While last year's CES didn't offer much in terms of gaming, it would appear that CES 2009 has a lot more in store. This is partially thanks to the Nintendo Wii, which has not only solidified itself as the best-selling console of this generation, but because the system lends itself so well to third-party accessories. We expect to see plenty of new products announced exclusively for the Wii from companies like Mad Catz and Nyko.
For the second year, CES devotes its North Hall to automotive technology, showing the growing interest in electronics for the car. As we would expect, stereo manufacturers such as Alpine and JVC will be showing new in-dash products, expanding the idea of what the traditional stereo head unit can do. GPS and Bluetooth hands-free devices will also have a heavy presence, with connected GPS devices making an appearance as a new trend. We are also looking forward to seeing innovative new in-car services, such as Internet radio, satellite TV, and new digital music options.
At our CNET Car Tech stage … Read more
Remember Digeo's Moxi? After spending years in development, the DVR start-up was aiming to go head-to-head with TiVo by offering a DVR system optimized for sharing home recordings between multiple rooms in the home. We even got to see a demo and thought it looked pretty good. But it's a tall order to sell consumers on paying for a DVR--even one with some compelling value-added features--when they're used to leasing one that's "good enough" from their cable company with no up-front cost. The last we heard was that Digeo hit a rough patch (even … Read more
Microsoft will have a bunch of stuff to show at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, but a rumored ZunePhone won't be one of them, according to sources familiar with the company's plans.
Instead, much of CEO Steve Ballmer's focus will be on talking about Windows 7 from a consumer perspective. Microsoft is pushing to have Windows 7 done in time for the holiday 2009 shopping season, so that means this CES is Ballmer's best stage to tout its benefits.
While the desktop operating system will be front and center, sources say to expect Ballmer to … Read more
The Consumer Electronics Show has become a mammoth event every January in Las Vegas, but the down economy is paring it back as Cisco Systems, Yahoo, and other companies scale back their presence.
CES remains a useful way for technology companies to meet with retailers, press, and the media. But for some in the current economic climate, it's not useful enough to pay $35 per square foot for a sprawling booth on the Las Vegas Convention Center's cavernous interior.
"This was to have been Cisco's first time as a formal exhibitor," said spokesman Jim Brady. "Given (Cisco's) focus on reducing costs, the company has decided to scale down its participation in CES in Las Vegas in January 2009." Instead, the networking giant is sticking with a more modest space rented at the Venetian Hotel supplemented with videoconferencing technology.
Cisco isn't the only one to scale back. Also on the list are Yahoo, Seagate, Logitech, and Belkin, company representatives confirmed. Philips won't have a space on the CES show floor, either, though Funai, which has taken over manufacturing and selling TVs under the Philips brand in the United States, will pick up some of the slack.
The Consumer Electronics Association, which runs the show, said the show will be the third largest in terms of floor space, shrinking from its size the peak years of 2007 and 2008.
"The economy is causing some companies that may have had booths to say, 'Maybe we want to be in a meeting room instead,'" said association spokeswoman Tara Dunion. Despite it, the total number of exhibitors is level from 2008's show at about 2,700. "We're also seeing companies on the show floor for first time," including Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile, Iomega, and Mattel, she said.
And there's a silver lining, too. "Vegas hotel rates are coming down because tourism travel to Vegas is slower than it's been in years. That provides an opportunity for business professionals," she said.
Incentives to show But the organizers are working hard to keep the show as lively as possible. One promotion is aimed at technology buyers--the middlemen who buy all those TVs, gadgets, cameras, and other devices before selling them to ordinary folks.
And the winner is...
Although there were worthy competitors in the afternoon, the winner of the CEA i-stage event here in Las Vegas was Boxee, the "open, connected, social media center." (Though I did talk to a venture capital guy who said he was following my pick, Occipital.) I suspect that Boxee won through sheer slickness of interface, defined value proposition, and possibly presentation value. It's a good product, there's no doubt. Boxee walks away with the $50,000 and the coveted CES booth space, and we'll probably try to keep tabs on it on … Read more
It's lunchtime now and we've seen the first half of the i-stage presenters. It's been interesting and occasionally contentious, with a few notable standouts. First thing in the morning we saw a voice-activated remote control (Amulet) that manages Windows Media Center (cool, but with some minor hiccups that belie the difficulty of voice-recognition technology) and a portable, wireless video-camera system from Avaak that comes paired with an online streaming service. And a company called Frontline showed off the future of the treadmill--an Internet-connected exercise device that lets you virtually run through various locations, like the route of … Read more
Philips will not be exhibiting at the 2009 Consumer Electronics Show. The Philips brand, however, will still be on display at the Las Vegas Convention Center, thanks to the expanded presence of Funai--the Japanese company that will be producing TVs sold in North America under the Philips name starting later this year.
A Philips representative confirmed to CNET that the Dutch electronics giant will not have a presence on the show floor at the mammoth Las Vegas trade show, verifying rumors that had surfaced earlier this year.
Traditionally, the Consumer Electronics Association's massive January event is used by industry … Read more