The past becomes the future...
the future is now...
|The sensory-overloaded whirlwind that is the
annual Consumer Electronics Show supplied an array of bright lights, big
crowds, Hollywood celebrities and, of course, thousands of innovative
and zany gadgets, bigger and bigger tv screens, high definition cams
Wireless electricity, solar
devices, wireless devices from speakers that use radio
frequencies to feed the surround channels, everything was loaded
with "wireless"...and not only is it all about getting
information and entertainment, but how to share our content and
ideas as well...HD on mobile phones, audio was more important
than years before...the speakers, earphones and sound systems
were a big part of the displays through out the festival...the
HD projectors and the wide range of home theater and home
entertainment systems were a peek into a new future that is just
around the bend...
"This year was bigger than ever, with the latest innovations,
from new next-generation digital televisions, including OLEDs,
150-inch plasmas and laser TVs, to wireless HD, the coolest new
multimedia phones and ultramobile PCs, all on display," CEA
President and CEO Gary Shapiro said in a statement.
The 2009 International
CES will be held in
Las Vegas, Jan. 8 to 11.
Gathering 140,000 people across 1.8 million square feet in Las Vegas,
CES . This year, the largest conference of the
technology industry was punctuated by the ending of an era as Microsoft
Chairman Bill Gates gave his 11th and final CES keynote speech and
ushered in what he called the next digital decade, as technology becomes
more user-friendly, personal and ubiquitous.
"What ends up happening is the scenario gets bigger so it always
feels like there's more to do," said Robbie Bach, president of
Microsoft's entertainment and devices division. "It's a moving target.
As technology becomes better and you open up new opportunities, new
As usual, gadgets got smaller and adopted more interactive features.
Flat-screen televisions became thinner and bigger, with Panasonic taking
home the prize for its 150-inch screen. Some TV sets started connecting
to the Internet, at least in part, to supply information and
entertainment from the Web.
McLuhan said about
the time one notices a
Apple's presence was felt even though the company does not appear at
the show. Following in the footsteps of the iPhone, unveiled at this
time last year at Macworld, manufacturers displayed an assortment of
Internet-enabled mobile devices.
There was a lot of talk about green technology and adopting green
practices, but it was mostly just that - talk. A tiny, hidden corner was
carved out on the show floor to showcase sustainable technology, but it
amounted to not much more than a few booths.
Voltaic promoted its solar bags, including a new one with a solar
panel that produces enough wattage to charge a laptop from a day of
direct sunlight. Horizon and Millennium Cell demonstrated a
water-activated power generator that could take the place of a
traditional battery backup generator. And Dell encouraged attendees to
brainstorm the meaning of green on a glass whiteboard. One of the
frequent comments scribbled down? That being green equals money.
|A 150-inch high-definition plasma TV unveiled by Panasonic
is the world's largest to date, the Japanese consumer
electronics company claimed Monday at the International Consumer
The plasma panel features an 8.84 million pixel image
resolution. Its screen is the equivalent of nine 50-inch sets,
with an effective viewing area of 11 feet by 6.25 feet, the
company said. It's a step up from Panasonic's 103-inch version,
which cost $70,000 when it launched. The company did not say in
a news release how much the 150-inch panel will cost.
Many of the major consumer electronics companies did pledge to be
more environmentally friendly, including Hewlett-Packard, which
announced it would reduce the energy consumption of desktop and notebook
PCs by 25 percent by 2010.
Panasonic, Sharp and Toshiba said they are forming the Electronic
Manufacturers Recycling Management Co., which will manage the companies'
recycling efforts. The company also will handle future collection and
recycling for Hitachi, JVC, Mitsubishi, Philips, Pioneer, Sanyo and
Intel showed off its latest chip, Silverthorne, which will require a
tenth of the power of existing chips. Marvell also demonstrated a power
factor correction controller that will decrease energy use in laptop
power adapters and desktop power supplies by up to 50 percent.
Dell said it is evaluating how to cut back on waste and be more
Earth-friendly during the entire life of a product, from its conception
to disposal by the customer.
"We hate the nine-month life cycle," said Ed Boyd, vice president of
design for consumer products for Dell. "If we do a great
design, it will
last a long time." And Fujitsu exhibited a laptop made from corn. That is, it's an
ordinary computer with a casing
made in part from plant-based plastics.
CES highlighted how being green could become a strategy for consumer
electronics companies to stand out from the crowd.
"At a certain point, we've hit the largest screens we can hit. We've
hit the largest resolutions we can hit," said Michael Gartenberg,
president and research director for Jupiter Research. "People need some
Another trend was the drive to create more natural gesture-based
interfaces and controls. 3DV Systems, an Israeli company,
showed off a
new depth-sensing camera that allows people to play games or navigate
menus through body movements and
hand gestures. "We think it's the next step," said Zvika Klier, CEO of 3DV Systems.
"This takes an immersive experience further."
Sony demonstrated the Z555 Sony Ericsson mobile phone, which lets
users silence calls or turn off an alarm by simply waving a hand over
the phone. Panasonic showed off a Life Wall, a huge wall-size screen
that allows people to control the screen, interact with it and customize
it by using hand motions. And Gates highlighted Microsoft's touch-screen
tabletop computer, Microsoft Surface, during his speech.
In the format war for next-generation high-definition DVD players,
people at the show also talked about the fallout from Warner Bros.
Entertainment's decision last week to exclusively support Sony's Blu-ray
next-generation DVD standard later this year.
It took the wind out of the sails of the rival HD DVD camp,
especially for Toshiba, which has led the HD DVD charge. But while many
predicted this was the beginning of the end of the format war, Toshiba
and other HD DVD manufacturing partners said they will continue to make
HD DVD players.