January 8, 2009 weblog
CES 2009: Some Tweaks, Freaks and Slimming New Products
(PhysOrg.com) -- The world-wide economic indigestion has slightly impacted CES 2009 newcomer company demonstrations and gawker attendance. So, far Formula One Sponsors, (the big Kahunas) like Microsoft, ASUS, Hitachi, and Toshiba are in the tweaking, refining, perfecting and slimming mode.
Gizmodo got a swift rap on the knuckles by CES officials for violating the terms of their media pass by showing off a TV-B-Gone clicker gadget that reportedly interfered with a Motorola presentation. Gizomodo Blog, owned by Gawker Media had already fessed up to the prank. Nonetheless, the fall guy Gizmodo staffer is banned from attending future CES events. Other sanctions against the principals are being considered by CES officials. So, enough with humorous distractions, the new News from CES 2009 is as follows:
Microsoft is pushing hard for Windows Mobile 7 platform. The demonstration of W7 tries to win over multi-taskers by showing multiple Web pages on a single screen. Other get down to it refinements include a Jumplists feature enabling users to retrieve recent docs, songs and media with one click, a HomeGroups feature purports to simplify networking, a multi-touch application for touch screens and plans to introduce a new version of Halo in 09. What's all the hub bub leading to you might ask. Microsoft is going to launch an Xbox Live Primetime network with the help of NETFLIX. Also on the upcoming manifest is a live trivia game with prizes, game development for kids and a slew of interactive options all dependent on W7 and syncing phone, PC and TV. That's the dream; syncing, streaming, interacting and playing across platforms and among multiple consumer products. Sounds interesting.
Toshiba introduces a prototype Cell TV using a 56-inch, 4k x 2k pixel panel to display images that the Cell platform upconverts from 1920 x 1080p to 3840 x 2160p. The Cell TV can upconvert Internet video content to high quality resolution by the use of Toshiba's new "Resolution+" technology which includes advanced noise reduction features. An LED 55-inch panel is on display designed especially for displaying Cell TV technology and the remarks thus far are "breathtaking". Toshiba ascribes to the overall "Integration of Platforms" theme of CES 2009. Toshiba building on this theme is offering consumer technology that will provide entertainment from anywhere at anytime to almost any device.
Some technology advancements introduced are; AV Devices with Network players allowing users to share Internet content with various digital devices via TVs and PCs. Toshiba introduces it Spacial Motion Interface which is an interactive 3D GUI that integrates a 3D-capturing infrared sensor along with other integration enhancing technologies. Toshiba takes SD memory slot up a notch by introducing the MOD Systems, a digital video download system. It's a dedicated digital set-top box for TVs and other devices lacking a SD slot. The MOD System will allow all digital users to simply pop in a SD card and start watching quality content. Toshiba offers more evolutionary technology, but these are the highlights.
Hitachi is showcasing an Ultra-Slim 50-inch plasma TV prototype with a 35mm depth and shows their next generation 15mm LCD display prototype with RGB LED backlight. The idea you can never be too thin or too rich is the hallmark of Hitachi. One product that will appeal to the consumer is the Blu-ray Camcorder. People asked for it and Toshiba delivers a camcorder that can record HD video in three separate formats; Blu-ray Disc, Hard Drive and SDHC. The Hybrid Blu-ray camcorder promises flexibility, ease of playback and long recording time. Unlike some products at CES 2009 the Hitachi Hybrid Blu-ray Camcorder DZ-BD10HA is available at many retailers in a price range of $900 to $1100. The model has a 30-GB hard drive that can record for over 4-hours 1920 x 1080 video or about 8-hours 1440 x 1080 video. The built in SDHC slot gives users the flexibility they requested.
ASUS's reputation for always staying on the cutting edge continues with its dabbling in the Windows Mobile 7 platform by demonstrating the EeePC T91. The T91 is petite around 2-pounds and has the Atom processor with a 8.9-inch display. It includes optional GPS and a TV tuner functionality. In all likelihood our friends across the pond will see the T91 first. Without saying so, ASUS is thinking about a future Windows 7 Netbook.
ASUS did show off its touted "Eee Top". The idea is to bring touch computing to all parts of a consumers dwelling place. The technology runs on Windows XP and comes with a special touch version of the Opera Web browser. Soon, the bathroom, kitchen, bedroom will have access to Al Touch Media technology. Another cool prototype ASUS is working on is a next generation touch pad that acts as a 5-inch mini touch-screen computer within the computer. This innovation promises to reduced energy consumption and has the ability to project the mini movie view to a larger screen. There is no word on the release date or pricing of this in process gadget.
CES 2009 may be viewed as a more subtle innovation trade show this year. One thing for certain, consumer electronics manufacturers and developers have a keen eye for zeroing in on what will pull the consumers chain.
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