New Content Platforms And Electronic Advances In The Auto Market Hot Topics For Day Two Of The 2008 International CES
New content and entertainment platforms and electronic advances in the automotive market were the hot topics on the second day of the 2008 International CES®. Leaders from Comcast and General Motors delivered keynote addresses on day two, illustrating consumer technology’s growing relationship with both the content and automotive industries. Produced by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)®, the 2008 International CES, the world’s largest tradeshow for consumer technology, runs through Thursday in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Brian Roberts, chairman and CEO of Comcast Corp., delivered the morning keynote address, becoming the first chief executive from the cable industry to deliver a CES keynote. Roberts said today’s convergence of media has ushered in a new era for Comcast, which he referred to as Comcast 3.0. He identified innovation, technology, choice and customer service as the four major elements at the center of Comcast 3.0.
Roberts announced the end of an era for set-top boxes, and proclaimed a new generation for two-way platforms with the introduction of an OpenCable platform called tru2way. Panasonic president Toshihiro Sakamoto joined Roberts on stage to announce their co-creation of AnyPlay, the first portable DVR and DVD combination with tru2way capability. Roberts also announced that more than 1,000 HD choices will be available for the portable device in 2008.
With the help of American Idol’s Ryan Seacrest, Roberts debuted Fancast, a launch pad for the convergence of the PC and television, creating a personalized television experience. The individualized site links quickly and easily to content on the television, Internet, DVDs or in theaters. With the use of wideband instead of broadband, Fancast is able to download a two-plus hour HD movie in four minutes. It is the first site where consumers can find, watch and manage all their video content in one place.
Rick Wagoner, chairman and CEO of General Motors Corporation, delivered the afternoon keynote, marking the first CES keynote address by an automaker. As Wagoner noted in his remarks, GM’s presence at the show is further evidence of the convergence of the automotive and consumer electronics industries.
“If the automobile was invented today, it would have debuted at CES,” said Wagoner.“Because more and more, that’s exactly what today’s cars and trucks are – highly sophisticated consumer electronics.”
Wagoner updated attendees on the company’s OnStar technology, which he says will one day give drivers control of their cars directly from their wireless phones. However, Wagoner noted that GM’s focus is increasingly in the area of fuel cell technology. Wagoner arrived on stage in a new Chevy Volt, GM’s first demonstration of a new family of electrically driven propulsion systems. He also debuted the new Cadillac Provoq, which uses GM’s fifth-generation fuel cell with a lithium-ion battery to produce an electrically driven vehicle that uses no petroleum and has no emission other than water.
Tuesday morning’s Industry Insider program featured Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Kevin Martin, who joined CEA President and CEO Gary Shapiro for a one-on-one conversation about broadband deployment in the U.S., net neutrality, two-way CableCard and the balance of copyright. Chairman Martin took questions from the audience, many of which focused on the transition to digital television (DTV).
When asked about the upcoming year, Martin said, “The spectrum auction and the one-year countdown to the DTV transition will be at the forefront off the FCC’s work.”
In the noon SuperSession, “Keeping CE off the Curb,” executives from Dell, HP, Sony, Panasonic and TechTurn discussed the hot-button issue of electronic waste. Exploring the successes and challenges of both state-mandated and corporate electronics recycling programs, panelists revealed the topic’s many complexities, such as who should pay for electronics recycling and how to address unscrupulous recycling in the developing world. There was a consensus among the panelists that to be successful a program must be convenient for consumers. The panelists also focused on the importance of reuse, refurbishment and eco-friendly design as an important part of the end-of-use equation.
Tuesday’s International SuperSession explored how broadband policy framework will support future growth and access around the globe. Some of the world’s leading policy makers highlighted their broadband challenges and success stories regarding deployment and availability. The panel discussed the current state of broadband in the U.S., Europe and Japan. With digital content, services and products becoming part of the global landscape, the panelists agreed that the value proposition of broadband is changing every day.
The afternoon SuperSession, “Big Thinkers, Disruptive Technologies – Today’s Thought Leaders, Tomorrow’s Technologies,” offered predictions for future disruptive technologies that ranged from medical devices using advanced microchips; a universal availability of open-source software; all DRM-free music and the recent change in encryption licensing allowing consumers to download and burn their own media. The common theme of the panel was a future where consumers enjoy the democratization of information and technology.
Tuesday’s International Retail Power Panel featured top executives from some of the world’s largest retailers including Best Buy, Circuit City, China-based Gome, Target Corporation and UAE-based Al Futtaim. Moderated by CEA’s Shapiro, the panelists discussed their individual markets and answered questions from the audience. Discussion topics included the HD-DVD and Blu-ray competition, the nation’s nearing transition to digital television, consumer education, the industry’s green movement and the importance of free trade.
For the latest information on the International CES, visit www.CESweb.org, the source for all CES information.
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is the preeminent trade association promoting growth in the $161 billion U.S. consumer electronics industry. More than 2,200 companies enjoy the benefits of CEA membership, including legislative advocacy, market research, technical training and education, industry promotion and the fostering of business and strategic relationships. CEA also sponsors and manages the International CES - Where Entertainment, Technology and Business Converge. All profits from CES are reinvested into CEA’s industry services. Find CEA online at www.CE.org.
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