The top 5 CES trends that will matter in 2012

If you couldn’t tell by the avalanche of product news hitting VentureBeat over the past few weeks, the next Consumer Electronics Show is almost upon us. The annual trade show, which has been held in Las Vegas for more than a decade, is where many of the world’s biggest electronics companies debut their new products, announce major news, and desperately try to remind us that they exist.
A flood of news is par for the course at CES (VentureBeat will be covering the event extensively, as we’re sending more writers than ever before), but every year a few major themes emerge that will resonate for the rest of the year. While the value of CES has arguably declined over the past decade — with companies like Apple, Samsung, and Microsoft announcing plenty of products at their own press events throughout the year — the show still provides us an interesting glimpse of what lies ahead. This year’s trade show is poised to be one of the biggest in years, as the Consumer Electronics Association believes it will draw 149,000 attendees to more than 2,700 exhibitors occupying more than 1.8 million square feet of exhibit space.
Here are our predictions for the CES trends that will make a profound impact on the technology world, both for businesses and consumers, in 2012.