see what’s coming.

Android cameras. Android isn’t just for phones and tablets anymore. A few companies should show off full-fledged cameras that run the Android OS, making them easy to upgrade with apps. Instagram built into a Wi-Fi enabled Digital SLR, anyone?

Wireless power. Could this be the year that wireless power goes mainstream? I’ve been hoping for this for more than a decade, literally – but imagine charging your portable devices without plugging anything in. The technology exists, it just hasn’t caught on.

Robots! I’m a sucker for robots. I want to see the one that draws your portrait. I want it to draw my portrait. I want to own this robot and have it draw my portrait every day.

The Internet of Things. The “Connected Home” has been talked about — though never materialized — for decades, but there’s real momentum building for a network of devices that are all programmable and aware of each other. I’m hoping to see doors that know to lock themselves when no one is home and pill bottles that text me to remind me to take my medication.

Awesome Bluetooth stuff. Bluetooth is the gift that keeps on giving, and CES should showcase a bunch of innovative uses for this wireless tech, like tiny stickers that help you keep track of easy-to-lose things and watches that display important information from your phone.

What excites you? Is there any tech you’d like me to keep an eye on while I’m at CES? Leave a comment or tweet me @davejoh. See you in Vegas!

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