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By Jason Stipp | 01-07-2011 03:00 PM

Five Looks Into the Future of Electronics

From the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show, Morningstar markets editor Jeremy Glaser reports that the tablet is here to stay, but the remote control may be on its way out.

Jason Stipp: I'm Jason Stipp for Morningstar, and welcome to the Friday Five.

Morningstar markets editor Jeremy Glaser is out in Las Vegas covering the Consumer Electronics Show. He has five key takeaways from the show for us today.

Jeremy, I hope you're having a good time at CES.

Jeremy Glaser: Well, Jason, I'm sorry that you can't be here. But I did find five things pretty surprising here at the Consumer Electronics Show. The first was; how tablets are being used pretty differently; how the three screens turn out to be more similar than different; the growth in China; how your remote might be thrown out of the window; and finally, the final barrier to 3-D adoption may have been lifted.

Stipp: So, Jeremy, in our CES preview video, you talked about the three things you're going to be looking for: tablets, tablets and more tablets. So what do you have to share with us on the tablet front?

Glaser: Before the show, I was pretty sure that tablets were going to be a big story. But the thing that was somewhat surprising was that tablets are not just being used by consumers, but they are making a really big push into the enterprise market, and to a lot of other unusual markets.

We've seen a number of tablets that are really geared directly towards businesses, and a lot of the consumer devices are being used by businesses way more that I think any of the manufacturers even suspected.

We also saw some products like a Blood Pressure Monitor that connects to your iPad so that you'll be able to get that kind of data directly onto that device.

I think that we wondered if the tablets was here to stay. I think it clearly is, because a lot of these uses were not envisioned, but once people got their hands on it, they really enjoyed using it.

Stipp: Jeremy before you left, we also talked about the proliferation of devices, the PC, the notebook, the mobile device. Do all these things still have a place in consumer homes?

Glaser: There's been a lot of talk for years about the three screens: that you have a mobile phone, you have your laptop or desktop PC, and your regular TV--and those are your three big screens.

And what we're seeing at this show is that consumers not only are demanding all three screens, but that they have pretty similar capabilities across them. People want to be able to edit a Word document on the go on a mobile phone, while doing the same thing on a computer, while also being able to access the Internet on their TV.

Instead of having different use cases for all three of those devices and all three of those screens, consumers seem to be demanding, and companies seem to be giving them, the capabilities across all three.

And that's leading to a race to get faster processors that are smaller to go into smartphones, to connect TVs, to make your computer more media-friendly to make it easier to get that TV media onto your computer. I think there is going to be convergence to devices, different sizes, same types of ideas.

Stipp: Jeremy, in 2010 we saw here in the U.S. that there was still a lot of demand for consumer electronics, but there is an area of the world where consumer-electronic makers probably are focusing even more of their attention right now.

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