Unstrung's Hot Picks at CES

LAS VEGAS -- CES -- Unstrung has arrived in Las Vegas for the massive Consumer Electronics Show (CES). We'll be here all week, avoiding the slots and reporting on everything from big carrier iron to the weirder side of wireless.

Here's a preview of what's hot at CES this year.

Mobile WiMax will make a New Year's comeback at CES with Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT), Clearwire LLC (Nasdaq: CLWR), and Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) taking the technology outside the convention and on the road with a driving demo. Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S), which has just launched its first WiMax sites, will also be trying to restore some luster to the broadband wireless technology's tarnished crown. Motorola has already announced its smallest WiMax modem yet prior to the show. Unstrung will be looking for more WiMax devices. (See Moto Preps WiMax & Mobile TV for CES.)

Google's first mobile operating system will be the talk of many wireless developers at the show. The search giant's software development kit has been out in the wild for a couple of months now, and firms like PacketVideo Corp. will be showing off their work with the new platform. (See Android, Nevada .)

Everything wireless
The mantra at the show this year seems to be everything wireless, whether the gadget needs to be unwired or not. This means everything from a number of WiFi digital picture frames -- which will let you automatically flick through the family photo album -- to wirelessly enabled memory cards from Eye-Fi.

User interface kinks
It is clear that the touch screen interface of the Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPhone has helped to create some new thinking on how people can control their phones. Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications , for instance, has developed a "handy Gesture Control" for its new Z555. The Gesture Control allows users to mute the phone or stop its alarm with a wave of the hand. Naturally, the device also comes with an MP3 player and 1.3 mega pixel camera.

The connected home
This hoary concept will no doubt again be dragged out into the light by folks like Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT). Do you really want your fridge and TV ganging up on you because you've forgotten to buy milk again?

Electric fashion
One of the more shocking sideshows at CES is the annual Taser electric stun gun parade. This year the manufacturer is showing off a "fashionable" defense device in electric blue. Simply stunning, dahling! (See CES: My Little Taser.)

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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