2011 CES Round-up

by Fred Showker

International CES WOWs World With Innovation And Optimism Major Product Innovation And Keynotes From Verizon, Audi And Samsung Kick Off 2011 International CES... Connected Technology, In-Vehicle Innovations and Major Technology Announcements Highlight Day One of the 2011 CES

January 7, 2011, Las Vegas - The 2011 International CES kicked off Thursday morning unveiling the next generation of consumer technology innovation from 2,700 global technology companies. Owned and produced by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), the 2011 International CES, the world’s largest consumer technology tradeshow, runs through Sunday in Las Vegas

Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of CEA, kicked off the 2011 CES during his opening keynote address. Shapiro stated that the International CES is the world's most important tech gathering and the products and services at the show demonstrate how innovation is the engine for our global economy. In fact, CEA predicts the U.S. consumer electronics industry to grow 3.5 percent next year to $186 billion. "As you listen to the phenomenal leaders speaking, as you inhale the sights and senses of the show floor and as you take in the experience of the CES," stated Shapiro, "you may conclude as I already have, that at this CES we have more innovation and cause for celebration than at any event in our history."

CEA has taken on the cause of innovation under the grassroots platform of the CEA Innovation Movement, a coalition supporting policies such as deploying broadband, attracting the best and the brightest, free trade and reducing the federal deficit. Shapiro also announced the launch of his new book, "The Comeback – How Innovation Will Restore the American Dream." "I believe innovation is our destiny," stated Shapiro, "Innovation can and will restore the global economy."

Ivan Seidenberg, chairman and CEO of Verizon, followed Shapiro with a keynote address focused on the future of connected technology. Seidenberg stated that Verizon's vision is to create a connected world and take down barriers that have challenged us from moving innovation forward. He was joined on stage by Verizon COO Lowell McAdams who discussed Verizon's plans to blanket the country with its 4G LTE network, which provides continuous nationwide spectrum.

During the keynote, Seidenberg and McAdams were joined on stage by Jeff Bewekes of Time Warner to discuss "TV anywhere" and Sanjay Jha, Motorola's CEO, to discuss the line-up of new Droid products, including the Droid Bionic and Android Xoom tablet. Mike Cleron, principle architect for Google's Android gave a demo of the new tablet-specific Honeycomb operating system. Seidenberg closed by proclaiming innovation’s strength to the American economy and predicted that high tech manufacturing will be back in the US.

Rupert Stadler, chairman of the board of management of Audi AG, delivered a mid-morning keynote to a packed crowd Thursday.

quoting The car of the future is part of the mobile world ... and that is the future we are driving toward. end quote

Stadler drove on stage in an eTron Spyder, a fully electric concept sports car that can go from zero to 60 in 4.7 seconds, and comes loaded with software to direct you to local restaurants and attractions.

Stadler talked about Audi's goal to link the way we drive and the way we live. He touted the company's MMI (multimedia interface) platform that provides driver resources including navigation and entertainment. Stadler was joined on stage by Jensen Huang, CEO and founder of Nvidia, to announce a partnership that brings the Tegra 2 processor to the dashboard. Nvidia's 3D navigation graphics require less driver attention, reducing driver distraction. Other features where technology enhances safety included a vibrating steering wheel that alerts drives if they drift into another lane and collision sensors on the front and back of the vehicle.

Thursday morning featured the SuperSession, The Hollywood Creative Masters: A Media Money Maker, produced by Variety. Moderated by Variety's Chris Morris, the session featured a panel of Hollywood elite including Gale Anne Hurd, Executive Producer of The Walking Dead and Producer of The Incredible Hulk; Tim Kring, Master Storyteller, Executive Producer of Heroes and Tim Kring's Conspiracy For Good; Tom McGrath, Director of Megamind; Jeff Ross, Executive Producer of Conan and Conrad Green, executive producer of Dancing with the Stars. The panel provided insight into their real-world experiences of incorporating digital media, and most especially social media, into their movies and TV shows to provide a richer viewing experience. They described the balance between growing their brands while maintaining character and plot authenticity. The consensus was that social media cannot be ignored, but should be embraced wisely to increase fan base.  

Thursday afternoon's SuperSession, Got Game: The State of the Games Industry, addressed the top challenges in the gaming industry. The panel, consisting of executives from Electronic Arts, GameStop, Habbo Hotel/Sulake, Samsung and Vindicia, discussed how content can move forward and which devices and platforms should provide this content. Other topics of discussion included the disconnect between perception and the reality of the game space, as well as the role of social media in gaming.

CNET's Next Big Thing: After the Computer Supersession Thursday afternoon drew a packed house. The standing room-only event featured CNET moderators Brian Cooley and Molly Wood as they posed the question of what would be the next big thing: tablet PCs, smartphones or Internet-connected TVs. The session featured two videos, three panels of experts and even audience participation in the form of a texted poll. The first panel of experts debated devices, services and operating systems, while the second discussed the content market and consumer choices. The final panel of experts held a spirited discussion on content delivery, transparency and digital rights.

Thursday afternoon's keynote featured Samsung CEO Boo-Keun Yoon who discussed Samsung’s vision of 'Digital Humanism,' uniting people around Samsung products fueled by high quality video content stored in the cloud. Yoon announced a number of partnerships focusing on Samsung's Smart TVs and other connected devices.

Yoon was joined by Comcast CEO Brian Roberts and Time Warner Cable CEO Glenn Britt, who shared their plans for Samsung's Smart TVs. Comcast’s Roberts demonstrated cross-device portability on Samsung devices. Consumers will not only be able to access Comcast video-on-demand content on Samsung’s Smart TVs and Android-based Galaxy Tab via the Xfinity app, but will be able to pause videos on one device and continue viewing on the other. Time Warner's Britt shared plans to deliver all Time Warner content – including live television – to Time Warner subscribers over just an Internet connection with no need for an additional set-top box.

Yoon was also joined by Hulu CEO Jason Kilar, who announced that Hulu Plus will soon be available on Android phones, including Samsung smartphones. Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen joined Yoon onstage to announce that Samsung Smart TVs will also support both Adobe Air and Adobe Flash technology. Finally, Dreamworks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg and Boo-Keun Yoon reaffirmed their partnership, bundling Dreamworks 3D titles with Samsung TVs.

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Unless noted otherwise, this page and content was authored by Fred Showker, Editor and Publisher of DTG Magazine and 60-Seconds.com. You can hook up with Fred at +FredShowker, on Google+ or most social medias @Showker



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