January 9, 2012
CES 2012 : 10 Impossible Dreams by batteryfast.co.uk CES 2012 : 10 Impossible Dreams by batteryfast.co.uk
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CES 2012 starts on Sunday, and it’s sure to bring a ton of new gadgets and gizmos that will dazzle tech fans. But it’s important to keep your expectations in check. There are plenty of things we’re hoping for from the tech world that we’re unlikely to see at this show. I may be wrong, of course—in fact, I hope I’m wrong, because each of the 10 things on this list would be exciting news. But as we page through our stack of new HDTVs and quad-core tablets, let’s keep an eye out for any of these long-awaited developments. Don’t be too disappointed if they don’t show up. A smash hit Android tablet. Android tablets were supposed to sweep the world after last year’s CES, mirroring the success of Android phones. But Google Android Honeycomb devices turned out to be too expensive, with a lousy app selection, poor developer outreach, and a somewhat confusing UI. The new version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich, could
change the game to some extent, but Google and Android tablet manufacturers need to show that people will be able to get terrific apps on their tablets. While we’ll surely see great tablet hardware at CES, I’m betting the app part of the equation will still be missing. BlackBerry 10. RIM needs a new smartphone operating system. Even the BlackBerry maker itself acknowledges that. So the company is working on BlackBerry 10, its brand-new, QNX-based OS for phones. At least, we trust RIM is working on it, because it hasn’t shown it to anyone in public yet. While RIM will be at CES, the insiders at CrackBerry.com are reporting that we’ll have to wait a little longer to see what BlackBerry 10 brings to the smartphone table. A DRM-free video service. DRM-free music has been around for years now—even from Apple!—but the process of renting and buying videos online is still very frustrating. Wouldn’t it be great if someone could make a breakthrough where you could buy a video once, and then play it on all your devices without using buggy, proprietary software? That would be a great CES innovation, but dream on: it’ll happen over Hollywood executives’ dead bodies. A usable “connected TV.” TV user interfaces are awful. Whether you’re trying to connect your TV to other gadgets around the house using DLNA, or to online services such as Netflix and Yahoo, only passionate techies can work their way through all the menus and buttons to figure out what to do with these things. Do you remember that Google TV remote control? It was a horror. I don’t think anyone will be able to crack the TV UI problem this year,
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January 9, 2012
CES 2012 : 10 Impossible Dreams by batteryfast.co.uk
though, so look forward to more “connected TV” solutions that nobody can use.
more power than an iPad. That might happen this year, but it won’t happen next week.
Quality 3D TVs. 3D TV—in fact, 3D anything—was the most hideous gimmick of CES 2011, sending thousands of CES attendees’ heads spinning. 3D TVs offered poor viewing angles or clumsy, expensive glasses. 3D phones reduced the “viewing angle” idea to a single viewing point. The entertainment industry is hoping that 3D will cause a new wave of buying stuff, but not if it continues to be this poor quality. I don’t see it getting any better at this show.
A new Xbox. Microsoft hasn’t released a new gaming system in a while. Sony will be showing off the PlayStation Vita, and Nintendo has the Wii U coming up. So what’s next from the house of Halo? Most speculation has a new Xbox coming in 2013, so I doubt we’ll see any major Xbox action at this show. Microsoft’s CES plans will probably be more focused around Windows 8, which is also a big, big deal for Microsoft.
A long-term future for T-Mobile. T-Mobile should be rejoicing in its $4 billion “break-up fee” from AT&T, including cash and much-needed spectrum. But there’s a cloud hanging over the carrier because its parent, Deutsche Telekom, still seems to want to flip it. I’d love DT to either come up with a new suitor quickly or to double down and invest in its U.S. carrier, but it may be too soon after the collapse of the AT&T deal to hear a new plan.
Anything from Apple. A new Apple product at CES would be huge news. But Apple will never come to CES. A new Apple product announced during CES, at a location hundreds of miles away (like the original iPhone was) would be an organizational nightmare for those of us who have to cover these things. I am desperately hoping that nobody hears a peep out of Apple until at least two weeks after CES.
A new paradigm for 4G service plans. For years now, we’ve been hearing how you should be able to share a bucket of data between several devices you own. We’ve also been hearing how 4G should increase network capacities so you’d be able to get more data for your money. But that isn’t the case: every gadget still needs a separate subscription, and 4G doesn’t cost any less than 3G (in some cases, it costs more.) We’ll probably hear a lot of meaningless platitudes about new service plan paradigms, but I’d be very pleasantly surprised if we see radical new service plans at this year’s CES.
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Cheap Ultrabooks. The massive economies of scale in the PC industry aren’t helping the price of Windows-powered ultrabooks, which can’t manage to squeeze down much below the price of Apple’s MacBook Air. A $500 ultrabook would really shake things up, capturing the laptop shopper who’s dissatisfied with the inelegance of netbooks, but wants
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Published on Jan 8, 2012
CES 2012 starts on Sunday, and it’s sure to bring a ton of new gadgets and gizmos that will dazzle tech fans. But it’s important to keep you...