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3D is in. Why? Because CES says so.

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You know you want them.
Photo: Justin M. Bowen

What was big at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show?

Avatar.

Which is disappointing, considering Avatar was the big thing at last year’s Consumer Electronics Show. The industry hasn’t found another 3D movie to get excited about, and that should give everybody pause.

That is a lot of screensavers.

Sharp Electronics' i3 Wall

Do consumers really want 3D TVs, or did they just like James Cameron’s movie?

Judging by all that I saw at this year’s CES, nobody bothered to ask that question. Everybody and his mother are now manufacturing 3D TVs. Before CES, if you’d have asked me whether I thought most Americans would have 3D sets in their homes come 2020, I’d have said “maybe.” Now I’m thinking yes. Not because of demand; because of supply.

Consumer-friendly 3D technology is broadening. Soon, you’ll be taking pictures in 3D (Canon), filming home movies in 3D (Panasonic, Sony), and watching glasses-free 3D TVs (Toshiba). Further CES highlights included giveaway king-size bags of Reese’s Minis, scandalously plush carpet at the Microsoft booth and a can of “eCoupled” Campbell’s Chunky Chicken Noodle soup, which, the booth babe said, heated up with “induction and intelligence.”

For me, the convention’s best offering was somewhat of a throwback. It was Sharp Electronics’ i3 Wall, a 5-walled room filled with edge-to-edge HDTVs on every surface. It was the living incarnation of Richard Powers’ Plowing The Dark, and it was gorgeous. Walk up to the room, suspend your disbelief, and you’ll feel like you’re flying over the countryside (assuming Sharp is playing the countryside graphic).

Tao Group needs to put one of these i3 Walls in Marquee ASAP. Either that or start an Avatar-themed club, because, if CES is any indication, people ain’t over it.

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Rick wrote the books Fool Me Once: Hustlers, Hookers, Headliners, and How Not to Get Screwed in Vegas and Lawyer ...

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