Last week Las Vegas once again hosted the annual International Consumer Electronics Show. This year’s event, stronger than ever, boasted more than 20,000 new gadgets, from over 2,700 different companies, showcasing the latest work from a global industry. Many of these new technologies are still some way off general public release, but all hope one day to establish themselves as worldwide consumer electronics must-haves. Still, not all of them are exactly the iPhones of tomorrow, so here is a select rundown of some of this years more exciting and bizarre highlights…

Slacker Media Player – Released in the US at the end of this month is a new portable media player from Slacker. What distinguishes the Slacker model from its many competitors is its ability to independently download new tracks (chosen based on previous listening tastes), via a wi-fi connection which becomes active each time a network is detected and in range. In essence the device is constantly discovering new songs and artists which might interest the user. Currently three models are available – 4 GB, 1.5 GB, and 0.5 GB with more expected soon.

Zoombak Pet GPS collar – The perfect solution for overly adventurous pets; Zoombak’s new pet collar transmits a GPS signal at all times, alerting the owner when a pet leaves a pre-designated ‘safe-area’, via email or text. Retailing at £100 this promises to be an affordable item to allay anxious pet-owners fears.

Asus Eee Wimax-enabled models – One of last year’s runaway tech successes was Asus’s compact and light Eee PC, which offers an easily portable device with a 4GB solid state drive at a competitive price. New models will feature Wimax capabilities, as well as 7, 8, and 9 inch screen size options. This formidable wireless capability, combined with a reasonable price tag (entry level models will retail at approx $999), establishes Asus as a leader in the market. Intel have predicted Wimax to be the next generation wireless network, and with over 70 different countries currently running Wimax pilot schemes, Asus’s new models are looking like the best way to access affordable high-speed wireless on the go.

Finally, here’s something designed solely for the US market:

Taser International’s ‘iTaser’ – A new self-defence product that combines security with leisure and pleasure, and comes in red, pink, and even leopard print colour schemes. The Arizona based company is targeting women with this new fashionable option for personal security, hoping the taser will prove popular with joggers or Americans who feel uncomfortable shopping for protection in gun stores. Though illegal in Britain, 43 US states permit taser possession, and so far the company has already sold to 160,000 private citizens in these areas.

Anyway that’s it for this year, expect more innovative, wonderful, and frankly downright bizarre items from next year’s event – maybe a canine blackberry, or a bulletproof iPhone… who knows?