The 2007 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) which is going on in Las Vegas this week is the biggest show in its category in the US. This year Apple has caused a lot of buzz with its iPhone (see Pakistan’s wired forum discussion on iPhone in Pakistan). But there were many other interesting product and service announcements at CES as well. I would have loved to attend this show but anyway I am enjoying the online coverage of the show. Here are some excerpts from telecom related blog posts from WSJ – for the source and more posts visit their site.

Jobs Crashes the CES Party
Over at Macworld, Steve Jobs is whipping the crowd into a frenzy and striking fear in the hearts of phone companies around the world. Yes, Apple formally unveiled a new cellphone, as predicted. There were still plenty of surprises, however: The phone will have a touch-sensitive screen and no keypad, and will use a wireless connection to sync with Apple’s iTunes store. It can also browse the Internet using Cingular’s high-speed network.

Back to the Future with Mobile Broadcasts
As Internet and media companies give consumers ever-more ways to watch a piece of video programming at the moment they want it – through on-demand downloads and time-shifting – the cellphone industry is moving in the opposite direction: bringing people old school broadcasts of live TV.

In their first go at mobile video, cellphone companies have all gone with the time-shifting model — letting consumers stream and download video clips whenever they want. The issue is that the existing network can’t support large numbers of people downloading the same long-form program at the same time. A broadcast system does that much better.

Scan Before You Super-Size
And here’s one more thing you won’t see in the U.S.: a cellphone that tells you how many calories are in your Big Mac extra-value meal. The Shine handset from LG Electronics, part of the company’s “Black Label” series, was designed jointly by LG and BMW, will be available in the U.S. this year. But in Japan, the phone has an additional function. McDonald’s has outfitted food wrappers and boxes with bar codes that, can be read by cameras in Shine phones. The phones then display nutritional information, calorie counts and allergy warnings.

LG’s line of phones — including the Chocolate phone in pink, gold and platinum — are getting a lot more attention than the company’s 71-inch plasma TVs.

Cisco’s Human Network
Cisco has a new marketing slogan: Human Network. CEO John Chambers’s eyes lit up during an interview yesterday, when he was asked whether phone, cable and mainstream media companies knew what they wanted, given the onslaught of competition and shift in consumer behavior. Are they overwhelmed by such rapid changes — and are they turning to Cisco for answers? “They know what they want,” he said. “They have a vision. But it’s all about execution.” Mr. Chambers showed how a consumer could listen to the song over a car stereo, exit the vehicle and pick the song up on a handheld device, enter the home and have the option of playing the song on the stereo or watch a music video on tv. “Your content follows you on any device, anywhere,” he said.

Mr. Chambers said the consumer can not be asked to create this network and should only have to sit back and take advantage. So the level of complexity will have to be solved by Cisco’s technology and its partners.

I like these new products. I am sure many of the products will spur more discussion and there will be more posts here.

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