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CEA i-stage: The kick-off to CES!

CEA i-stage: The kick-off to CES!

I'm in Las Vegas right now, because tomorrow I'm hosting the i-stage event at the Consumer Electronics Association's Industry Forum event. By "hosting," I mean that I am sort of the Ryan Seacrest of the event: Kevin Kelly of Wired, Jeff Pulver, and Ryan Block are the judges. It's a pretty interesting and cool-sounding contest, actually: It deals with software, hardware, and services, and the winner gets $50,000 and a free booth at CES. And while the organizers assure me they've got a really big check for the winner, I think it might be the free publicity (and preshow publicity) at CES that's the really big draw.

The finalists haven't been much-publicized, but from what I gather, they include everything from a price-comparison engine to a glove that can control your car doors. It should be pretty cool. Kara Tsuboi is covering it for CNET TV, so look for video of the finalists late Monday or the next day. The event goes on all day, with voting in the evening, and I'll try to blog as much as I can during breaks. You can also follow me on Twitter for updates throughout the day.