CES 2009 Convergence is Finally Here

CES 2009 Convergence is Finally Here

The 2009 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas provided another exciting look into the future of electronics.  Two prevailing themes were that convergence – the long talked-about concept of uniting entertainment and information, and media with Internet – has truly and finally arrived, and that sleekness and multi-function capability is the new industry mantra.

HDTV flat screen televisions dominated, with 3D, Internet-enabled and ultra-thin and flexible screens on display.  New sets with on-screen interactive “widgets” to click to additional information and services were demonstrated by Yahoo!, Intel and Samsung.  Using this functionality, consumers can check their stock portfolios, the weather, sports or a host of other activities.  There were also Blu-ray devices with the ability to access the internet for movies from Netflix with a simple click of the remote.  Tru2way digital set top technology, wireless HD capability and location-aware GPS capability increasingly built into most new products were also featured.  Increasingly, the “always connected” promise of the Internet was featured in an array of devices with location awareness which likely means that targeting applications will rapidly increase to small personal devices we carry in everyday life.

“It’s clear that electronics companies are focused on making products work better and faster and with an eye toward styling and design.  Simplicity is key, as is providing tangible “connected” value to consumers.  Having attended a number of these shows, I was genuinely impressed with the innovation on display, despite a turbulent economy in 2009″ said Scott Brown, SVP, Digital Platforms for Nielsen.

Other key highlights of the show included:

  • LG Blu-ray players with built-in streaming for Netflix, CinemaNow and YouTube
  • Samsung Blu-ray players with WiFi
  • Blu-ray players at the $200 price point
  • Significant advances in audio technology for mobile products and gaming applications from Dolby
  • CruiseCast, in-car satellite TV service from AT&T
  • DVR hard drive capacity expansion
  • LG Watch Phone, featuring a touch screen interface, stereo Bluetooth, speakerphone and built-in music player
  • NETGEAR’s new portable Internet video player
  • Hitachi’s gesture controlled television