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The hottest gadgets of 2011.

Phones and wireless media will be seeing some seismic shifts this year, too, with the advent of Windows Phone 7 and a new crop of Android phones. Apple will steal thunder too

Gadget manufacturers will try a rabbit trick with tablets this year, too, hoping that the doodads they hyped a year agowill actually take off in 2011.

But, like Bullwinkle, what comes out of the industry's magic hat might be a little different than what the hypemasters are hoping for. 3-D televisions are still as useless in your living room as they were last year, but there's an array of new gadgets and software to let you create your own 3-D photos and video.

Tablets are poised to hit the market en masse in 2011 - just in time for Apple to release the second generation of its hit iPad.

Phones and wireless media will be seeing some seismic shifts this year, too, with the advent ofWindows Phone 7 and a new crop of Android phones. Although here, too, Apple will steal hunder, most likely by announcing a Verizon version of its massively popular iPhone. The realwinners might be ARM and Nvidia, makers of the ultra-low-power chips inside many smartphones. Whatever gadgets wind up dominating 2011, here's a preview of the top gadget trends that rocked CES in Las Vegas and will rock your world later in 2011.

3-D consumer cameras Panasonic's 3-D camera is just the tip of the iceberg. Expect lots more and cheaper 3-D cameras and camcorders in 2011. Thanks a lot, Avatar.

Yes, the cinematic phenomenon from James Cameron has helped usher in a new era of fascination with 3-D and its entire potential consumer applications. But with little 3-D content to watch on them, and a slow economy besides, the 3-D televisions touted last year just haven't taken off.

Camera manufacturers are more serious this time around about enabling consumers to produce their own at-home, three-dimensional media. Unfortunately, 3-D TV penetration will have to explode over the next few months (and years, really) in order for consumers to go all-in on 3-D-capable cameras. But the beginnings of a major new art form are in place.

Your Smartphone Ever dream of beaming your music, photos and video to any screen anywhere you go? With smartphones becoming more and more capable, nd wireless streaming technology getting faster than ever, the stars are finally aligning. In 2011, expect wireless streaming integration to make its way into audio gear and televisions, as well. LG, for example, is launching the LSB316 sound bar, which highlights Bluetooth wireless integration. You'll be able to stream music from a Bluetooth-equipped smartphone straight to the soundbar.

4G wireless Sprint made huge strides in rolling out its fourth-generation (4G) wireless network in 2010, and capitalized on that by releasing both a kick- ass 4G phone, the HTC Evo, and a powerful Wi-Fi hotspot device, the Sprint Overdrive.

Expect the 4G battle to heat up in 2011, as Verizon and AT&T begin deploying their own, competing 4G technologies. T-Mobile is already touting its version of 4G. These networks will be accompanied by a slew of 4G-compatible devices. Assuming that the networks are able to keep up with the demand 4G wireless could start to make significant dents in the market in 2011.

Tablets

The market for tablet PCs has shaken out into two unmistakable tiers: Apple and everyone else. But is that such a bad thing? If nothing else, the iPad's success has established that a) a market exists for a cumbersome, expensive gizmo that won't fit in your pocket, and b) people are hungryfor more options. Sales of tablets should reach close to 20 million in 2010, and analysts are optimistic that between 50 and 55 million will find their way into consumers' hands in 2011. It'll be a lot to absorb, for sure, but the tablet industry is ready for a full-fledged coming-out party. A lot of invitations have gone out, but it remains to be seen who the real party animals will be.

Processors

All the major chip companies will be touting new, mobile-focused versions of their processors. Graphics processing units, or GPUs, are specialized chips optimized for rendering graphics. They're usually installed in computers with a separate graphics card, which may or may not be integrated into the motherboard. We expect every major computer vendor to embrace these new chips, and you'll likely see a slew of computers with the new Intel chips inside.

Dual-Core mobile devices

"Dual-core is going to be the key marketing," said Tero Kuittinen, a telecom analyst. "Why buy a single-core phone?" Less visible will be the under-the-hood battle between Nvidia and Intel for dual-core mobile- processor supremacy. Intel, as you might expect, hasn't raised anything resembling a white flag, since it's expecting approximately 35 new Atom- based tablets this year from such companies as Lenovo, Dell and Toshiba.

Windows Phone 7

After falling behind in the smartphone game, Microsoft recently released its brand-new mobile operating system, Windows Phone 7. The software titan has a lot of catching up to do; we are expecting to hear about the latest Windows Phone 7 handsets and a major milestone: a partnership with Verizon. 2011 might be Microsoft's make-it-or-break-it year with Windows Phone 7.
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Publication:Flare
Date:Feb 15, 2010
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