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CNET Top 5
Predictions for CES 2012What Brian Cooley's looking for at CES 2012.
The Consumer Electronics Show is huge. IÃ¯Â¿Â½m 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. IÃ¯Â¿Â½m Brian Cooley with the Top 5 technologies IÃ¯Â¿Â½m looking for coming out of CES 2012. #5 is 4K Televisons. 4K means 4,000 lines of resolution from left to right. Current 1080p TVÃ¯Â¿Â½s have about half that. IÃ¯Â¿Â½m ranking this one at the bottom since I donÃ¯Â¿Â½t 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. ThatÃ¯Â¿Â½s OK, anythingÃ¯Â¿Â½s 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 donÃ¯Â¿Â½t buy it, but because itÃ¯Â¿Â½s 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 doesnÃ¯Â¿Â½t 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 TVÃ¯Â¿Â½s today still use expensive, delicate, proprietary active electronic glasses and thatÃ¯Â¿Â½s one of the big stumbling blocks to a technology that has plenty of them. While weÃ¯Â¿Â½re 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, youÃ¯Â¿Â½ll 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 doesnÃ¯Â¿Â½t 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 5Ã¯Â¿Â½s like this one heard on over to Top5.cnet.com. I am Brian Cooley.