Monday, January 5, 2009

Wi-Tricity gadgets to be unveiled at CES

Analysts expect wireless devices to be among the stars of the Consumer Electronics Show, as manufacturers from around the world gather in Las Vegas to show off their latest technology.

Other highly anticipated devices include super-thin high-definition televisions and ultra-portable cheap laptops that may appeal to shoppers squeezed by the credit crisis.

The "wireless technology", or "Wi-Tricity" at the heart of this plug-free future would be able to turn objects and even rooms into electricity hotspots, meaning you could charge a mobile phone simply by placing it on a Wi-Tricity desk, or power your laptop in an airport lounge without a power cable.

Exhibitors such as PowerMat and PowerBeam will be showing off devices that use Wi-Tricity. PowerBeam's system uses an invisible laser, beamed across to a solar cell, which converts the heat generated by the beam into enough usable electricity to power a set of small wireless speakers.

Athough Wi-Tricity isn't sufficiently advanced to power laptops or larger electonics, analysts expect to see the first digital picture frames and compact speaker systems at CES that use the technology.

Netbooks – small low-cost versions of laptops such as the Asus Eee PC that proved such a hit with consumers this year – are also going to be one of the major product categories at the show, with Intel and Sony among the many companies launching their own "netbook" devices.

Televisions, too, are expected to get thinner, with bigger, better quality screens. An increasing number of televisions will also offer internet connectivity, meaning that in future, viewers could download movies from the web straight to their TV and even communicate with friends while watching a programme.


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