Consumer Electronics Show offers geeky goodness

There are just two days to go until the start of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, and it looks as if the geeky gadgets will keep on coming.

The most notable area for product launches at this year’s event looks certain to be the latest batch of “iPad killer” tablet devices (mainly running Google’s Android platform), though there will also likely be headlines when Verizon unveils its first smartphones compatible with the ultra-high speed LTE (4G in all but official specification) networks that are currently only available through PC cards.

There are plenty of other goodies set to go on display though. Here’s some of the ones that we’ve already heard about.

Microsoft is planning to unveil a set-top box that runs a customized edition of Windows and uses the Media Center interface. It will combine streaming from a PC with online content. And yes, it does sound like a “me too” response to Apple TV and Google TV.

Netflix will apparently announce that it is now so huge (it makes up 20% of all peak-time download traffic in the US) that it’s persuaded most of the leading manufacturers to begin including a giant red Netflix button on remote controls for Blu-ray players and TV sets with internet capabilities.

ASUS will demonstrate a motion control system for PCs that uses the same 3D capture technology licensed to Microsoft for Kinect. It’ll be mainly focused for web browsing when watching a large screen TV hooked up to a PC, but could be used in online gaming as well.

Lexar is offering a frankly terrifying 128GB SD memory card. It’s hard to decide what’s the more frightening prospect if you manage to lose or damage the card: the loss of a stupendous amount of data in one go, or the fact that you’d be writing off a $700 investment.

HDTV manufacturer Vizio will be showing off sets that include built-in access to a range of applications, most notably OnLive, a streaming PC gaming service that includes high-profile games such as Assassin’s Creed II and Batman: Arkham Asylym on three day ($5-7) and five day ($7-9) rentals, or unlimited access for around $20-30.

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