CES Unveiled – the Pre CES Show event for Press and Bloggers

Well, it’s time to bring some order to the CES Coverage now that the hundreds of photos are uploaded and the frenzied week of new technologies is over.

I’m always disappointed in how little “Web 2.0″ there is at CES. In 2008 – the show year before the bubble burst and when big money was flowing very freely for big internet players – we saw a large number of major displays by internet companies like Yahoo and Godaddy. Last year and this year it seemed hard to find many “mostly internet” companies at CES although an interesting exception to this was COPIA – a brand new social networking website for book lovers that also provides a line of e-Readers. I’ll have a separate report on COPIA as it’s an interesting idea and approach that I think is designed as much to be aquired by Amazon than to become a separate player in the online book space.

Another exception to the “little Web at CES” rule is the rise of Twitter and Facebook as key marketing tools for many of the businesses there, as well as the fact most are bringing forms of interconnectivity into the equation. So we’re seeing the internet in huge use as something to *enhance* existing technologies more than as standalone websites. Is this simply because CES is mostly a consumer hardware show?

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Will we find that the future of the internet is primarily how people relate in pure online environments or in how they interconnect their devices and flow their lives online?

Stay tuned….tuned online that is.

CES 2009 …. begins! Live from CES Unveiled Party

CES 2009 has kicked off with the big “CES Unveiled” party where press is introduced to several companies exhibiting here. I’ve had a chance to see several of the technologies and talk to other reporters which is always an interesting way to get an idea of what could be the stand outs this year.  (Pictures up soon – perhaps now via JoeDuck.com)

* Netbook mania!     After seeing Lenovo and ASUS’ offerings I’d have to give ASUS very, very high marks so far.   The new tablet PC, out in March, is a brilliant combination of form and function.  Swivelling from netbook to tablet, the unit will offer built in GIS navigation such that you can flip the screen, mount it on your dash for a mega sized GIS unit.   I think the cost he quoted was only about 500 for this very impressive fall format PC which will be robust in terms of specs but very mobile and light.   So far for me ASUS is the company to beat here at CES.

* Samsung super brite displays.   For me this was the showstopper in terms of visual appeal.   Samsung’s display won an innovation award for their massive  flat panel which  has a static constrast ration of 2000 and super bright back lighting for brilliant color even in daytime.

* Phoenix bios + operating system.   Hey, who needs a clunky old OS like VIsta when you can simply pull up a browser and be in the cloud emailing, blogging, and working?   Phoenix has a new product that basically replaces conventional OS with a browser.   At Matt Cutts recently noted ne as well as many of us are spending the overwhelming majority of our time within the browser, raising the question of what we need a big fat OS for anyway.

* Israel Technology boom: Israel is rapidly emerging as a major center of technology – note several of the Scoble reports from his recent visit there.  One person familar with the Israel tech terrain suggested that so many are coming out of their military service with high tech skills and that the society is very entrepreneurial, so this combination makes for very fertile
ground for innovations.