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Mobile, Tablets and the Cloud to Dominate CES

26 Dec, 2011 By: Chris Tribbey

3DTV and connected TVs have been all the rage the past couple of years at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), but so far there’s been little hype surrounding those topics leading up to the latest show, held Jan. 10 to 13 in Las Vegas.

Instead, everyone seems to be talking about mobile.

“Mobile and portable connected devices are driving growth in the CE industry and will be a major focus of the 2012 CES,” said Karen Chupka, SVP of events and conferences for the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). “The 2012 CES is the best place to see all the latest tablets and smartphones that bring broadband capability to wireless devices that fit the way consumers work, live and play.”

CEA research has tablet computer growth at nearly 160% for 2011, with more than 26.5 million units shipped, producing $14 billion in revenue. Smartphone sales are expected to grow 45% by the time the year’s finished, producing $23 billion in revenue.

CES’s Access on the Go TechZone will highlight devices that deliver on-the-go content, including movies, TV and music, and basically every major smartphone company, other than Apple, will be on hand. Digital Hollywood will run a two-day Smartphone and Tablet Conference with several panels Jan. 9 and 10.

“The importance of CES cannot be understated,” said Douglas Turner, VP of Iogear in Foothill Ranch, Calif. “This year we’re focused on mobility and convergence products — two segments CEA has placed great emphasis on.”

Other conference sessions in the mobile arena include those focusing on applications, 4G and new content features for smartphones.

■ For news on one of the newest initiatives in the home entertainment space, UltraViolet, the industry will look to Jan. 10, when the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem, or DECE, the cross-industry consortium behind UltraViolet, has its event, where it will provide a progress report on the cloud-based service, preview what’s coming next for the service and offer some data regarding how the service has worked thus far.

■ Neustar Media, which built the cloud-based infrastructure for UltraViolet, is expected to debut Catalyst, a white-labeled digital storefront for studios and retailers that could help them improve the user interface for UltraViolet. Neustar will be the only company on the CES show floor that will have demos of UltraViolet.

■ More than 2,700 exhibitors will be at the show, with more than 140,000 attendees expected. Of those attendees, more than 20,000 are expected to come from overseas. Attendees will be treated to more than two dozen specific Tech Zones, and, time permitting, the Hollywood types may want to stop by 3D@Home, HDMI, Mobile DTV and Access on the Go.

■ Entertainment Matters, sponsored by Variety and Ericsson, is a program aimed directly at the content community. Attendees of 2012 Entertainment Matters will get a first look at devices, technologies and platforms for broadcasted content. Robert Kyncl, VP of global content partnerships at YouTube, will deliver the Entertainment Matters keynote address. Jan. 11 panel sessions include “What’s Cooking? Technologists Eye the Future of Entertainment,” “The New Technorati: How Today’s Youth Are Shaping the Future of Digital Media and Content,” and “Masters of Film and Technology Breakthroughs.”

■ Hollywood professionals also should keep an eye on the home entertainment sessions, which include sessions on tablets, 3DTV, smart TV, “Navigating the Connected Home” and portable 3D. Additionally, “Content in the Cloud,” a series of sessions Jan. 11 produced by the Distributed Computing Industry Association, includes such panels as “Consumer Benefits of Cloud-Delivered Content: Ubiquity, Cost, Portability Improvements Keynote” and “Consumer Drawbacks of Cloud-Delivered Content: Privacy, Reliability, Security Issues.” And the Parks Associates’ Jan. 10 Connections Summit will include “Smart TV 2012 Outlook” and “The Personal Cloud and Digital Locker.”

■ Planned CES keynotes include the Consumer Electronics Association’s Gary Shapiro, Qualcomm’s Paul Jacobs, Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer, Ericsson’s Hans Vestberg, Intel’s Paul Otellini, Mercedes-Benz’s Dieter Zetsche, Xerox’s Ursula Burns, Ford’s Alan Mulally and Verizon’s Lowell McAdam.

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