Overhyped trivia overwhelmed the few real innovations at Consumer Electronics Show

Announcements and new product categories were inflated by hype, hiding the things that really mattered

Why Windows Phones Are the Most Exciting Handsets at CES – For the same reason the greenest player on a team gets a big trophy at the team banquet for rising from incompetent to almost-average. Windows Phone: CES 2011 "Most Improved Player" and rising star of the JV smartphone squad.

Ultrabooks: Bringing Sexy Back to PCs – Laptops lighter than luggables that don't collapse under the weight of multi-tab browsers running SAAS apps? How about just calling them "acceptable performance-books?"

At CES, Ultrabooks take aim at MacBook Air and miss – Being lighter than a luggable doesn't give new pseudo-category the speed or acceleration to intercept enemy's genuine aircraft.

GPS dogtags and glass PCs: the show's hits and misses – Because GPS trackers small enough to be used to spy on spouses and children and outre PC case designs are both more exciting than improvements in ultrabooks, Windows Phone or Blackberries built into a Porsche.

CES developments that will actually make a difference:

Micro-mech chips to free phones from 'grip of death' – The headline is the only hype-weakened thing about this genuinely significant announcement of a chip purpose-built to eliminate ability of end users to block cell reception with a grip the antenna doesn't like.

Firm pitches tech trio powered by portable processor – Another genuine innovation. Modular smartphone/computer design that puts CPU in a keyfob that talks to tiny phone screens, keyboards, storage and other devices chosen by the user. Result is the OS and data stay in your pocket while you assemble other components into a smartphone or computer to suit your immediate needs.

Where to go next:

The pimp-my-car vibe is so strong at CES and the mutual-hype cycle it shares with Detroit car-concept geeks is so strong, a story about the 2012 North American International Auto Show, which opens tomorrow:

If you go: Five fun things to see and do at 2012 Detroit auto show:

  1. Go to New York.
  2. Go to Boston.
  3. Go to Chicago.
  4. Go to Los Angeles.
  5. Go to Miami.

Read more of Kevin Fogarty's CoreIT blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Kevin on Twitter at @KevinFogarty. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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