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Preview of Net devices expected at CES

The 1996 Winter Consumer Electronics Show will open in Las Vegas this Friday. During the four-day extravaganza, manufacturers will show off new online gadgets along with several prototype interactive TV systems. Stay tuned to CNET for coverage.

Starting Friday Las Vegas will play host to the 1996 International Winter Consumer Electronics Show. Aimed at manufacturers of consumer electronics products, the show offers a sneak peek at emerging technologies. This year's winter show is expected to showcase several Internet devices and interactive TV systems.

On the TV front, Video Technologies, Polaroid, and Zenith will show off a color TV system that lets viewers print instant photos of images onscreen. The device uses Polaroid film in a camera system built into Zenith prototype TV sets. Aimed at videophiles and business users, the prototype set will use picture-in-picture technology to display the photo image. Film for the cameras will sell for about $10 a pack, company officials said.

Also at the show, Apple Computer and its licensee Bandai Corporation are expected to show off early versions of the Pippin Internet-access device. Described by industry analysts as a streamlined system that boasts a Web link, Pippin will be based on a 66-MHz PowerPC 603 RISC microprocessor and will include 6MB of combined system and video memory. The Pippin systems, which are being manufactured by Bandai, are expected to sell for $500 to $700 each.

Oracle will also show off a streamlined Net device, according to industry sources. Oracle chieftain, Larry Ellison, has been a vocal proponent of low-cost Net devices despite widespread naysaying from the PC industry. The company is currently providing its PowerBrowser, which is aimed at enabling online commerce.