Top techs preview CES 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017...

Peak geeks sneak peeks at future gadgetgasms

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CES 2012 CES isn't the only game in Las Vegas this week. For the true down-and-dirty technophile, the real action is at the International Conference on Consumer Electronics (ICCE) – and The Reg got a sneek peek at the geek freak that commences while CES concludes.

The ICCE, under the umbrella of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), is a gathering of the creative minds behind the technologies behind the engineering behind the manufacturing behind the products that eventually show up on the CES show floor.

As explained by ICCE's Stuart Lipoff at a CES session on Thursday morning dedicated to this year's ICCE, what's discussed at that conference often makes its way onto the CES show floor in "three to five years", though some technologies may arrive much sooner in fast-moving fields such as smartphones.

Here are some of the topics discussed at that session, titled in true boffinary understatement, "A preview of IEEE ICCE's most interesting technologies". Some of these are currently merely researchers' lab projects, some are in product-development mode, and some are available in the marketplace, but only at prohibitive prices.

  • smartphone cameras that combine the light from multiple quickly-shot images to compensate for the inherent light-gathering limitations of their tiny lenses
  • image processing to provide blur-free smartphone images in low-light situations and when the camera is moved during image capture</l>
  • elimination of the "ghosting" problems endemic in smartphone high dynamic range (HDR) photography
  • algorithmic elimination of chromatic aberration in smartphone cameras that are saddled with cheap-ass plastic smartphone lenses
  • real-time face detection, "beautification", and HDR tricks moving from smartphone still cameras to full-1080p smartphone video cameras
  • the advent of heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) and shingled write, the next big steps in hard-drive capacities
  • holographic 3D data storage in optical media
  • low-cost, low-profile 128GB flash modules by the end of this year
  • affordable storage systems to feed affordable 8K-by-4K and video systems
  • increasingly inexpensive consumer cloud storage, thanks to virtualization, deduplication, storage tiering, and not-yet-deployed future technologies
  • local peer-to-peer, in-building networks that provide location services in GPS-challenged areas
  • personal clouds, in-home clouds, single-building clouds, campus clouds, enterprise clouds – all interacting in a federated, tiered fashion
  • improved analysis of cloud content for all types for indexing, searching, correlation, and interpretation
  • clearer definitions of content ownership and distribution
  • widespread home automation, not for convenience but for better energy management
  • long-distance (320m) 24Mbps Bluetooth 3.0 streaming video
  • wireless-device home networks based on low-power Bluetooth 4.0LE (~3mA)
  • Wi-Fi replacing Zigbee as the smart-meter wireless communication of choice among utilities
  • increasingly popular Wi-Fi Direct (an outgrowth of ad hoc mode) providing wireless service without access points
  • users not paying for games up-front as most if not all developers adopt the "freemium" in-game upgrade-purchase model
  • upgradeable televisions that allow you to replace, for example, the set's connectivity hardware without having to buy an entirely new set, display and all
  • dual-perspective 3D TVs that allow two viewers to sit at prescribed angles to one another and see two different views – gamers, for example, could sneak up on an adversary from two sides
  • dishwashers and clothes washers in different rooms that talk to each other so that they don't turn on at the same time – or when you're in the shower
  • washing machines that email or text you to say that the washing is done and it's time to put the closes into the dryer
  • wearable diagnostic devices that predict such events as heart attacks and strokes – as if you want to receive a text message informing you of such a possibility

To test the ICCE dreamers' accuracy, we suggest that you print out this list and bring it to CES 2013 through 2018, where you can check off each technology that made the cut and found its day in the sun – well, the metal-halide lamps – at the world's largest gathering of gadget geeks.

Or, for that matter, you can add your own projections, wishes, dreams, and requests in Comments. ®

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