120K attendees, down from 150K last year, and 2700 exhibitors, same as last year, from 140 countries attended the CES this year. The conference was more subdued this year with no game-changing product introductions and with every single keynote speaker spending considerable time on recession-related and green-friendly topics. The best keynote speech was given by the CEO of Ford. It was inspiring, provided a vision of the networked car, and showed how Ford is learning from and partnering with a variety of large and small companies to create a compelling and extensible in-car entertainment, information and productivity hub.
1. Concern from CE device manufacturers (including PCs and phones) about the effect of recession on consumer spending.
computing devices, like netbooks, will further expand the use of
virtualization. While a variety of new netbooks were introduced at CES of
interest are the zero state, instant on features of these devices from
companies such as DeviceVM and Phoennix.
connectivity across the home. Several manufacturers demonstrated wireless home
theater systems with full HD picture and 5.1 audio, as well as storage and
networking solutions that enable the consumption of PC-resident, Internet media
by other home-based devices, including home theater systems.
The wireless home theater solutions have broad consumer appeal. However, their adoption will require new networking standards to emerge since WiFi does not provide enough bandwidth. A few companies, e.g., Amimon, presented their wireless networking technologies at CES.
4. Internet content that can be accessed directly from the TV. Several TV makers showed integration between their sets and Yahoo widgets, often through Intel-based set-top boxes that incorporate Intel’s system-on-a-chip technology.
In general, there was a definite theme of incorporating more content into devices out of the box.
5. Eco-friendly CE products. Every major manufacturer devoted part of their booth to deliver this message.
1. More mobile phone manufacturers announcing Android-based phones including Samsung, Motorola, and LG. This is not necessarily good for application developers who now they will need to deal with 5 operating systems: Blackberry, iphone, Windows Mobile, Symbian for Nokia phones, and Android. I’m assuming that the new Palm device, that had a by invitation preview at CES, whose operating system is based on Linux will not have a big impact on the market. Interesting startup: Modu a basic phone that can be fitted with several jackets and become application-specific, i.e., music phone.
2. TV sets are becoming very thin because components that used to be placed in the TV monitor are now incorporated in a central “processing” box (think server) that is kept separately from the set. Communication between the box and the monitor can be done wirelessly. Resolution and contrast are also improving dramatically year over year and are most noticeable in LCD and LED televisions.
3. Sony and LG demonstrated production ready 3D TV sets (requiring special glasses) whereas last year only Philips was demonstrating such set. One company was demonstrating a monitor for 3D TV without the need of glasses but manufacturing costs today are prohibitively expensive.
monitors. Last year Sony demonstrated an 11’’ OLED monitor with 1000000:1
contrast ratio that went to market last summer for $3500. This year LG
demonstrated an OLED monitor that is over 20’’ that appears to be production
Sony demonstrated OLED monitors that are larger than 11’’ but indicated that no production date. It also demonstrated the first bendable OLED screen, in my opinion the most impressive product I saw in the show this year. Their president indicated that this technology will form the basis for the next generation e-book readers and even e-newspapers.
5. In mobile phones and smartphones, iphone’s impact continues as most of the noteworthy product introductions had touchscreens and user interfaces that resembled Apple’s product.
Palm talked about their new Pre phone. The word was that while a very interesting device it will not be enough to allow Palm to make up for all the ground they lost to the other smartphone manufacturers like Apple, RIM, and Nokia.
new announcements from companies that support WiMax, on mobile device broadband
networks LTE still ahead of WiMax for the next generation (4G) mobile phone
networking technology at least in the US
7. BluRay: now that it’s the winner of the HD video format all parties are working on devices and content that showcases its strengths in order to motivate further penetration to the home. The prices of BluRay players are dropping though manufacturers were admitting that the penetration is not where it was expected to be. The recession and the over the internet movie distribution (Netflix, Amazon, and now Blockbuster) are given as two reasons for the slower adoption. For example, Netflix announced that it’s over the internet service will come with LG’s and Vizio’s TV sets. Amazon announced a similar capability with Panasonic and Vizio TV sets.