I’m only part-way through the show floor, but there are some pretty clear trends cropping up:
1. Connected. Everything is connected… share your pictures on your phone with your iPad or TV. Stream video from one device to another. Start a game/movie on one device and pick it up on another. Early efforts at this were mediocre (I don’t want to check my email on my TV), but having suites of products that can seamlessly share media and information will be pretty cool.
2. Crossover toys. Apparently toy manufacturers have decided that kids play with fewer toys in favor of digital entertainment. I’m not sure I believe that the decline in toy purchases is due to the iPad and not the recession, but either way, we’re going to start seeing more physical toys that work with tablets/gaming systems. Two examples are AppMATes and the Skylanders video game system. This is actually combining with the first trend, and there are more and more planes/cars/whatever that you control with your phone or tablet.
3. Wireless. This is nothing new, but with the rise of mobile devices, it makes sense that there would be an even large push for products that connect wirelessly. More and more we’ll see devices, storage and accessories that stream media, share data, etc., wirelessly. What will be even more exciting is the advances towards wireless power sources.
4. Cloud. Everyone is all about the cloud. Expect to see more and more products and services utilizing "the cloud" (online storage) to make your content accessible wherever you go. If you’ve got the access, this means streaming your music from home on a camping trip, or putting together an impromptu slide show of your recent vacation on your tablet from photos stored at home.
More to come…