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Dennis Hissink : January 9th 2006 - 18:45 CET

Trends at CES 2006

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CESTrends at CES 2006 : On its second day, the 2006 International CES (Consumer Electronics Show) highlighted top consumer electronics trends and issues to attendees at the world's largest consumer technology showcase. Industry leaders from Google, Yahoo! and Kodak, plus retail executives from Best Buy, Circuit City, CompUSA and Radio Shack and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Kevin Martin spoke throughout the day providing their visions on the future of the technology industry in a full day of keynote addresses, Industry Insider sessions and conference programming. The 2006 International CES, produced by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), runs through January 8 in Las Vegas.
Trends at CES 2006Google software - CES show 2006
During a series of exciting announcements aided by comedian Robin Williams, Google Co-Founder and President of Products Larry Page gave demonstrations of prototype applications of the popular Google Earth software, including an in-dash version through a partnership with Volkswagen and a real-time version for cell phones. He also debuted Google Talk, an interoperable instant messaging service, Google Pack, a free software bundle available for download to enhance the workability of PCs and a mobile search partnership with Motorola.

Consumer Electronics Show 2006 - Mobile imaging
Friday morning's star-studded keynote from Yahoo! Chairman and CEO Terry Semel featured appearances from movie star Tom Cruise, TV star Ellen Degeneres, and a video from Donald Trump. In his speech, Semel gave attendees insight into the merging worlds of services and hardware and announced several new services including Yahoo To Go, built on an open platform that lets consumers using a PC, cell phone or TV take all of their information and entertainment wherever they go. Semel also announced Yahoo! Go Mobile, which allows consumers to take their favorite Internet content and services with them on their mobile phones and the Yahoo! Widget Engine, which enables users to run small programs on their desktop from alarm clocks to weather forecasts.

CES 2006 - Google entertainment
Page also welcomed CBS Corp. President Leslie Moonves to the stage to announce the new Google Video Store and a partnership between CBS and Google that makes CBS and Paramount Studios television shows available for a small fee through the Google Video Store. "CBS is number one in traditional media and Google has quickly risen to the top of new media, so this is a perfect marriage of content and distribution," said Moonves. The Google Video Store also will feature a comprehensive library of video content including NBA basketball games, Sony BMG music videos, cartoon classics and Charlie Rose clips. Google Video Store content can be viewed on a new, downloadable video player for a PC or on the Apple iPod or Sony PlayStation Portable.

CES highlights - Digital communication
Market competition and consumer interests were common themes as CEA President and CEO Gary Shapiro discussed technology policy issues with FCC Chairman Kevin Martin during an afternoon Industry Insider session. Chairman Martin shared his views on the digital television (DTV) transition, content distribution, advances in radio technology, spectrum auctions, indecency and Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) during the hour-long conversation, which included audience questions and answers.

International CES 2006 - Digital Imaging
Digital imaging was a main focus at the Sands on Friday with several events and sessions dedicated to imaging technology. Antonio Perez, chairman and CEO of Eastman Kodak, spoke as part of CES' Industry Insiders series on the changing paradigm of the analog camera and the need for growth in the digital imaging sector. With the introduction of the Kodak EasyShare V570 camera, the world's first dual-lens digital still camera, Kodak is practicing what it preaches. Perez said Kodak wanted consumers to take pictures and capture the world as they see it without the burden of carrying many different lenses.
Sponsored by Infotrends, the Flash Forward 3.0 event at the Sands featured a presentation of the new research study "State of the Market: ImageScape 2006." The study, presented by Ed Lee, director, consumer group and digital photography trends, Infotrends, covered the state of the market in digital photography, trends in sharing digital imaging, the impact of camera phones on the industry and trends in home printing.

Las Vegas Convention Center - Session
Additionally, digital imaging executives convened for an afternoon SuperSession at the Sands to consider which digital products and services would lay claim to the title, "Heir to the 1-Hour Photo Throne." Brian Deagon, technology industry news reporter for Investor's Business Daily moderated the discussion featuring panelists Steve Giordano, Jr., president, Lucidiom; Jeffrey Housenbold, president and CEO, Shutterfly; Keith Kratzberg, vice president of marketing, Epson America; Gregg Patterson, executive vice president, Imaging and Printing Group, HP; Aaron Rallo, CTO and vice president of product development, Photochannel Networks and Chad Richard, CEO, Simple Star.

