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CES Report January 8th
LAS VEGAS – Thursday, January 8, 2009
much anticipation – and more than a little nervousness from the
organizers and the industry in general – the massive Consumer
Electronics Show finally opened here today.
suggested that the attendance might be down about 30% from the 2008
high of 140,000 visitors and if you talk to the experts on these
matters – the City’s taxi drivers – then that forecast sounds about
right! But 100,000 is still a lot of people and the exhibit hall aisles
were crowded as the consumer electronic industry’s leading brands put
on their best face despite the economic turmoil and plunging consumer
Much of the early press commentary suggests that
there is less to talk about this year, with blockbuster product
announcements being few and far between, Bill Gates in semi-retirement,
and far fewer celebrities to draw a crowd at the ubiquitous press
events and booth displays. Even the long shadow usually cast by the
MacWorld Expo in San Francisco, which ran earlier in the week, was
diminished this year with the absence of Steve Jobs and a similar
dearth of headline-grabbing announcements from Apple.
there were some game-changing products unveiled on the first day, along
with announcements from the big guns that are still shaping the
industry. Here’s a quick selection:
surprised many people by announcing that they were making the beta
version of Windows 7 available immediately. Windows 7 is the
much-anticipated follow-up to Vista and an early release of the beta
version has some commentators speculating that the consumer-ready
version could be in the stores as early as the end of this year.
has taken heat in the past couple of years for some early flaws in
Vista but it has steadily improved the product with patches and
downloads. Windows 7 will consolidate all those improvements and
continue Microsoft’s mission to define Windows as not just the dominant
PC operating system but the critical ecosystem which links all the
mobile, entertainment, and social networking platforms that now
populate our lives.
Look for a late 2009 release of Windows 7 to provide a much-needed boost for the PC and notebook manufacturers and retailers.
Sony DSC-G3 Cyber-shot™ Digital Camera
great-looking point-and-shoot camera from Sony has built-in wireless
internet connectivity, which allows users to share pictures and videos
directly from the camera without the need to upload to a computer
first. It also has an Easy Upload Page that connects with 5 video and
photo-sharing sites – YouTube, PhotoBucket, Picasa, Shutterfly and
DailyMotion – with others sure to follow.
G3 heralds an era of built-in Ethernet and wireless connectivity for
cameras and a range of other entertainment devices that have previously
relied on computer upload for sharing and distribution.
comes with image sensors, face detection technology, anti-blur
solutions, image stabilization sensors and all the other features that
were previously the exclusive domain of high-end DSLR cameras. The G3
will retail for $499.99 when it ships later this month.
Palm Pre Smartphone
Thursday, Palm introduced what many are calling the most radical new
phone since the iPhone – the Pre™. The Pre runs Palm’s new webOS
operating system, which connects all the applications on the phone to
the web, allowing for constant updates without any manual intervention
Pre has been described as the most people-centric smartphone ever. The
Palm Synergy™ application allows you to consolidate your contacts from
various locations – Outlook, Google, Facebook – into a unified contact
list. It does the same for calendars and photos, eliminating
duplications and making it easier to find previously stored information.
Pre also allows you to open and move between multiple applications,
similar to how you would use a computer or notebook. Like the iPhone
and the BlackBerry, the Pre let’s you take advantage of Wi-Fi hotspots
and look up points of interest using GPS.
the first time the CES show floor is featuring a Kids@Play area,
focusing on the technologies directly affecting our children. The area
showcases a mix of actual and virtual electronic toys and games, along
with Internet safety software and educational applications. A few
Electronic Arts is expanding its range of
games for kids (and adults) through its exclusive partnership with
Hasbro. The Littlest Pet Shop game series for girls age 6-10 will now
be available on DS; Trivial Pursuit is coming to the Wii; Scrabble will
be available on every major gaming platform; and the latest in the
top-selling Sims franchise, Sims 3 will be available on the PC.
continues to expand its virtual web for kids, introducing additional
search features and continuing to seek out the best entertainment and
educational sites for pre-teens.
PBS Kids is demo-ing
their updated PBS Kids Play! web site for 3-6 year olds. The site
originally launched in 2007 but has been significantly expanded with
additional characters and tracking features, so parents can measure
their child’s progress and achievements.
The Princeton Review
is teaming up with Ubisoft to bring some of its educational and
test-prep programs to the world of video games. MySAT Coach will launch
on the Nintendo DS in 2009.
Look for more reports from CES in the next few days!
The Online Mom
Click here to go to our January 7, 2009 CES Report