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CNET Top 5: Predictions for CES 2012
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CNET Top 5: Predictions for CES 2012

3:14 /

What Brian Cooley's looking for at CES 2012.

The Consumer Electronics Show is huge. I�m always tempted to drop crumbs so I can find my way back to the CNET stage each day. But within the blinking, buzzing, RF- saturated chaos there is always just a handful of things that really matter. They set the weathervane for the year ahead. I�m Brian Cooley with the Top 5 technologies I�m looking for coming out of CES 2012. #5 is 4K Televisons. 4K means 4,000 lines of resolution from left to right. Current 1080p TV�s have about half that. I�m ranking this one at the bottom since I don�t hear a lot of people tell me their current HDTV looks fuzzy. And 4K would demand new distribution media to store it and new infrastructure to broadcast it. That�s OK, anything�s better than another year of seeing all those companies build the largest TV in the world. #4 is Ultrabooks. All the Windows laptops that are chasing the MacBook Air. I rank this sort of low not because I don�t buy it, but because it�s already on. This will be a refinement of a category not the introduction of one, but still real big. That said, I will personally give some kind of award to the first Ultrabook maker who can build one that doesn�t make cheap plastic creaking sounds when you handle it. How does only Apple get that? #3 is Passive 3D. This HAS to get done. Most 3D TV�s today still use expensive, delicate, proprietary active electronic glasses and that�s one of the big stumbling blocks to a technology that has plenty of them. While we�re waiting for really great glasses-free 3D, inexpensive, universal passive glasses would be a huge boon for a technology that needs one. #2 is, again, Tablets. Now, this is actually more interesting that the simple replay it sounds like because EVERYONE who came out swing for the iPad last CES fell flat on their face, selling not many more tablets combined all year as Apple sells in a month. Just a washout. So this year, you�ll see a bunch of angry, embarrassed companies taking -- I hope -- a new tack that will make tablets more affordable and more focused on their real mission: consuming media and playing games. #1 Windows 8. Every year CES has one overarching theme and this year I have to think Windows 8. Not that its necessarily so great, but that it will have so much riding on it. If Win 8 doesn�t connect the dots between phone, tab, computer, social and cloud services right quick, we can damn near whistle Microsoft dead in the game against Apple, Google, and Facebook. No pressure. For more top 5�s like this one heard on over to Top5.cnet.com. I am Brian Cooley.

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