CES 2010 Preview: What's Hot at This Year's Show
The big news at CES 2010 will be about storage that uses USB 3.0. The new, faster USB interface promises high-speed transfers, and storage will be the first peripheral to take maximum advantage of it. Buffalo Technology has already jumped into the game with a drive, but we expect an avalanche of USB 3.0-related announcements at the show.
USB 3.0 traveled a long and bumpy road to market, and some of the early implementations may require a third-party add-in card--much as happened in the earlier transition from USB 1.0 to USB 2.0. Two motherboards are now available with USB 3.0 support, but the interface is not yet widespread. --Melissa Perenson
Keyboards, Mice, and Remote Controls
New input devices debuting at CES emphasize ergonomics. Smartfish is introducing a new product based on its ErgoMotion technology (already available in the company's ErgoMotion Keyboard and ErgoMotion Mouse). Designed to relieve stress from repetitive motion, the new peripheral automatically adjusts to the user's natural hand and wrist positions for more-comfortable computing.
Hillcrest Labs has received a 2010 CES Innovations Award for its Loop pointer, a loop-shaped "air mouse" designed as a pointing device for a computer connected to a TV. The company's Freespace motion control and pointing technology also appears in other devices and partner products that will be on display at CES. --Peggy Watt
Appealing audio offerings are all over the map this year. High-end audiophiles will delight in Definitive Technology's XTR-50 speakers, which flank your HDTV and have a depth of just 1.5 inches off the wall. For people who rank practical convenience above sound fidelity, Myine's Abbee FM radio automatically deletes commercials and DJ talk from radio stations. And for those who want surround sound but can't accommodate a six-speaker rig, Coby is launching a 3D audio sound bar that shapes stereo output to emulate the surround-sound experience. --Jared Newman
An expanded Sustainable Planet Spotlight section on the CES floor this year will feature some three dozen exhibitors, and many other vendors will highlight energy-efficient products--notably TVs--as well. Ecologically friendly products slated to appear at CES range from a Sanyo electric bike to energy-monitoring systems for home and business.
Teridian Semiconductor will show its smart energy meters for home users and for inclusion in smart appliances and power supplies. GreenPeak will demonstrate its sensor technology for low- and alternative-power, low-maintenance wireless networks. Embertec will present what it calls the first fully automated digital power-saving technology.
Green Plug is announcing several new partners for its Greentalk technology, which enables various electronics to communicate over power sources, to monitor energy consumption, and to run more efficiently. Another maker of power management products, iGo, will show its line of universal chargers and other devices equipped with its iGo Green Technology, which regulates and minimizes power consumption.
The Sanyo Synergetic Hybrid Bicycle, nicknamed the "eneloop bike," allows riders to generate power while coasting or braking. It has received a CES Innovations 2010 Design and Engineering Award in the Eco-Design and Sustainable Technology category. The 26-inch bike has a motor and electrical system, too, and it adjusts to provide assisted power in difficult terrain. --Peggy Watt
Be sure to follow our complete CES coverage this week right here on PCWorld.com.