NWC @ CES: Scores of New Ways to Access Digital Content

This year's CES in Las Vegas is expected to showcase how nearly every type of device will connect to the Internet and each other to give consumers more access to

January 5, 2006

3 Min Read
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Originally Published on TechWeb News

The International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) gets underway this week in Las Vegas, showcasing tomorrow's cool gadgets. Brace yourself for the wave of new products. This year's show is expected to demonstrate how nearly every type of device will connect to the Internet and each other to give consumers more access to data, audio, video, and games.

The idea is to make it easy to retrieve digital content from anywhere--the street, the home, the office or the car--and share it among devices from MP3 players, digital cameras and watches, to set-top boxes and televisions. "Restrictions will dissolve and people will have access to content and the ability to move it between the content reservoir and their devices whenever they want," said Saul Berman, a partner in IBM Corp.'s media and entertainment consultancy group and CES panelist.

Microsoft Corp.'s chairman and chief software architect Bill Gates kicks off CES on Wednesday afternoon with his vision of consumer electronics in 2006. Yahoo! Inc. and Google Inc. will make their CES debuts with bookend keynote speeches on Friday as the Web becomes an even bigger conduit for delivering media content from CBS, NBC, Walt Disney Pictures and Television, Universal Pictures, and others

Expect Microsoft to demonstrate Windows Vista and provide details on how it's making the operating system software a platform for digital media on devices from watches to mobile phones to the Xbox 360 game console and other Internet-connected devices.Worldwide sales of consumer electronics will rise 8 percent this year to $135.4 billion, according to the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA).

Computer won't make a showing at CES, but the massive number of iPod accessories will be there from desktop sound systems to home stereo devices to car adapters. Sirius Satellite Radio will showcase the wearable S50, a personalized satellite radio with replay options. Panelist will talk about IPv6 and how it will enable Internet connectivity for every electronic device.

Wearable electronics is big this year. Eleksen Ltd. will demonstrate a wearable conductive fabric that companies can sew into garments for both the consumer and the industrial markets. Symbol Technologies Inc. will preview a new rugged Enterprise Digital Assistant (EDA) that combines a mobile phone, mobile computer/e-mail, imager and scanner into one PDA-like device that weighs ounces.

Internet-protocol television (IPTV) is another hot item at CES subject this year. Telecommunications giant AT&T Inc. (formally SBC Communications Inc.) will demonstrate a new set-top box that delivers video-on-demand from satellite. ITVN Inc., which manufactures a low cost set-top box that links the home television to IPTV networks and services, intends to showcase its interactive-content networks delivered to the television over home broadband. CopperGate Communications Inc. will tout its HomePNA 3 128 Mbps multimedia home networking chipsets that use existing in-home coax and telephone lines to distribute IPTV with guaranteed Qualtiy of Service (QoS)

CES will highlight plenty of portable products designed for audio and video, too. Johnson Controls, Kenwood, Mitek, Pioneer, Rockford, Sony and XM Satellite Radio will exhibit their wares. And vendors will validate that TV isn't confined to the stationary screen in the home. Sling Media Inc., which makes a system that lets users watch TV from cable or satellite and TiVo shows on Internet-connected devices, will demonstrate streaming live video from the TV to the cell phone or other mobile devices.0

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