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I walked the floor at CES yesterday. The experience reinforced how much has changed in technology in just one year.

Android is ubiquitous. Android tablets are made by every conceivable manufacturer and delivered in any possible size you may desire. But most tablets paled in comparison to Motorola’s tablet running Android new 3.0 OS.The new Android operating system is responsive and well designed for larger screens. The iPad was well represented among attendees, however.

Using the same chipset and OS,the Atrix 4G is a beautiful phone that easily docks to power a laptop or desktop “computer.”  The mobile phone switches modes and powers a desktop computer running Firefox and all the other Android apps.

Even more impressive, I answered text messages and calls directly using the docked phones without missing a beat.

To achieve this, some sophisticated hardware is needed and the one powering these Motorola devices, Nvidia’s Tegra 2 chipset, is mind blowing. I saw demos of phones pushing full HD video to TVs through HDMI. Other phones were playing HD synchronous MMOs, with some players on XBox or PS3s and others using mobile phones connected to TVs.

These two 4G devices demonstrate order of magnitude improvements in their respective categories. I can only imagine the tremendous opportunity for startups to build on these platforms. 

We have reached the point when a mobile phone is powerful enough for most desktop actions – two or three years before I had imagined.

3D televisions were displayed prominently. Those requiring glasses provide cinema like 3D experiences. More impressive were LG’s 70 inch diagonal TVs only 7mm thick. Display technology is rapidly improving.

Lastly, there was a significant focus on home automation. There were three Roomba competitors with very sophisticated mapping systems and cameras.  Salespeople used mobile phones across the room to reduce heat or begin a heavy wash cycle on a network enabled oven and washing machine.

Noticeably absent were any PC related innovations. Vendors emphasized tablets and mobile phones. Marketing campaigns all were tied to apps to be downloaded in the iTunes store.

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