Sunday, January 10, 2010

Dynamic keynotes, global retail session, one-to-one with FCC chairman continue momentum of CES 2010

LAS VEGAS, USA: Keynote addresses from the leaders of Nokia, Qualcomm and Hisense, a candid discussion with Federal Communications Chairman (FCC) Julius Genachowski and thoughts on the future of retail from the leaders of Best Buy, Systemex, Wal-Mart and X-cite were recent highlights at the 2010 International CES.

Owned and produced by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), the 2010 International CES, the world's largest tradeshow for consumer technology, runs till today in Las Vegas.

Nokia CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo addressed a packed theater Friday morning as the opening keynote for the third CES Technology and Emerging Countries (TEC) program, which focuses on technology’s impact on developing economies. Kallasvuo stated that his own belief and message to the global industry is to “do good business by doing good.”

Kallasvuo introduced Nokia's Social Anthropologist Jan Chipchase as well as Progress Project journalist Frances Lindsay Gordon to discuss how Nokia phones, equipped with Nokia tools technology, are improving lives around the world. Through Nokia technology people in emerging countries have increased access to weather and crop prices, are able to order products from other areas of the world and can transfer money to relatives far away.

Kallasvuo also announced the Growth Economy Venture Challenge which Nokia, partnering with Sesame Street, launched as part of their Calling All Innovators program ( This international contest will award a one million dollar investment for the winning innovation – which could be a new technology or application designed specifically to improve lives globally.

CEA President and CEO Gary Shapiro moderated the Global Perspective on Retail SuperSession with an impressive line-up of international retail executives including Best Buy's Brian Dunn, Systemax’s Gilbert Fiorentio, X-cite's Srikant Gokhale and Wal-mart's Gary Severson. The panel discussed that while the 2009 global economy brought many challenges to their business, all are optimistic about the future and what they are seeing at the 2010 CES.

“There is terrific innovation across all of the product categories at CES that will help stimulate business,” stated Brian Dunn, Best Buy. All panelists showed excitement in the 3D technology manufactures are showcasing on the CES show floor, and believe that the exciting broadcast announcements made at CES will help give legitimacy to the platform and generate excitement for this technology in the home.

During Friday morning's second keynote, Qualcomm CEO Dr. Paul Jacobs took the stage to talk about convergence in the wireless world, health care and FLO TV. Jacobs noted that “wireless has the power to change our lives for the better,” by having all devices linked together and driving growth and innovation across the world. Jacobs also highlighted how wireless is changing health care to help manage and monitor patients’ health.

During the keynote, Jacobs showcased Qualcomm's new Snapdragon processing chip which was displayed in the Lenovo Skylight smartbook. Mirasol, which will bring color and video capable display technology to eReaders and smartbooks, was also featured on stage. Jacobs then highlighted Qualcomm's N-Stream technology, which manages digital entertainment in the home with a dual-band wireless LAN connection. Qualcomm also announced FLO TV will soon be coming to the iPhone and iTouch.

Friday's one-on-one with the FCC chairman Julius Genachowski and CEA's Shapiro discussed broadband, spectrum, innovation and ethics. Genachowski began by discussing the importance of promoting, preserving and accelerating innovation. He announced that the national broadband plan, expected out this March, will be a living, breathing strategic plan for our country, and noted the US is currently experiencing a "limited spectrum crisis."

During the discussion, Shapiro announced the Innovation Movement's Apps for Innovation contest winner, GovPulse, an exciting app which helps connect consumers to government data. In response, Genachowski announced the launch of adding, "digital participation in government can fulfill the dreams and goals of our constitution."

On Friday afternoon, industry leaders took part in the SuperSession “ Big Thinkers and Disruptive Technologies- Today's Thought Leaders, Tomorrow's Technologies.” A panel of executives from Plastic Logic, Media7, Zoran, Sonic Solutions/CinemaNow and Real D discussed technology trends that will revolutionize the consumer electronics industry.

They agreed that patterns leading to disruptive technologies happen over time. They also agreed that the digitalization of content has caused manufacturers and content providers to change their business model to create choices for consumers.
The group concurred that as the world of personal portable computing increases, consumers will be able to access content on the device of their choice.

Friday's afternoon SuperSession, “Drivers, Consumer Electronics, and Highway Safety: How Can Technology Help?” focused on distracted driving. Peter Appel, from the U.S. Department of Transportation, spoke before the panel and said the CE industry is doing a good job of understanding the current environment. He encouraged innovation as a way to find a solution to the issue.

Executives from Safe Driving Systems, Illume Software, ZoomSafer Inc., Tomahawk Systems, Marketing, Best Buy Mobile, TxtBlocker and Global Traffic Network all agreed that legislation and education together can help reduce driver distraction. The panelists believed technology and innovation over time can help solve the problem, but no one product can fix distracted driving.

Hisense Chairman Zhou Houjian delivered the afternoon keynote address on Friday, as part of the TEC Program. Zhou made history by becoming the first leader of a Chinese company to deliver a keynote at CES.

During his address, Zhou discussed how Hisense progressed from a small regional company 40 years ago to a global multibillion dollar conglomerate by always looking to the future with a clear vision, sound strategy, efficient organization and innovative technology. Hisense has become a household brand in China consisting of four segments: consumer electronics, home appliances, communications and information technology.

Hisense has a history of industry leadership switching from CRT to flat panel TVs early on, launching the first LCD module production line among all Chinese television brands and becoming one of the first companies to introduce LED TVs. Now they are striving to continue the push to turn large screen TVs into networked devices connecting the home. “Hisense's goal is to become a worldwide leading consumer electronics brand,” said Zhou.

Josh Silverman gave the keynote address at Friday night's Leaders in Technology dinner. He was introduced by Maria Bartiromo, the anchor of CNBC's " Closing Bell with Maria Bartiromo " and host and managing editor of the nationally syndicated " Wall Street Journal Report with Maria Bartiromo ." Silverman discussed how disruptive innovation is accelerating the rate of change but also challenging the status quo.

The popular Last Gadget Standing SuperSession on Friday morning, hosted by Robin Raskin, has been a CES favorite for nine years. The standing room-only session featured 10 finalists vying to win over the audience with their four minute product demos.

The winner was The Boxee Box by D-Link – an open-source media player with integrated social networking features and a large selection of online content. The online winner was the SHOWWX Laser Pico Projector by Microvision that was playfully demoed by Dr. Evil that uses lasers instead of LEDs, fluorescent or incandescent lights and fits in a pocket or purse. Other finalists included in order of demo: Neato Robotic's Neato XV-11, The Acer Aspire 5738D 3D laptop, the Que proReader, the Haier Trainer, NVIDIA's ICD Ultra Tablet, the Sony dash Personal Internet Viewer , the Intel Reader and Motorola's Droid.

The 2010 International CES also featured compelling conference programs focused on the top issues for the entertainment community from UP NEXT at CES and Entertainment Technology@CES , which featured prominent content professionals debating and discussing the best ways to monetize digital content, 3D for the home, over-the-top services and mobile distribution and other relevant issues for the entertainment industry.

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