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So what will be hot in Vegas?

Rory Cellan-Jones | 15:23 UK time, Wednesday, 6 January 2010

If it's Wednesday this must be Las Vegas.

Las VegasAfter spending time inside the cool Californian cultures of the two biggest names on the web, I'm struggling to acclimatise to the very different Vegas vibe.

On Monday I passed much of the day in the Palo Alto offices of Facebook, filming a piece about the ambitions of the fast-growing social network.

Then on Tuesday I moved up the road to Mountain View to join a horde of tech hacks at the Googleplex, where we tried to decide whether the Nexus One really was going to be an iPhone killer. (My verdict, for what it's worth, is that it's the best shot yet - but not quite good enough to really worry Apple.)

So I spent 48 hours in the company of people who live and breathe technology and work in offices which are classic geeky playgrounds.

Facebook is in an old industrial building once used to manufacture electronics, but now offering plenty of room for restless engineers to ride a skateboard or have a quick game of ping-pong.

And quite a few staff seemed to have migrated from the very similar environment down the road at Google, which still feels like the campus of a high-tech university, albeit with better food and slightly older students.

Now I'm waking up in a distinctly chilly Las Vegas, a city whose main interest in technology is its use in spectacular light shows, or to detect fraud at the casino.

Consumer Electronics ShowBut for a few days each January the city welcomes 100,000 visitors from the technology world - and their cash - to the Consumer Electronics Show.

So what is going to be hot this year?

Well there's already a lot of talk about 3D, with a number of manufacturers unveiling sets they claim will bring that Avatar experience to the living-room - and some big broadcasters announcing that this is the year they launch 3D services.

Then there are plenty of companies touting new computer designs - or "form factors" in the geek parlance - with tablet computers suddenly all the rage.

It's thought Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer will play with a tablet made by HP during the show's opening keynote tonight, and I'll be looking out for more e-readers for a piece for tomorrow.

Tiny Pico projectors which can project a movie from your phone onto a wall have been around for a couple of years, but I'm expecting to see more innovative uses of this technology.

Then there are a host of exhibitors showing off solutions to the gadget freak's constant headache, power, from wireless charging to better batteries.

For any journalist trying to cover the show there's a bewildering blizzard of press releases promoting gadgets which all seem to be "world firsts". At one preview event tonight - the show actually opens on Thursday - we are promised:

• "the world's first Full HD Wearable Camcorder affordable smart home platform"
• "the first massively-multiplayer online game based on Lego"
• "the world's first no-hassle home theatre system"
• "the world's first Wireless USB hard drive"
• "the world's first speakerphone with dual-mic technology"

Phew, it all sounds too exciting. I'd better rush out and take a look before I'm beaten to a world's first by another hungry technology hack.


  • Comment number 1.

    Will the blog no longer be updated?

  • Comment number 2.

    "1. At 7:00pm on 06 Jan 2010, Patrick wrote:

    Will the blog no longer be updated?"


    I would hazard a guess at the BBC got sick of people complaining about the Apple and Twitter bias in the blogs and decided a shake up was needed.

    Time will tell if it's for the better.

    "Phew, it all sounds too exciting. I'd better rush out and take a look before I'm beaten to a world's first by another hungry technology hack."

    Probably already happened Rory. Lol.

    Quick question - does the CES have anything on show from less "mainstream" companies, i.e. ones that are not Google, Facebook, M$, HP, Apple, etc. that isn't re-branded/repackaged technology that has been around for a few years already with better marketing and different tech jargon to make it seem new?

  • Comment number 3.

    "the world's first Wireless USB hard drive"

    I believe this has existed for quite some time now, actually. It's called the Time Capsule.


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