CES panel - Digital age
Several panelists believed print would remain the dominant storage medium, but also said that opportunities abound for new products and services to not only succeed, but thrive in the new consumer marketplace. "Opportunity is everywhere," said Patterson. "The upside in the digital space is that it offers consumer choice, convenience and connection."

Industry insider - Holiday season trend
The final Industry Insider presentation, the "Retail Power Panel" brought top retail leaders and competitors Brad Anderson, vice chairman and CEO, Best Buy Co.; David Edmondson, president and CEO, RadioShack Corp.; Alan McCollough, chairman and CEO, Circuit City Inc and Larry Mondry, CEO, CompUSA Inc., together with CEA's Shapiro. They touched on topics such as the recent holiday sales season, emerging trends in technology, the DTV transition, indecency and market segmentation. The group agreed that 2005 was a strange year for retail sales with its ups and downs, only to finish strong through the holiday sales season. But despite challenges, all retailers are upbeat. And 2006 promises to build off of recent growth and embrace changes and innovation industry wide.

CES International Supersession - Communication and Broadband
In the first of Friday's SuperSessions, government officials from Germany, France, Japan and the United States gathered to compare and contrast the accomplishments of their respective countries in the areas of digital broadcasting, the allocation of wireless spectrum services and the promotion of residential broadband access. Moderated by Andreas Kluth, technology correspondent for The Economist, panelists on the International SuperSession included: The Honorable Nicolas Curien, member, Executive Board, Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, France; Ambassador David. A. Gross, U.S. coordinator for International Communications and Policy, U.S. Department of State; the Honorable Matthias Kurth, president, Federal Network Agency, Germany; the Honorable Yoshihide Suga; senior vice-minister for Internal Affairs and Communications, Internal Affairs and Communications, Japan.

CES International 2006 show - Mobile electronics
In another Friday SuperSession, a panel of mobile electronics industry heavy hitters from Sprint PCS, AAMP of America, Ford Motor Company, Microsoft, Alpine, Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications, Johnson Controls, MOST Cooperation and Honda took the stage to discuss how automakers can future-proof the car, allowing the latest in consumer electronics to be added to the vehicle long after it leaves the showroom. During the 2006 Connect2Car: The Automobiles Convergence with Consumer Electronics SuperSession Henry Muyshondt of the MOST Cooperation discussed the MOST synchronous high-speed multimedia network. He stated, "The MOST Cooperation is working with CEA to further define the standards to connect CE devices to the on-board MOST network, which allows for more cost-effective ways to attach to the car." Panelists agreed, emphasizing that immediate objectives for the industry include developing simple and seamless ways to allow the consumer more control in their vehicles.

International Consumer Electronics Show 2006 - Digital at home
The "Personal Healthcare Technologies: Empowering Consumers with Home Health Solutions" SuperSession looked at the role of government in healthcare information technology, the need for standards to be put in place to integrate content, and how home healthcare technologies could "bring Big Brother into your home." Moderated by Louis Burns, vice president and general manager, Digital Health Group, Intel Corp., panelists included Cheryl Currid, president, Currid & Company; Pramod K. Gaur, Ph.D., president and CEO, Viterion TeleHealthcare LLC; and Rebecca Weber, CIO and vice president of information technology, Meridian Health.

CES - Content business
Friday evening at the 2006 International CES featured the annual Leaders in Technology dinner and a keynote from Peter Chernin, president and COO of News Corp. "We are standing on the precipice of the most exciting time in the content business," said Chernin as he addressed the group of 500 government leaders and executives from the technology, broadcast and motion picture industries. Characterizing CES as "nothing short of a revolution," Chernin proclaimed there has never been a more exciting time for the content industry whose purpose is to connect the masses. "The content industry is ceding control to consumers and coming to terms with technology and today's landscape," he added.

CES Las Vegas - Media and Technology
While praising the technology industry, Chernin also outlined issues that remain to be addressed by both industries: Interoperability, creating a regulatory environment for broadband and protecting content from theft. "We're ready to jump in with both feet, but need assurance our content will be protected." Chernin closed his remarks concluding that if these issues are resolved by the technology and content industries, we'll reach the Golden Age of media and technology.

About CEA
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is the preeminent trade association promoting growth in the consumer technology industry through technology policy, events, research, promotion and the fostering of business and strategic relationships. CEA represents more than 2,000 corporate members involved in the design, development, manufacturing, distribution and integration of audio, video, mobile electronics, wireless and landline communications, information technology, home networking, multimedia and accessory products, as well as related services that are sold through consumer channels. Combined, CEA's members account for more than $125 billion in annual sales.

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