"Keep in mind for this year's CES how critical the mobile space has become and how central it has become to everything related to technology," he said.
From the success of the iPhone and its thousands of apps for everything to the emerging growth of Google's Android-based mobile phones, consumers are increasingly looking to their phones to provide them with much more than the ability to make a phone call.
While Ulanoff expects innovation from phone manufacturers and potentially some new players in the mobile space, he said he didn't expect any industry-rocking news.
"I don't expect any game-changing phones to emerge," he wrote in a piece for PCMagazine, adding that he expects to see variations on touch phones, new form factors and more mobile applications.
And while 3-D technology was a major theme of last year's CES, most industry watchers say that, especially after the success of James Cameron's blockbuster "Avatar," it will attract even more attention this year.
"Last year, it was more of a technology demonstration, this year it's a product plan," NPD Group's Rubin told ABCNews.com.
Last year, he said there were more questions about the source and content. This year, major manufacturers, such as Sony and Panasonic, have lined up behind the idea and industry groups have made strides in standardizing the technology, he said.
In addition to new TVs, analysts expect to see different approaches to 3-D eyewear and even content.
But as much as the Consumer Electronics Show is about trends, it's about surprises.
Though the biggest names in technology will be there – your Microsofts, Motorolas, Sonys and Samsungs – a number of small names will be hoping to make a splash.
The Consumer Electronics Association said a record 330 new exhibitors will showcase their innovations this year and for the first time all exhibitors will be in one hall.
Ulanoff said finding things off the beaten path, like cameras built into underwater goggles, is always one of the week's most entertaining experiences. And, this year's more intimate event might make that easier.
"They used to put the innovators in another convention hall. Now, they're all in one place, it raises the profile for some of those really unusual and innovative products," he said.