The countdown to CES 2010, the biggest electronics trade show on the planet, has begun, but what can we expect from the show, and what should we start to get excited about? Here are six areas that are going to dominate the news come January.

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Technology has gone mainstream supposedly, so that means the halls of the Las Vegas Convention Center will be filled with technology launches that embrace all of us rather than just a select few. In real terms that means everything from gadgets for kids, gadgets for mums and dads that look after kids, and gadgets for the silver surfer. Expect new toys for health, parenting and higher education.

Don't get too excited, Apple isn't attending CES, regardless of how many rumours you hear, but that doesn't mean companies that work in the Apple eco-system aren't going to be in Vegas launching new gadgets. With a whole area dedicated to the iPodiPhone and Macs, expect a fair share of iPod speakers, cables to connect to something else in your life and the usual array of cases to protect it all.

If you're planning on getting an ebook reader for Christmas you might want to think again. The ebook market has exploded in the US with AmazonBarnes & Noble and Sony all fighting over each other to offer you the digital reader you supposedly need. Plastic Logic has already confirmed that it will be launching a new ebook at CES and there is bound to be other manufacturers like Spring Design and iRex offering new models.

Riding on the wave of euphoria that Avatar will no doubt give the industry, consumer electronics manufacturers like Sony, Toshiba, LG and Samsung will be likely to be pushing 3D TV hard at CES 2010. IFA 2009 already showed us the concepts, CES will show us the reality. Expect new televisions, announcements from the Blu-ray Disc Association, television makers, graphics card companies like Nvidia and movie companies all trying to get in on the action.

While most people have surely moved on from the popularity of netbooks, CES organisers CEA believe netbooks are going to still be big news at CES 2010. What that means is a barrage of computers that don't do much but let you surf the Web and write the odd document. Of course manufacturers will be trying to tell us otherwise with improved graphics courtesy of Nvidia and ATI. You should also probably expect a barrage of tablet devices with touchscreens allowing you to surf the Web around the home.

With the economy making a comeback, manufacturers can once again turn their eyes to saving the planet. Although the idea of being green for green's sake is still very niche, generally manufacturers will be trying to tell you to ignore the thousands they are spending on lighting their booths and the sheer carbon emissions the show creates, by concentrating instead on how they've made advancements in the glass they use or the boxes your favourite gadgets go into. At least you can sleep at night knowing that we haven't had to chop down any trees to let you read this.