Industry Visionaries and Informative Conferences Prepare Attendees for Digital Future
Las Vegas, Nev., January 8, 2005 — On its second day, the 2005 International CES continued to deliver leading edge consumer electronics products and developments to attendees at the world’s largest annual consumer technology showcase. Industry experts from companies including TiVo, HP and Texas Instruments joined others from cable, wireless and broadcast to discuss the future of their industries and what’s next for consumer electronics in a variety of keynote addresses and conference sessions.
Carly Fiorina, chairman and CEO of HP, kicked off the second day of the 2005 International CES with an exciting keynote peppered with star appearances and new products. Fiorina, who focused on HP’s mission to deliver functional, affordable innovation made her point up front: “The digital revolution is about the democratization of technology,” she said. “It’s about giving power to the people.”
Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO of Dreamworks Animation, joined Fiorina to show the audience how digital technology is enabling a whole new era of animated entertainment. Following a solid testimonial to the power of his HP partnership, Katzenberg treated the jam packed theater to a first look of upcoming Dreamworks animated picture Madagascar.
Fiorina went on to announce plans for a variety of HP devices, including the industry’s first HDTV media hub. This set top box will allow users to enjoy multiple content sources through a single platform that is managed in the house. The HDTV media hub will give consumers an intuitive program guide, music information service and automatic updates. During the keynote, singer/actress Gwen Stefani announced that she will design a new HP digital camera and accessories, due for release this year. Rounding out Fiorina’s celebrity guests was singer Vanessa Carlton, who treated the audience to a live performance of her hit single A Thousand Miles.
Mike Ramsay, co-founder, chairman and CEO of TiVo, summed up TiVo’s philosophy on “The Future of Personal Entertainment” during an early morning Industry Insider presentation. Noting consumer desire for a more personalized home entertainment experience, Ramsay emphasized two trends setting the stage for easy use of entertainment for the entire family. Ramsay noted the consumer trends of digital media, personalization and mobility. The ability to connect TiVo to PC or media center is an example of this trend. He also spoke of a second trend of connecting bandwidth adoption, easier home networking and larger disk drives. While at the beginning of home entertainment, theses trends create more entertainment choices for the consumer and point to the future of entertainment.
Ramsay announced TiVo’s efforts to marry broadband and broadcast through new and exciting features on the TiVo menu. New menu options include the ability to select different movies similar to programs you have already watched, partnering with outside companies such as Best Buy for the ability to purchase a movie on DVD, an opportunity to view the trailer of movies in theaters and the option to find show times of the trailer just viewed. Ramsay stressed TiVo’s legacy is to enhance TV forever.
In the final keynote of the show, Texas Instruments President and CEO Rich Templeton used a “This is Your Life” format to show the different ways that TI products have affected the guest of honor, the CE consumer. With Fox News Analyst and former pro football player Howie Long, Templeton discussed the impact that digital light processing (DLP) is having on the high-definition TV market. Over 2 million DLP TVs have been sold in the last eight months and they currently represent 40 percent of the front projection television market.
In his second International CES appearance of the day, Katzenberg, discussed how DLP cinema will impact the movie industry with improved quality in movies, such as the ability to feature over 35 trillion colors. Templeton also brought out the CEO of Sling Media, Blake Krikorian, to display the Slingbox Personal Broadcaster, which allows the consumer to access the TV in their living room from anywhere in the world. The last guest was Bruce Hall, the President of Digital Audio Drive, who is creating autonomous vehicles that drive themselves so that no human interaction is required. All of these innovative and new designs are created through the use of various TI technologies.
A panel of wireless industry heavy hitters from M-Forma, Nokia, Verizon, and Virgin Mobile took the stage to discuss upcoming developments for an industry that continues to deliver impressive growth and technology year after year. Key issues discussed during the 2005 International CES Wireless SuperSession included wireless data and improving the end-user experience. According to panelist Daniel Kranzler, chairman and CEO of M-Forma, “to make a (wireless) product work, you have to make it simple and compelling.” All panelists agreed, emphasizing that immediate objectives for the industry include developing simple, effective applications, securing consumer mindshare for wireless and evolving business models that translate the success of customizable wireless ring tones into other mobile applications.
Audio industry experts from all sectors came together today at the International CES to present the state of the audio market. Experts ranging from producers to high performance audio manufacturers to distributors, agreed that there has been a marked shift in the ways people enjoy audio and that convenience is currently trumping performance. Instead of proclaiming digital music the enemy, they believe it is important to tap into the lifestyle issues which have made portable compression digital audio such an explosive market. The panel argues the industry should find ways to leverage the need for convenience while educating people on the advantages of the high performance audio experience.
Marketing and market research professionals were joined by CEA Teen Spokesperson Jessica Curran to discover just how illusive the teen market can be for the consumer technology industry. Manufacturers and retailers agreed that connecting and “talking to” teens stands as the secret to breaking through the market. According to one panelist, companies reaching out to teens should make them marketing partners. A panelist said in their experiences teens are more receptive to messages that connect with their lives, not the lives marketers remember having as teens. Curran added that teens are peer marketers and talk to each other about CE products. Consumer technology products bring status in the teen world and portable devices best fit with their lifestyles, according to Curran.
Cable system, equipment and content executives appeared at the 2005 International CES today for an afternoon SuperSession titled, “Now, A Word From Your Cable Operator.” Questions from moderator Gary Arlen, president of Arlen Communications, as well as several from the audience resulted in a session that covered a broad range of products and issues, such as HDTV and CableCARDs, DVR, video-on-demand and VoIP.
Early in the session, the panel agreed that HDTV has arrived and the industry is committed to its success. Details of how, in what form and from which products and services resulted in greater discussion. Asked what he was doing to help move the analog-to-digital television (DTV) transition along, Robert Clasen, president and CEO of Starz Entertainment Group, held up a consumer brochure produced by StarzHD and the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). He also pointed to consumer education initiatives. As the session’s focus shifted from video to other advanced services, Michael Willner, co-founder, vice chairman, CEO and director of Insight Communications Company, Inc. characterized the industry as the “Wild West,” noting the robust competition for video, voice and data services coming from cable, satellite and telecommunications companies. “VoIP is ready for primetime now,” said Robert McIntyre, corporate senior vice president and CTO of Scientific-Atlanta, adding that enhanced voice services now are being added to the equation. “It’s always interesting to have a debate about something that doesn’t exist yet,” said Pat Esser, executive vice president and COO of Cox Communications, Inc., referring to the prospect of telecommunications companies offering video services.
Arlen later asked the panel to outline the 2005 policy outlook for their industry. The CableCARD or separable security issue topped the list for inter-industry issues, followed by indecency and digital must-carry. Asked to give one word for the cable industry year ahead, panelists responded with “transitional,” “expanding,” “collaborative,” and “competitive.”
For more news on the International CES during and after the show, visit www.CESweb.org, the interactive source for CES information. The show runs January 6-9 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is the preeminent trade association promoting growth in the consumer technology industry through technology policy, events, research, promotion and the fostering of business and strategic relationships. CEA represents more than 1,850 corporate members involved in the design, development, manufacturing, distribution and integration of audio, video, mobile electronics, wireless and landline communications, information technology, home networking, multimedia and accessory products, as well as related services that are sold through consumer channels. Combined, CEA’s members account for more than $110 billion in annual sales. CEA’s resources are available online at www.CE.org, the definitive source for information about the consumer electronics industry.
CEA also sponsors and manages the International CES — Defining Tomorrow’s Technology. All profits from CES are reinvested into industry services, including technical training and education, industry promotion, engineering standards development, market research and legislative advocacy.