With everything going wireless these days, the patch cable would seem to be an endangered species. If the products at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last week are any indication, you could soon be bidding adieu to cables for many of your gadgets.
For example, Intel's new WiFi-based display technology—called "WiDi"—will make it possible to connect computers to televisions and large format video monitors without a collection of cables. Built into some notebook computers shipping in January 2010, WiDi could spread to other consumer electronics soon.
Another place where wireless technology is springing up is in car tech. Ford's new "cabin technology", called MyFord Touch, will make the web as much of a feature of your driving experience as GPS is. MyFord Touch adds a whole new level of interactivity to a car's displays, stereo system, and communications features, allowing you to connect your smart phone, iPod, and other WiFi gadgets into the system. MyFord Touch even has the ability to turn a car into a rolling WiFi internet access point, with the addition of a cellular modem.
There's even WiFi for your digital camera. The EyeFi wireless SD memory card eliminates the need for that camera-to-computer USB cable, making it possible to move your pictures straight from your camera to your computer wirelessly. That's a feature that has been available only in some of the higher-end cameras in the past, but now any camera that uses the SD format.