January 11, 2010

CES Show Ends After Showing Off The Latest Tech Treats

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) ended on Sunday after debuting gadgets that merge 3-D, software, entertainment, and the Web "“ not to mention the adult entertainment industry, AFP reported.

Analyst Rob Enderle of the Enderle Group in Silicon Valley said he felt like the CES was back, after rebounding from a global economic crisis over the last year.

"Last year when I left I was thinking 'It's the last CES;' it was a morgue," he told AFP.

However, this year's show featured innovation into proven products and hot trends such at electronic-readers and 3-D television sets.

The Consumer Electronics Association that runs CES estimated that more than 120,000 people attended the event -"“ which is more than 20 percent from the prior year. Final attendance figures won't be available for several months.

Scott Steinberg, lead technology analyst for DigitalTrends.com said it was one of the most exciting CES events in years.

"There is innovation in terms of incremental gains instead of revolutionary changes. We are seeing baby steps and hints of giant steps to come," Steinberg added.

The range of e-readers, tablets, and slate devices featured this year seemed hopeful to get a jump on an "iSlate" that iPhone, iPod and Macintosh computer maker Apple is expected to unveil later this month.

Roger Kay, president of Massachusetts-based Endpoint Technologies Associates, told AFP he thinks a lot of the tablet buzz was trying to get upwind of Apple.

"It's kind of a game of chicken or leapfrog where you're investing or pretending to invest in the tablet area in a bid to try to claim it before someone else gets there," he said.

Many smartphones, netbooks, and tablets based on Google's Android software made their CES debut over the week.

Meanwhile, Google's new Nexus One smartphone was on display one evening at an event in a Las Vegas hotel but not on the CES show floor.

"Google was kind of the stealth company here. Google Androids were in devices all over the place," Enderle said.

Television makers showed off to CES attendees by crafting eye-grabbing 3-D and Internet services into high-definition flat-screen models.

Gartner analyst Van Baker said the televisions unveiled at CES showed a pretty dramatic shift from hardware-centric to software-centric.

"Manufacturers are struggling with that. Increasing the value with software implies service, and it's not an easy transition for them," he explained to AFP.

Last year, Yahoo added its software "widgets" to some televisions at CES and built on that momentum this week with an expanded array of sets and online services.

Enderle said it wouldn't be long before every TV is Web-connected in one shape or form, whether it's technology in the TV or through a set-top box.

"They're all pushing this pretty hard," he added.

However, 3-D TVs face an uphill slog and it is unlikely consumers will rush to buy them after many upgraded to high-definition sets in the past three years, according to Forrester Research analyst James McQuivey.

3-D technology has also been embraced by the porn industry, as producers of a 3-D film titled Bad Girl's in 3-D used an AVN Adult Entertainment Expo that ended Sunday in Las Vegas to unveil an unprecedented online library exclusively in the format and a first-of-a-kind "turnkey digital 3-D viewing system."

Bad Girls producer Lance Johnson said that for several decades, the adult entertainment industry has driven adoption of every significant new entertainment delivery system - the VHS home-video craze in the 1980s, the satellite television mania in the 1990s and the present day Internet.

"2010 and beyond will be all about 3-D," he said.


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