Plethora of products to grace CES show floor

From a new MP3 format to audio players and animation technology, numerous product announcements will be coming out of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

4 min read
From a new MP3 format to audio players and animation technology, following are some highlights of the product announcements expected to come out of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

 IM Networks, formerly known as Sonicbox, said it has licensed its iM Tuning Service to Philips Consumer Electronics, which will provide people with the ability to listen to Internet radio from around the globe through an iM Band that sits alongside the AM and FM on the radio dial.

Philips said it will place the iM Tuning Service on its new FW-i1000 Internet Audio Mini System, which will be available in the third quarter of 2001 at select retailers. Music fans can tune into the "Best of Planet Internet" radio on the iM Band, customize the iM Band with favorite stations from around the world, listen to MP3 playlists stored on a home computer, set-up direct connections to an Internet Service Provider, and sort radio stations by region or language.

 Broadband application provider Panja on Friday unveiled its Broadband Music Player, a device that enables music fans to stream MP3 content from the Internet without using a PC connection.

With the Broadband Music Player, subscribers can access MP3.com songs stored on a PC, play streaming digital audio, manage a music collection, make song selections with remote and TV-based menus, and get upgrades via the Web. The Broadband Music Player sells for $399.

 Chip and software company Sensory said Friday it is launching its Fluent Animated Speech technology, which enables developers to create animated "agents" for any online text message or on-screen voice message.

Developers can use the technology to create facial expressions and lip synchronization with Web characters for messages, including email, chat applications and Web-enabled phones. The company said the technology can also be used for products such as voice-controlled security systems, video games, hands-free phone dialers, alarm clocks and smart toys.

 AccessDTV is set to unveil its digital media receivers for PC users who want to access interactive digital television content on their computers.

With a digital media receiver, PC users will be able to tune, view, record and replay digital television broadcasts, as well as view an interactive program guide, create personal video recordings, and tune in to real-time chat sessions. The receivers will come with application software that can be installed on any standard PC sold since 1997.

 Motorola spinoff First International Digital and entertainment technology provider Songdog Network will launch an MP3 interactive technology format, dubbed MP3i, that fuses graphical images--such as synchronized lyrics and album artwork--with digital music files.

The companies say MP3i offers copyright security features and new commercial opportunities for music downloads as well as a better experience for consumers than ordinary MP3 files.

 Samsung has teamed with DataPlay to produce new portable digital audio and computer devices that use DataPlay's non-erasable optical disks.

The disks, which are about Read more breaking CES news here the size of a quarter, can hold up to 500MB of data and can be used with multiple devices, including cell phones, personal digital assistants (PDAs) and music players; they also can store video and photos.

Products that use DataPlay technology that will be at the CES show include Samsung's Combi Yepp, which features a detachable portable audio player/encoder on a minisystem with a built-in CD player and AM/FM stereo; a Yepp portable digital audio player; a PCMCIA card; and a USB drive. The companies expect to deliver the products at the end of 2001.

 eConnect will showcase its eCashPad, a technology that provides secure online payments in which a consumer's financial data is neither seen nor stored by the merchant.

The company says consumers can securely transfer financial information directly to the financial institution that settles the online purchase and pays the merchant. People can swipe a smart card, ATM card with personal identification number, or credit card through the eCashPad, which consists of a "plug-and-play" PC peripheral. The eCashPad, which is about the size of a PC mouse, retails for $59.95.

 Sony's SonyStyle.com is set to relaunch its digital music site that will feature an array of music downloads, news and reviews.

The new version of Musiclub will provide music fans with tools to research and download digital music over the Net in one site. Sony will offer customers 115,000 songs in conjunction with partners Liquid Audio and Bertelsmann-owned CDNow.

 Auto technology provider Visteon will unveil a number of technologies that are designed to give consumers a better driving experience.

Some of the technologies include a fingerprint identification system that allows people to personalize access to their vehicles, such as locking and unlocking the doors and starting the engine; a voice technology that enables drivers to operate certain vehicle mechanics--such as temperature and window controls--without the use of their hands; a Customer Identification Device (CID) that is a hands-free entry system allowing people to set seat and mirror positions as well as sound a panic alarm; and an information, communication, entertainment, safety and security system that enables drivers and passengers to access the Internet.

 Mobile communications provider Nokia has unveiled the Media Terminal, a home entertainment and information center that fuses the Internet and digital TV.

Nokia said the Media Terminal integrates digital video broadcast satellite service, Internet access and video recording through the television. The device allows Web browsing, digital recording of TV programming and other content including MP3 files, and a split TV-Internet screen, among other features. Nokia said it will begin retailing its Media Terminal by the end of 2001.