Special Reports CES

  • The Consumer Electronics Show proved to be a lot more vibrant than I expected. The buzz going in was that everything was “me, too,” and nothing innovative would be being shown. Instead, the press conferences jumped the gun and were early by a day, and the show itself was mobbed. It turned out to be a banner year for product introductions and excitement.

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    Automakers are integrating all manner of new technology into their vehicles, and while it's safe to say people don’t generally buy a car just for its cool technological features, you’d never know it by Detroit's marketing efforts.

  • Ford Sync

    A few years ago, CES was an interesting side note before the Detroit Auto Show. No longer. As technology and in-car connectivity become a bigger factor in why people buy a car or truck, it's imperative for the automakers to make a big splash at CES.

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    CES kicks off today and buzz is already building about the hot new devices and services that will grab the attention of consumers and investors. Some clear themes have already emerged and it's all about new mobile devices, seamless integration of streaming and traditional content, more powerful chips, and persistent 3D.

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    Toshiba, the Japanese electronics maker, said Monday that it would be the first on the market with a TV that displays images in 3-D without requiring viewers to don dedicated glasses.

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    Most users don’t protect their phones the way they protect their PCs, which is naive. "Today the money is in figuring out how to secure mobile devices and networks, so you’ll see tons of players in it and tons of players benefiting.”

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    The numbers are out for Las Vegas, and they look promising. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority reports that the number of visitors to Sin City in November rose nearly three percent from the year before, to 2.9 million people.

  • HP Slate

    Tablet computers are shaking up the computer industry. And no doubt—HP's Slate has been the big buzz at CES last week. Some say the timing couldn't be better for HP with the company unveiling the Slate ahead of Apple's version of the tablet computer.

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    CES is all about innovation. 3D TVs, touch screen PCs and interactive video games are the stars of the show here. They're the heavy weights. The must have gadgets that every nerd and techy worth their salt rushes out to buy.

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    I grabbed Comcast CEO Brian Roberts for an interview at CES. After walking the show floor he says it seems that the *consumer* is king, as all these technologies on display give increasing flexibility for how, when, where and what consumers can watch.

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    To quote CBS Interactive President Neil Ashe “Historically ‘next year’ was always the year for mobile in the interactive space and this year, I think it’s actually true."

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    This year's Consumer Electronics Show comes at a time when the economy is recovering and job losses are perhaps peaking.

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    Apps are big business at this year's event. Hundreds of exhibitors at the show are pitching them along with their other new wares. There's even a separate area called the iLounge.

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    "Maybe officially this is the end of the recession." That was the message from my cabbie tonight on my way to dinner.  He might have something there.

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    Now that 3D versions of movies have proven to be cash cows at the box office, the entertainment and consumer electronics industries are hoping to cash in on the experience in people's homes.

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    The company has been putting the pieces together for a soup-to-nuts approach to all kinds of technology, starting with the network, focused on video as an entertainment and communications medium, and offering devices up and down the food chain.

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    There's a huge trend dominating the floor at CES this year, and it's not a new gadget. It's social media.

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    The Consumer Electronics Show officially opens today and though attendance will be slightly down, hopes are higher than ever that the gadgets and technology here will rev up the media business.

  • Steve Ballmer

    Despite a power problem that delayed the kick-off to the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show by 25 minutes, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer delivered the show's opening keynote, proclaiming "screens" everywhere.

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    Seems like all things wireless will own CES this year - for example: Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard will unveil a tablet PC during tonight's keynote, and the race is on to release this device before Apple's tablet hits the market.