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InsideHoops [Technology]

2006 International CES Reflects Industry Strength





| Jan. 10, 2006

World's Largest Consumer Technology Tradeshow Attracts More Than 150,000 Attendees and Serves as Launchpad for 2,500 Exhibitors

With more than 150,000 attendees from 110 countries witnessing the introduction of thousands of new products and technologies from more than 2,500 exhibitors, the 2006 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES®) lived up to its billing as the world's largest technology tradeshow. The 2006 International CES, produced by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), ran January 5-8 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The show floor was packed with global executives from the consumer technology, broadcasting, cable, content, engineering, financial, motion picture, music and numerous other industries who converged in Las Vegas over the last four days. The show attendees heard from technology industry visionaries and viewed a spectacular showcase of hot new products and trends in audio, accessories, emerging technology, home networking, home theater, mobile electronics, video and wireless.

The show kicked-off with a keynote from Microsoft’s Chairman and CIn addition to standing as a product showplace, the 2006 International CES hief Software Architect Bill Gates and included keynote presentations from Sony Chairman and CEO Sir Howard Stringer, Intel CEO Paul Otellini, Yahoo! Chairman and CEO Terry Semel and Google Co-founder and President of Products Larry Page.

Additionally, Industry Insider presentations from Dell Chairman and Founder Michael Dell, Kodak Chairman and CEO Antonio Perez, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin and retail executives from Best Buy, Circuit City, CompUSA and Radio Shack gave attendees exclusive insights into the top trends and issues impacting the industry.

Celebrities sighted at the 2006 International CES included Tom Cruise, Ellen Degeneres, Tom Hanks, Robin Williams, Justin Timberlake, Morgan Freeman, Ron Howard , Quincy Jones and more.

Following Shapiro's State of the Industry address, Sir Howard Stringer, chairman and CEO of Sony Corp., kicked off the show with a visionary opening keynote address. Stringer focused on the necessary, yet often-difficult relationship between technology and content. He addressed ways in which Sony is working to allow consumers to have choice in when, where, how and in what format they want their content. Stringer outlined Sony's four pillars that allow the company to "Entertain the Future."

The four pillars include E-Entertainment, Digital Cinema, High-er Definition and Playstation. Stringer demonstrated his empire of movies, music, television programming, gaming and electronics with the help of top executives like Kaz Hirai and Michael Dell and artists like Tom Hanks, Dan Brown, Ron Howard and Brian Grazer.

Stringer concluded: "Content and technology are strange bedfellows, but we are joined together. Sometimes we misunderstand each other, but isn't that, after all, the very definition of marriage?"

Thursday's second keynote featured Intel CEO Paul Otellini. "Welcome to the New Normal," Otellini said as he kicked off his presentation. "The New Normal is not a place; it is a state of being," he continued, "and the test of good technology is that once you use it, you can't go back." Otellini then introduced two new Intel technologies as part of the New Normal of today - the Intel Core Duo Processor and Intel Viiv. He explained that the Intel Centrino Duo laptop, featuring the Core Duo, is 68 percent faster, consumes 28 percent less power and contains better Wi-Fi functionality.

The Core Duo Processor is the first new premium brand since the Pentium Processor and the one millionth Core Duo will ship in three weeks whereas it took one year for the Pentium to achieve the same milestone. Dell Chairman of the Board Michael Dell joined Otellini on stage to demonstrate two Dell laptops that use the Core Duo.

Other industry executives on state for the Intel Viiv debut included DirecTV President and CEO Chase Cary and AOL Chairman and CEO Jonathan Miller.

The keynote concluded with a star-studded update on the ClickStar announcement Intel made at the 2004 International CES. Hollywood's Morgan Freeman, Tom Hanks, Danny DeVito, Lori McCreary, Brad Silberling and Tom Shadyac praised the ability to have artist-created channels and on-demand movies at home that are still in theaters. Silberling announced the first ClickStar online film, "10 Items or Less," starring Morgan Freeman and Paz Vega.

Also on Thursday, two CES Industry Insider presentations gave attendees an intimate look into visionary minds of two industry leading executives, Ivan Seidenberg, CEO of Verizon Communications and Michael Dell, founder and chairman of Dell Inc.

Seidenberg spoke in detail on his company's advanced fiber network and how it is bringing the power of convergence to customers. Seidenberg said Verizon was committed to coverage, speed, quality and security to digital customers. He also spoke of how his company is bringing the digital lifestyle to customers through a myriad of multimedia products and applications, such as V CAST Music, a new service announced today that will transform the way consumers enjoy music. V CAST Music allows Verizon Wireless customers the ability to download music over the air directly to their wireless phones or straight to their personal computers.

At Thursday's final Super Session, "CNET's The Next Big Thing" top level executives from Linksys, Samsung, Sony and Toshiba, CNET editors and CNET users discussed the next big thing in technology trends for 2006. CNET predicts that mobile or handheld content, next generation DVD formats and home entertainment hubs will be the next big thing for 2006.

An interesting twist to the session was the immediate polling of the audience to gauge their feelings to the three emerging trends. Wireless polling devices were given to the audience and they were asked three questions for each new trend. Results were immediately aggregated backstage and shared. Audience participants felt that the biggest barrier to the adaptation of handheld devices is the availability of content. An overwhelming number of audience members felt that Blu-ray would win the next generation DVD format war. Audience members also felt that difficult set up of home networks was preventing consumers from adopting them.

Gates Pre-Show Keynote and Dozens of Media Events Set the Pace for a Spectacular 2005 International CES

On the eve of the opening of the show, International CES provided a glimpse of the hottest and greatest products and technologies for the consumer electronics industry. The excitement for the show began early with special press events and the pre-show keynote by Microsoft's chairman and chief software architect, Bill Gates. The 2005 International CES, the world’s largest annual technology showcase, runs in Las Vegas, Nev., from January 6-9, 2005.

Returning to the International CES for the seventh consecutive year, Gates captivated the capacity audience with yet another riveting pre-show keynote on Wednesday night.

In the past, Gates has used the International CES to preview products and technologies such as Xbox, Tablet PC, smart personal object technology (SPOT) watches and Smartphone. This year Gates shared his vision of "Realizing A Digital Lifestyle."

Introduced by Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) President and CEO Gary Shapiro as "the man of our era," Gates presented Microsoft product developments and partnership announcements via an interview-style address featuring NBC "Late Show" star Conan O'Brien.

The keynote covered virtually all aspects of digital living - music, photos, TV, portability, gaming and all the content to be enjoyed on the devices and platforms.

Noting that the digital evolution of technology is progressing faster than expected, Gates emphasized that technology must be flexible and simple for the end-user and that consumer choice is "driving things forward." He spoke about the central role of the PC and the importance of standards to ensure connecting devices and applications are flexible and simple for the consumer.

Microsoft's Media Center PC, for instance, will now serve as a personal video recorder (PVR) for all TVs in a household with the Media Center PC Extender and will all operate via a common electronic program guide (EPG). A partnership with LG Electronics will allow consumers to burn content to DVD using the same EPG.

Microsoft partner, SBC, and several Microsoft group program managers joined Gates and O'Brien during the keynote to highlight specific technology advancements. SBC Executive Vice President for IP Services, Lee Ann Champion, provided attendees with a glimpse of the possibilities with IPTV. Combining voice, video and data to the consumer through four streams of content to every home allows the consumer to "control what you see and how you view it." Examples provided includes instant channel change (no lag time between channels), picture-in-picture, the ability to select viewing angles and the fact that in an IPTV household every TV becomes a PVR.

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