The 3,100 companies in attendance have launched about 20,000 new products since the tradeshow opened on Jan. 10. They range from everyday items like new smartphones to crowd-wowing flying cameras.
Besides companies using the venue to introduce consumers to their hottest new products, this year's Consumer Electronics Show highlighted the materials and capabilities that will dominate the tech world in 2012 and for years to come. The prototypes and early models that debuted this year are the first versions of technology destined to change not only our consumer experiences, but eventually redesign our households and even our nation's military strategies.
Here are four of the most important trends from the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show setting the stage for the future of tech:
Shaping the Future of Tech1. Gorilla Glass: This game-changing material by Corning Inc. (NYSE: GLW) is lightweight, damage-resistant, and dominating new products that rely on thinner glass for optimal use.
"The Gorilla Glass breakthrough is important because we are moving to a touch-screen world," said Money Morning Defense and Technology Specialist Michael Robinson. "Thinner glass is integral to technology that will greatly enrich the user experience of smartphones, ultrabooks, TVs, and ATMs. The thinner the glass, not only the smaller the electronics, but the more responsive and accurate the screens become."
Robinson has detailed industry-defining innovations like Gorilla Glass in his Money Morning series, The Era of Radical Change.
While Gorilla Glass was showcased in smartphones and laptops at the Consumer Electronics Show, Robinson said the material's importance goes beyond these everyday items.
"We are moving to the Japanese model in which a wide range of products typically sold in stores now come to consumers through vending machines located everywhere," Robinson said. "You'll control them with a smartphone or with touch screens depending on consumer preference. I predict a flood of new vending machines will hit the U.S. in the next five years that will need tough glass to deal with thousands of consumer purchases a day."
2. Ultrabooks: With traditional laptop sales plummeting, and tablets last year's hottest CES export, companies have combined a computer's operating capacity and a tablet's size to create ultrabooks, the latest phase in personal computing.