CES: Innovation panel predicts the future

The Las Vegas Convention Center is teeming with those comfortably shod, all amassing together for the first day of the Consumer Electronics Show.

In case there is any doubt where they are, greeters in showgirl headdresses are a quick reminder.

Inside, gadgets are spread across the length of about 35 football fields.

At least one panel discussion here is focused not on what people can buy now, but what they will be able to buy at CES in the future—at least 10 or more years out.

“Where are the geeks? Yes!”

A quick theme emerged: Devices need to communicate with each other, according to these experts. Enough with each gadget having a separate operating system that doesn’t communicate with another device bought from a competing store. These panelists want wifi-enabled, everything.

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From smart kitchen appliances that could tell you, remotely, if elderly relatives have made breakfast for the day, to robots charging themselves and intelligently cleaning, a goal emerged: That carefully tailoring robotics and everyday items in support roles will benefit society, if the devices can intelligently interact with users.

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Another clear prediction: That static and hard glass-fronted mobile devices, seen everywhere in this tech-connected audience, are about to be replaced with flexible displays.

From Las Vegas, Kerry Davis, IDG News Service.