Jan 10 - The world's biggest consumer electronics show puts a spotlight on razor-thin laptops, as well as faster and powerful smartphones, and thinner flat panel televisions at the annual event in Las Vegas. Conway G. Gittens reports.
The world's biggest consumer electronics show puts a spotlight on razor-thin laptops, as well as faster and powerful smartphones, and thinner flat panel televisions at the annual event in Las Vegas. The annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is gadget heaven for technology lovers. CES mainstay Intel is hoping to create a new market and some buzz with something called the "Ultrabook." Intel's Merlyn Kister: SOUNDBITE: MERLYN KISTER, INTEL MARKETING (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Ultrabooks marry the best of a tablet. You think of thin and light designs with ultra responsiveness and fast start up, with the full performance of a PC that you know and like; a full keyboard." Tablets, however, have sort of faded in significance at this year's show compared to recent years, as manufacturers admit they can't replicate the success of the Apple iPad. But the industry has also learned another lesson or two from Apple, which does not particpate in CES. Peter Choi of iLuv Marketing: SOUNDBITE: PETER CHOI, ILUV MARKETING (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Apple just designs beautiful products. Again, they design things that consumers need and what we do is bring out the full functionality of these products." And the merging of aesthetic beauty and functionality is evident across the massive 1.8 million square feet of showspace, including these video name tags that can be displayed in clothing and not just on. And speaking of displays...flat panel TVs continue to get thinner and smarter - and the industry has yet to give up on the home 3D market, which has yet to catch on. Smartphones are still the talk of the town as wireless carriers roll out new devices for faster mobile networks. The event is still popular even though there haven't been many ground-breaking products announced in recent years. Microsoft is not expected to come back next year, but Bearking Hsuing of Immersive Motion says CES is still the place for technology companies to get the word out. SOUNDBITE: BEARKING C. HSIUNG, PRESIDENT, IMMERSIVE MOTION (ENGLISH) SAYING: "The CES is the biggest show in the world. We developed the product ourselves and we would like to find a distributor for the worldwide market, especially in the United States." Organizers expect some 140,000 to 150,000 attendees to get first look at some of the new gadgets coming to market, with some 2,700 exhibitors hoping to hit the right beat with consumers. Conway Gittens, Reuters