Thursday AM January 7th, 2009

This year's four-day consumer electronics show gets underway in Las Vegas today. Ed Mayberry reports.

circuit boardThe Consumer Electronics Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center brings together hundreds of manufacturers all showcasing the latest products and trends, from 3D and interactive HDTVs to new apps for all kinds of gadgets.  One section focuses on home audio and television products, as the show's Steve Koenig explains.

"TVs, home audio, surround sound, for example.  In North Hall, that's where we have a lot of the automotive technology.  So all the in-vehicle sound systems, portable navigation and so forth.  In the South Hall, it's home technology with home automation and multi-room audio/video, imaging categories, gaming.  That's kind of in a nutshell what you might see.  And over at the Hilton, just adjacent to the LVCC is where we have the international pavilion, so a lot of business is done over there."

The prospect of live, local TV on cell phones is getting closer, with manufacturers showing off gadgets that can receive a new type of digital transmission.  About 30 stations are already broadcasting mobile DTV signals.  Koenig says smart phones are a big focus at CES this year.

"A number of platforms will be on display, including the Android operating system from Google, and the Droid phone from Motorola.  They're really handheld computers."

Ed: "It's been a real convergence, really, hasn't it, with the different apps that seem to make it more than a phone?"

"That's true, and yeah, you invoked the 'C' word, convergence, and talking about just a Swiss army knife of technology—the wireless handset, I think, really embodies that." 

The Las Vegas show is hosted by the Consumer Electronics Association, which helps with legislative advocacy, market research, technical training and education and standards development.

Bio photo of Ed Mayberry

Ed Mayberry

Local Anchor, All Things Considered

Ed Mayberry has worked in radio since 1971, with many of those years spent on the rock 'n' roll disc jockey side of the business...