CES Diary: The recession hasn´t hurt tech innovation



While the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in 2010 seemed a little bruised by the economic downturn, CES 2011 saw a return of innovation to the show with a glut of excellent gadgets that show the tech firms are willing to put plenty of cash into R&D and aren't reeling from recession any longer. We walked the floor at CES 2011 and found some seriously fantastic tech on show that proves the recession didn't blunt the edge of tech innovation. Read on for our three signs that innovation was alive and well at CES 2011.

ASUS Eee Transformer.jpg
(The Asus Eee Transformer tablet)

Cool tablets that aren't the iPad!
CES 2011 was the year of the tablet. Last year, CES was waiting to see what the Apple tablet would be like, this year it was about firms battling to make a tablet that could tantlise tech fans as much as the iPad. It's hard to say if anyone managed to do that but with everything from laptop/tablet combos from Lenovo to Asus offering up a wide selection of cool looking models, the tablet was the champion of CES. Even Sony confirmed that it'll be bringing its own slate out this year.

CES 2011 drew huge crowds
After smaller crowds in recent years, CES 2011 played host to a record number of visitors from outside the US (30,000) with a total audience of over 140,000. That's a good sign for all parts of tech. While CES draws lots of journalists, its main reason for being is getting gadget buyers from retail outlets face to face with the gadget makers. If more of them rocked up to CES in 2011, that's a good sign for you if you're hoping for cool gadgets in shops near you - the people that buy them in were in Vegas to eyeball that cool future tech.

The show played host to true future tech
While the CES 2011 show saw plenty of new smartphones, cameras, 3D TVs and the like, there was also a lot of cool new technology on show from souped-up cars like the Ford Focus Electric (a totally electric car with lots of smartphone integration) to affordable 3D printers, the Makerbot Thing-O-Matic and Avatar Kinect which brings true 3D dimensional realistic avatars to Xbox gaming. There were also plenty of way out gadgets like the Sony Personal Viewer delivering 3D virtual reality, plenty of augmented reality experiments on show and new faster, smarter phones on the next generation data networks.

Have you been watching the announcements coming out of CES 2011? Tell us what technology is exciting you most.