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What's New At CES For Smaller Companies

The economy may be down, but that doesn't mean people's interests in technology are. With the Consumer Electronics Show kicking off today in Las Vegas, which products will be generating excitement?
The economy may be down, but that doesn't mean people's interests in technology are. With the Consumer Electronics Show kicking off today in Las Vegas, which products will be generating excitement? Though attendance is expected to be down 8 percent at the 42nd annual International Consumer Electronics Show, it will be interesting to hear reports after the show about how sales went and which products garnered the most buzz. "History proves that even during times of recession, people are willing to invest heavily in great escapes and products that take their mind off the concerns and vagaries of everyday life," said Scott Steinberg, publisher of DigitalTrends.com in an article on CNN.com. "That being said, consumers are becoming smarter about how they spend their money."

But CES -- which ends Sunday -- isn't just about the consumer. Even though they're not included in the title, businesses can keep an eye out for trends of interest to them, since consumer technology is what pushes the envelope and leads to innovation and adoption of new technologies. Last year's show saw the debut of mobile projectors, chargers, and VoIP and storage products.

So what should be huge at this year's show? Mobile devices, such as Google's Android, Palm's Nova, and touch-screen smartphones; a new wave of netbooks; and green products, including a Motorola phone made from old bottles.

Other new products that could interest small and midsize businesses include:

Rumors of new products include a 12-inch netbook from Samsung and Skype Lite for Google's Android. But all that talk about a Zune phone? Don't count on it.

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Mary E. Shacklett, President of Transworld Data
James M. Connolly, Contributing Editor and Writer