The most important place at the Consumer Electronic Show
The Consumer Electronic Show is an amazing show for all the obvious reasons; new gadgets, next generation views, Vegas, cheap buffets (not), and a chance to just see across a number of industries all at once.
ignore most of it.
if you want to have your mind overblown with ideas and a real glimpse of what's coming, make sure you spend a solid day in the Las Vegas Hilton's convention center/exhibition center. this is the convention space between the hotel and the LVCC. A zillion people pour through this space but lots don't stop. What's in here? Asia, Eastern Europe, and all the places that are making things cheap, fast, and way ahead of everybody else. It is in here that you will find MP3 players for $30. Quantity 50. 30fps MPEG-4 Viewers for under 200 bux. And component manufactures that can build you anything you want, in any case you want, any size you want, almost any price you want. Want to add wireless to your toy invention? $12 will get you the chip set. Digital Camera in that desktop pencil holder, no problem, the whole thing on one simple board.
The point is that for a day of your time, you can become an almost expert on where to get things, small, fast, and cheap. It has never been easier to get an idea done and to market. Next time you go to CES, check this area out. Well worth your time.