CES 2010 just blew the doors off sales tax revenue out in Las Vegas this past week and at the same time blew our minds with some juicy new tech headed our way. Tech that could very easily find it’s application, or even it’s perfect fit in 3D product design and development.

While there was plenty of talk about the dawning of our next decade being viewed through 3D HDTV’s and upon wee tablet devices, we’ve picked the ones that stand out. Ones that not only make you flare your drool-drenched teeth shanks, but also the ones we’d love to strap to ourselves in our own office. Here are the top 10 we cant wait to get our hands on. Which is your favorite?

Light-touch interactive projector
The Light-touch from LightBlue Optics projects a 10″ touch-sensitive display, using Holographic Laser Projection (HLP), onto any surface you can work on. No, not on your face, but imagine having an large(er) interface from a small device you can bring with you anywhere. Enormous applications for product design and manufacturing here.

MSI Wind Top AE2420
The AE2420 has a 23.6″ screen and the first set of specs in a configurable all-in-one computer that I’d consider for 3D work, especially at $1199 starting price. The key here is configurable. The more these become available, the more we can see them as the link between design, engineering and manufacturing collaboration.

Microsoft Project Natal
Microsoft’s Project Natal for the Xbox 360 console made further ruckus at CES this year. No controller required. You are the controller. No CAD application you say? Perhaps there’s more than we think, especially if the technology gets licensed (copied) by a CAD company. What then? It’s expected for the holiday season 2010.

PS3 in 3D
Jumping a bit into 3D display tech, Sony will have gaming in 3D. Let’s see… 3D creations being viewed and experienced in 3D. Let’s get rid of the glasses though.

Alienware M11x
Dell’s Alienware line is known for high-end gaming rigs. At CES they release their first netbook size gaming ‘rig’, the Alienaware M11x, which sizes in at a mere 11.6 inches and contains a 1GB Nvidia GPU, that will come in around $799. If gaming can move to these smaller portables, just imagine them being used for 3D design.

Lenovo IdeaPad U1 hybrid notebook
The only thing better than a small power house of a computer would be adding another 2010 craze to it. A Tablet. Lenovo debuted their take on the tablet future with the hybrid netbook/tablet Ideapad UI. Not only does it have a slick design, the touchscreen detaches to become a separate computer, with it’s own CPU and OS.

Seagate USB 3.0 External Hard-drive
USB 3.0. It’s not your grandpa’s USB speed. USB 2.0 came out 10+ years ago. The USB 3.0 is working it’s way into the market this year with reports that it will be 10x faster with 5Gbps max transfer, a tad faster that eSATA 3.0Gbps. Seagate’s BlackArmor PS110 USB 3.0 is out now in 500Gb for $180.

Eye-Fi wi-fi memory cards
Out in the field or shop taking photos? With the Eye-Fi Pro X2 you no longer have to rely on your device being wireless. Use this memory card with your SD-compatible device and get 8GB of class 6 read/write speed and instant wi-fi connectivity to boot. Available now for $150.

LG N+ monitor technology
31 monitors running off one computer. LG’s N+ multimonitor system sounds like a thin client type scenario, and is except that it likely uses an LG PCI card and virtualization software. The monitors are 23 inch with USB for mouse and keyboard. Talk about making CAD administration a bit easier.

Squeezable Control
You may have seen one of these on Develop3D. Cambridge Consultants had the squeezably soft Suma on display at CES and other tech that show how points of pressure can be brought into and manipulate 3D environments. Imagine squeezing/pushing out your geometry.

Other Highlight

There was way more sweet, sweet tech at CES that the few we mentioned above. They may not have to do with the future of how we create designs, but they’ll certainly play their roll. These are just a few of our favorites and some others you should look out for. Out of all of them (even the ones above) my favorite has to be the Parrot.AR iPhone controlled copter and the Blio eReader. Have fun.

RCX4 Star Stryker – an Star Wars X-wing style remote controlled copter.
Parrot.AR Drone – Another RC copter controlled via an iPhone. Brilliant.
Blio eReader – A free software eReader with a million browsable content already. Must have.
Nvidia talks Tegra – Interesting as it applies to the array of devices/industries.
Cool laptop designs – The Lenovo by far, the best. The Asus, a 2nd.
Custom OLED Artwork – Yeah, it’s pricy ($100,000) but it’s so slick.
Yo-gen handheld power – It’s a battery with a pull-cord. Yank for energy.
No Geek Needed – Turn VHS into Digital… $50.
The Green Scene – Big money maker for electronic manufacturers.
HD Webcam for Skype – If you use skype, prepare for HD.

All images via CNET. Thanks to the CNET CES crew for the great coverage of CES 2010.


Josh is founder and editor at SolidSmack.com, founder at Aimsift Inc., and co-founder of EvD Media. He is involved in engineering, design, visualization, the technology making it happen, and the content developed around it. He is a SolidWorks Certified Professional and excels at falling awkwardly.