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The Next Big Thing? Connected devices (photos)

At an event called the Next Big Thing, CNET brought together four industry luminaries at the annual CES confab today to discuss and debate the evolution of ecosystems. What came up again and again? Devices that talk to each other and do it well. CNET's Brian Cooley and Molly Wood moderated the event.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET
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The Next Big Thing? Connected devices (photos)

Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt sees the next big thing as devices that play well together. Devices such as smartphones are a portal to other devices and applications, but the trick to consumer products is to make them work, Schmidt says.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET
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The Next Big Thing? Connected devices (photos)

Next up was Tim Baxter, president of Samsung Electronics America sales, marketing, and operations, covering both the consumer and enterprise business divisions. He says the problem is that most devices are not, in fact, connected. This is a problem when so many companies want to own the ecosystem. No one has the answer because of the pace of change and innovation, Baxter says.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET
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The Next Big Thing? Connected devices (photos)

Baxter shows off a new ultrabook from Samsung, the Series 9.

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The Next Big Thing? Connected devices (photos)

Also interviewed were Sling Media co-founder Blake Krikorian (second from right) and Benchmark Capital General Partner Bill Gurley (second from left).

Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET
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The Next Big Thing? Connected devices (photos)

Gurley, left, points out that Google is investing in developer relations the way Microsoft used to. That's very smart, he says. Krikorian, right, says tech companies need to start from the experience, then figure out how to make the technology realize what the experience needs to be.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET
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