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Top Trends from the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show

Take more than 100,000 self-proclaimed tech nerds, drop them in the middle of Sin City, and what do you get? The 2013 Consumer Electronics Show, where many of the world’s most innovative technologies are unveiled in a span of a few short days.

This year’s event is important for a number of reasons. Most significantly, tech titans Apple and Microsoft were almost completely absent from the show, except for a bizarre appearance by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer at the Qualcomm keynote.

I made the trip to Las Vegas for this year’s CES, which likely set the stage for the trends we’ll be seeing throughout 2013. Here are five:

Windows 8 is here to stay. Lenovo, Dell, Panasonic and others introduced numerous devices powered by Windows 8. Everywhere you looked, Windows 8’s colored panes stared back. Intel announced that all fourth-generation processors will require touch, a move that clearly benefits Windows 8.

Windows 8 displayed here on an Ultrabook convertible model
Windows 8 displayed here on an Ultrabook convertible model

Customization is everything. Especially when it comes to TVs. Panasonic touted the importance of a personalized television experience, which means content designed for the individual and technology that integrates mobile.

Fitbit: A great example of technology that's inherently personal
Fitbit: A great example of technology that's inherently personal

Perceptual computing promises to make an impact. Intel’s perceptual computing initiative refers to using an interface to interact with the computer outside the realm of traditional input devices (mouse and keyboard). Think facial recognition, voice command and gesture control. One of our clients, Personify, debuted its new video chat product at the Intel booth this week.

The perceptual computing station at Intel's CES booth
The perceptual computing station at Intel's CES booth

The convertible laptop/tablet is poised to take over. People have been declaring the laptop dead for over a year. The truth is, laptops are still extremely useful in a variety of settings, including in the office and the classroom. The convertible Ultrabooks introduced by Intel at this year’s CES bridge the gap between laptop and tablet, letting users switch between the two with one fluid motion. Keep an eye on the Lenovo Yoga in 2013.

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Intel reps demonstrate how to separate the screen and keyboard with one motion

Thin is in. TVs are getting thinner. Tablets are getting thinner. Phones are getting thinner. PCs are getting thinner. CES attendees were even given the chance to try out a flexible smart screen called PaperTab.

Samsung's behemoth new flatscreen on the floor at CES
Samsung's behemoth new flatscreen on the floor at CES

Ferraris. OK, so this isn't actually a trend. But I had a cool picture, so you get to look at it.

Zuckerberg really needs to get himself one of these.
Zuckerberg really needs to get himself one of these.

Were you able to attend this year’s CES? Did you spot any trends I missed? Let me know in the comments below.