CES Kicks Off With High Hopes

Techies optimistic about their gadgets

I'm on the floor of the Consumer Electronics Show. The annual glitzy kickoff event of the tech year takes place in Las Vegas -- and it shows.

Hundreds of tech companies, large and small, come from all over the world to show off their gadgets here. So  far, so good, when it comes to what we're seeing:  lots of flash, lots of  announcements being made, lots of new products, and it's not even officially started yet.

After a couple of years where even the biggest companies seemed too nervous about seeming too braggy to let it hang out, the glamour is clearly coming back to the gadget world.  Turntables to host the likes of Dr. Dre and Lady Gaga on the show floor, huge pyramids of TVs higher than what should be allowed, and a feeling of swagger the tech industry hasn't seen since Bear Stearns suddenly stopped ordering flat-screen monitors.

A sampling of the goods to be unveiled:

  • Silicon Valley giant Hewlett-Packard, out with a new touch notebook, and a tablet computer of its own imminent;
  • Sony predicting the biggest growth that company has seen in a while;
  • Phones of every kind, everywhere you look, trying to make you forget Google's Nexus One and Apple's iPhone 3GS
  • E-readers of every stripe on display, along with several tablet computers (hmmm, turns out we've now seen a lot of these.  Apple?)
  • And did I mention the blinding towers of televisions?

In the Marvell booth, the Silicon Valley chipmaker showed off its versatility, powered by bits of silicon that get ever more powerful even as they grow smaller.

"Moore's Law has finally come into your home," said Marvell's Tom Hayes.

All in all, it's good to see the tech industry ready to strut its stuff again.  Like the welcome return of, say, Vinnie Barbarino:  Sure, he can be obnoxious at times, but having him around means the earth is once again rotating on a positive axis.

So, welcome back.

You can follow Scott's CES updates here, and on Twitter:  @scottbudman

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