Holy tech, Batman! Check out the MN companies at CES

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It's a good time to be a technology geek.

CES (which used to be called the Consumer Electronics Show) is Jan. 6-9 in Las Vegas.

It's a giant gathering where tech giants get together, show off their products and demos, and meet others in the industry.

Or, as USA Today puts it, "the Super Bowl of the gadget world."

CBS News says overall, the big trends are going to be virtual reality advances (some of which BringMeTheNews demoed last fall), connected cars, fashionable wearable gadgets, and robots/drones.

There's also an emphasis on what's been dubbed the "Internet of Things" – that is, getting all these different, powerful, small devices to talk to and interact with each other, the Associated Press explains.

In total, there are 3,600 companies there to exhibit, including about 500 startups, CES says.

Minnesota tech companies

There are 22 exhibitors listed as from Minnesota – some of them big names, others you probably don't know. (There's a list below.)

The Pioneer Press highlighted a few of the local companies there, including PetChatz. It's a video chat service for humans who are away from their animals – that the pets can start themselves. Yes, your pet can dial you up for a video chat.

Meanwhile the Business Journal also picks out some participants to show off, including a new line of instant-print Polaroid cameras.

Here are the 22 Minnesota companies, with links to their CES profiles.

Best Buy there to survey the scene

Best Buy will be there. The company says TVs are always a big deal, and will probably be so again this year because of HDR (high dyanmic range) technology.

But really what they want to do is use CES to scout startups, the early stage stuff – then figure out what could be a huge hit, and help it get there.

"Our goal is to figure out what could be commercialized and help to make that happen faster," Best Buy says.

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