Three years ago I went to CES in Las Vegas and had to search high and low for a compelling mobile tech story to cover. Sure, there were phones and all sorts of portable computers, but "mobile" - as in the wireless telcom industry - wasn't really a focal point of the show. Mobile waited past January back then to unleash news at MWC in February and CTIA Spring in April. Not so anymore.
Palm broke the mold, to some extent, by unveiling WebOS and the Pre at last year's CES. This year? Everyone and their uncle made mobile a part of their CES presence, it seemed. While we may not have seen a ton of US phone launches, there were a handful of 'em - and another pretty newsworthy one from Google the day before I headed out to Vegas. But more importantly, we saw launches and previews of many devices incorporating cellular connectivity into all sorts of form factors and headed to both the US and global markets.
So what caught my eye? Besides 3D TV, that is (I'm not sure if it's "good" or not, but I couldn't stop watching 3D polar bears swim through the water at Sony's booth).
Forget that Nexus One you just got in the mail, what you really want is a microwave oven running Android. Seriously, there was one at CES. Android was shoved into darn near everything, most notably catching my eye in E-Readers and tablet computer prototypes. A few products, like the Spring Design Alex shown in the video above, even morphed the E-Reader and tablet concepts together, with Android powering the whole thing. 2010 really, really should be the year that Google officially turns into "The Next Microsoft," and it'll all be thanks to Android.