For good reason: In 2013, CEA and GfK predicted that for the first time, three categories of devices — mobile personal computers, tablets and smartphones — will account for over half of all consumer electronics spending worldwide.
Shawn DuBravac, the CEA's chief economist, said one trend at the show was the increasing number of exhibitors who display technology that uses a smartphone or tablet as their hub. He noted a 25 percent increase in exhibitors from health and fitness companies, including those that sell heart monitors and blood pressure applications.
He also said the clamshell design of laptop computers, which hasn't changed much in two decades, will face a significant challenge. He expects 30 to 40 different hardware designs for the laptop to be presented on the show floor. Some intriguing computers on display will be giant touch-screen tablets meant for lying flat, and laptops whose screens can swivel around or detach from the keyboard easily.
"The clamshell design is still intact 20 years later. That's starting to change," he said.
More companies are also expected to do more with devices that respond better to a wider range of gestures and more natural speech.