What's the next big thing in entertainment? At the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week, everyone wants to know! With 130,000 attendees and 2700 exhibitors, CES is an incredible, overwhelming event — and the best place to find out what's coming up this year. To stay in the know with the latest trends, a couple of us from Wikia were lucky enough to attend.
On the show floor, companies like Panasonic, Samsung, LG, Motorola, Intel and Dolby Digital showcased new products — with some of the most exciting being handheld tablets (to compete with the iPad), 155-inch flatscreen TVs, in-car services, and new chips and processors for faster gaming experiences. Lady Gaga even made an appearance to announce the new Polaroid Grey Series, stylish sunglasses that can take pictures and videos of what you're looking at and display them to people around you. Pretty neat, huh?
Off the floor, executives at entertainment companies talked about what we can expect to see "in our living rooms" in the coming year. We attended a session with digital media executives from SONY, Lionsgate, FOX, Starz, Epix, IBM, and Microsoft. Here are the top 3 trends we heard about that you should look out for in 2011…
1. Your TV is no longer just a TV. Last year, 3D was the big thing in television. But rather than focusing on the picture itself, TV makers are now focusing on what we really want — more content, and more control.
- Internet TVs (or connectivity through devices like Xbox, Boxee, and Roku) will allow us to stream titles from Netflix and Hulu Plus, rent movies from Vudu, buy from Amazon, and use services like Pandora, Facebook and Twitter.
- Recorded programming will mean you'll be able to start playing a scene just by searching for a single keyword, view soundtrack titles, and select sections to clip and share on social networks.
- With greater access to content feeds, you may soon be able to customize your viewing experience. For example, say you are watching an NBA game, you can choose different feeds to focus on a particular player, see their real-time stats, and more.
2. It's going to get easier. Fancy new devices and services are great, but doesn't it get confusing? Companies are recognizing that there is a lot of clutter and inconsistency out there, and will be looking to streamline and simplify in the coming year. User interfaces will become more intuitive and new apps will be built for quick action.
3. Your living room is going to get a little more exciting. Many Americans now have three screens going at once — TV, laptop, and smartphone — and are simultaneously watching shows, talking to friends, and playing games. With the kinds of interaction and connectivity offered by things like Skype integration and Xbox Kinect, the notion of "home entertainment" is going to change a lot this year, becoming more social and interactive.
So, that's our take. But what do you think? What's going to be the coolest new thing in entertainment in 2011?
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