Displays: The race between LCD and Plasma continues at the high-end of the display market. 1080p (actually 1080 horizontal lines per vertical scan) displays were everywhere. TI finally has a version of their DMD, aka DLP, that supports 1080p through a technique they call wobulation : where they physically move the reflective die by a few microns to create the illusion of a second pixel for each mirror (actual array is 960x1080 to get to a 1920x1080 display). These units were everywhere and price points getting down to $599 retail for a full 1080p rear projection unit.

Big flat-panel displays : there were monster displays everywhere with some of the remarkable ones being 102 to 108 inches diagonal (Plasma and LCD). The image quality of these displays has reached a point where the source material is now the limiting factor, not the display.

3D Display: LG had a demonstrator 3D display that provided very good depth viewing without any glasses. I talked to their engineer and he said they did it by taking 25 versions of 2D images and sequentially replaying them through the display with special filters that allowed the image to be demultiplexed. It uses only proprietary content, but it looked great. I'm sure it will be marketed to digital signage applications for the next several years.

Micro-projectors: there were lots of pocket sized LED projectors that could display very small images (like 1 foot square) with low brightness (100 lumens). These looked OK in a dark room, but are not ready for primetime anytime soon. They were driven with LEDs and therefore the technology curve alone will make them viable in 3 to 4 years (~1000 lumens gets them into the game).

LEDs: Both pocket projectors and rear-projection displays are now starting to use LEDs as light sources. These displays have better color range (gamut) than arc lamp based displays and never wear out. In addition to the display applications, there were decorative LED apps such as desk lights, strip lighting and incandescent light replacements everywhere. One company was offering designer desk lamps that used 60 3 candela LEDs in a strip as a desk light replacement. It looked great and used only 8W of power. Unfortunately they are going after premium pricing initially - $95 each!

GPS: There GPS units everywhere : small handheld devices and larger form factor units. The interesting thing I saw was multiple vendors shipping silicon for indoor GPS (-160 dBm sensitivity). In addition to eRide and Global Locate, u-blox and SiRF have shipped silicon.

UWB: There were multiple companies displaying UWB devices of all flavors (proprietary, ISM-band compliant and MBOA). None of the displays that I saw went more than about 2 feet. I asked vendors what kind of range they were able to get and most of them said there was so much RF noise in the convention center that they were lucky to have it work at all.

Software and Content: Microsoft had their usual HUGE booth with several hundred visitors at any one time. The Windows Vista demo was compelling, but they had the usual demo glitches when they guy presenting different features found that some of them didn't work during the demonstration. He found a way to quickly switch to the next topic.

MSDN-Live: It was interesting to see the MSDN-Live products which finally started to look pretty interesting. MSDN-Live is the datacasting service that was started to feed the Spot watches. That never went anywhere, but the killer application for this seems to be integration of real time traffic information into GPS receivers. This allows roads to be color coded according to the average traffic speed and icons added to maps where there are accidents or disruptions. Microsoft charges both an up-front fee and yearly service fees for the data streams.

Sony: they did their usual focus on consumer electronics for about 3/4 of their display, but the other 1/4 was a theater showing previews of Spider Man 3. They made each viewer check their phone and cameras at the door, so there were huge lines to get in and out of the theater. It shows their emphasis on content.

Automotive Electronics: It was amazing to see a whole convention hall devoted to aftermarket automotive accessories. This hall had the best demonstrations with all sorts of custom cars (ranging from a small Lotus Elise all the way to a HUGE jacked up GMC truck). Cars with 24 low profile tires were common. Amplifiers (multiple KW in a car) were everywhere. LCDs were also everywhere.

Media Players: Streaming video and IPTV players were very common also. This technology has been around for a few years with very mixed results, but Sigma Designs has a new chip set out that really supports very high performance streaming of 1080p content directly to HDMI outputs. Netgear, Linksys and lots of no name companies demonstrated boxes that looked great.