Top Tech Trends: What Will 2011 Bring?


Samsung, LG and Sony have already showcased products that let users stream content from the Internet to their TV sets, but Harper said those are just the beginning.

"These are all basically baby steps in what's going to become a major effort," he said.

As people's media habits change, analysts say TV manufacturers are looking for ways to enhance their revenue streams.

Set-top boxes such as the Boxee Box, Roku, Apple TV and Google TV also make it easy to get Web-based content on to a TV screen. Competition among those smart TV devices will also heat up in 2011.

Google TV was widely expected to be showcased at CES, but the company announced in December that it would sit this show out. Speculation is that Google will unveil it later in 2011.

An Automotive Extravaganza

Every year, a big part of the show is devoted to automotive technology, and analysts expect even more car manufacturers to show off their work this year.

Enderle said a large variety of carmakers -- -- Audi, Ford and Hyundai to name a few -- plan to tout developments at CES 2011.

"[There's] a big fight now between the car vendors at CES for who has the most up-to-date in-car entertainment," he said. "Cars are starting to look an awful lot like more expensive consumer electronics toys."

Touch screens, brighter colors, better media, better wireless integration are among the features companies are expected to compete on.

Harper said Bluetooth connectivity for cars, lane-detection warnings and backup external cameras are on the rise. Another trend to watch is the Minority Report-style heads-up display, which provides information about the road ahead, the car's speed and more on the windshield in front of you.

Whatever Happened to 3-D

It's been the buzz word on the tip of every tongue at CES for the past two years. But in 2010, when the first 3-D TVs hit the market, consumers gave them an underwhelming reception.

Still, Enderle said, 3-D would make a run for it at CES this year, although the focus will be on content, not products.

"They didn't sell particularly well because they didn't have anything to show on it," he said. "This is the show we're really supposed to see the big wave of 3-D content."

He said the chatter is around new 3-D TV shows (including one cable show), the migration of movies to 3-D and products that convert 2-D programming to 3-D.

The glasses, a big sticking point for consumers, will also see a price reduction. The active shutter 3-D glasses have been running about $100-150, but Enderle said CES will showcase some generic glasses that cost $30-40.

"[This] I think will help a little bit with regard to adoption," he said. "You wrap it with content, you get glasses that more people can afford and are a lot less worried about giving to their children. That's a huge difference."

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