Tech companies are showing off thousands of brand new products at CES and it soon becomes apparent that many of them have certain things in common. Here are 10 great examples:
As expected, CES 2009 is awash with ultra-skinny TVs, although pure OLED sets are somewhat thinner (ahem) on the ground. Panasonic arguably has one of the best in shape of the 54-inch Z1, which measures just 25.4mm deep.The TV also packs Wireless HD technology and, of course, is 1080p capable.
Joining it is the LG LHX - a 55-inch LCD set measuring just 24.6mm deep, which also offers Wireless HDMI plus OLED backlighting.
Samsung's TVs are also pretty waif-like at around 25.4mm deep, but it's Panasonic that takes the Size Zero honours. Its prototype NeoPDP plasma measures just 8.8mm from front to back, even though the viewing area is actually 50-inches from corner to corner.
2. Pico projectors
They've been kicking around for a couple of years as concepts, but the first pico projectors are finally becoming a reality at CES 2009. Pico projectors are tiny devices that can be incorporated into mobile phones and other gear, and then used to splash images onto walls, projector screens, etc.
They're going to be brilliant for business presentations and for watching movies on the move - although obviously if you lose your phone then the presentation, the projector and your dignity will disappear along with it.
The most disappointing thing is that the pico projectors currently being touted by the likes of Samsung, Texas Instruments, Toshiba and WowWee aren't really that small - Texas Instruments' version currently weighs in at 1.4lbs!
Our best hope lies in devices like 3M's MPro projection engine, which really is slim enough to slot inside a phone. Team that with a smartphone equipped with a 2TB SDXC card and you simply won't need a massive telly or a Blu-ray player anymore. The Logic Boltcell phone concept would seem to fit the bill nicely.
3. Internet in everything
If you thought internet access was limited to PCs and smartphones, then seeing some of the gadgets at CES 2009 could come as something of a shock.
Broadband internet access is now popping up in TVs, thanks to things like Yahoo's TV Widgets, which enables you to do things like grab personalised weather updates from the ether while watching EastEnders.
4. Blu-ray in everything
In what could be a last ditch effort to make Blu-ray popular beyond the PS3, the format's backers are unashamedly sticking drives in everything they can lay their hands on.
Sharp is putting a Blu-ray drive in its Sharp Aquos BD LCD TV, while JVC's LT-42B300 offers something similar.
Panasonic has even resorted to launching a portable Blu-ray player with a 9-inch display, something that seems like a complete waste of HD resolution. Better is the promise of Blu-ray 3D. You'll find more on 3D below.
5. 3D TV and PS3 gaming
As technologies go, 3D has been round the block more times than a marathon runner with a rocket up his arse. No one has yet found a compelling reason for anyone to actually want the technology - that is until now.
Panasonic has been showing off a 3D version of its 103-inch TV- complete with an endorsement by Hollywood director James Cameron - at CES 2009. It has also joined growing band of firms who plan on offering 3D movies on Blu-ray within the next couple of years.
Even Sony's getting in on the act showing off true 3D PlayStation game demos on its booth. The results are said to be 'amazing'. Samsung has also come up with a 22-inch 3D monitor for gamers, called the 2233RZ. Mitsubishi's entire line of Home Theatre TVs are also capable of displaying 3D content, thanks to a tie-up with Nvidia.
6. Super Storage
As you may have noticed from point 2 above, the SD Card Association has announced a new kind of flash memory card at CES, with capacities ranging from 32GB to 2TB - that's enough for 100 HD movies on a single postage-stamp sized slice of media.
Obviously SDXC - or Secure Digital eXtended Capacity - cards haven't reached 2TB yet, but even at 32GB it already boasts more capacity than a standard 25GB Blu-ray disc.
The arrival of SDXC and lower-price, larger-capacity solid state laptop drives - SanDisk is offering a 120GB drive for less than $250 (£166) - could eventually spell the death knell for two long-established computing technologies: the optical disc and the glass platter hard disk. We shall see.
7. Windows 7
Windows 7 is going to be big in 2009. From the millions of early adopters who'll try out the public beta to the monumental Microsoft marketing machine that will continue to drive the point home - there will be no escape. Windows 7 already looks like it will be a lot better than Vista.
8. Family-friendly media servers
Network Attached Storage (NAS) is fast throwing off its nerdy origins in favour of sexy home media servers that anyone in your family can use.HP launched a revamped - and Mac-friendly - version of its Home Server at Macworld Expo earlier in the week, and it's been joined here at CES 2009 by the Linksys Media Hub NAS among others.
The promise is easy access to your music, movie and photo files from any device in your home, which could obviously include network-ready TVs, too.True, home servers have been kicking around for a while, but this is one trend that really seems to have some momentum behind it.
9. Wireless charging
Another technology that's been a long time coming. Charging mats enable you to juice up the batteries in portable devices without having to hook them up to messy chargers with cables trailing all over the place. Companies like Powermat and WiPower have been busily showing off their wares at CES, while the Wireless Power Consortium is attempting to turn the technology into an industry standard.
10. Touchscreen everywhere
We still can't quite see the appeal of dragging your mucky fingers over your laptop's pristine screen, but PC makers apparently can. Asus showed off its N20 netbook with full touchscreen capability, More sensibly Samsung showed off its P3 MP3 player, which has a touchscreen with haptic feedback. Sony continues to play catch-up to Apple by finally introducing the NWZ-X1000 Walkman with touchscreen display.
From CES 2009