YouTube at CES 2012 – FIVE BILLION hours served per month!?!

The Google-owned online video service Youtube gave this morning’s keynote here at CES 2012.  It wasn’t all that interesting except for one amazing statistic.   They’re serving five billion hours of video per month now.   This would amount to about an hour of video for every person on earth old enough to access youtube.   I want some verification because that number is hard to believe, but if true it represents a shift in consumer media consumption that is simply staggering.

We all knew things were moving from offline to online media, but this suggests that online video adoption and usage is happening faster and with more gusto than all but the most enthusiastic online evangelists would have predicted.   In fact YouTube’s  Robert Kyncl noted how they have been constantly revising projections based on higher use than expected.

How will this trend affect us?    Probably in some very dramatic ways.   Heavy capital TV networks may increasingly see advertisers shifting to highly targeted niche markets, lowering the quality of network productions as money dries up.   Meanwhile more and more user generated content is pouring online, diverting more  attention away from traditional media.   The end result in terms of the content landscape?   I’m guessing we’ll see even more of a ” race to the bottom” in terms of content, where low quality lowbrow content will push out the better stuff.  Yet “high quality TV” has always been something of an oxymoron anyway, so nobody should lose any sleep as we watch our watching habits shift from our favorite TV drama to our favorite online personality’s content channel.   In fact I’d predict that we’ll even see some great quality, low cost shows come out as the barriers to entry fall away and millions more clever content producers flood the online landscape with …. more stuff.

CES Preview – Mobile Aps Showdown hosted by Jon Hein and Gary Dell’Abate of the Howard Stern Show.

CES Mobile Apps Showdown – turn your 2 minutes of mobile fame to your new fortune. 

Gary Dell’Abate and Jon Hein are hosting a great CES event on Thursday where competitors will showcase their mobile applications in the hopes of winning the “best mobile application” based on different criteria such as online voting and even audience applause.  A showcase event will follow where you can ask questions and test drive some of the applications you liked in the contest.

It’s encouraging to see a lot more internet centric events at CES in recent years.    In Technology Report’s 2008 coverage we noted that “Web 2.0″ and social media emphasis seemed a bit lacking but CES has made good progress in those areas – especially mobile internet which many see as the most fertile ground for expansion of the online landscape.

12:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 12, 2012
LVCC, North Hall, Room N255-N257

From the official website of CES 2012, CES Web:   Cesweb.org

Pit your mobile app against the competition during the Mobile Apps Showdown at 2012 CES! Apps producers will have two minutes to demo their app, and an applause-o-meter will measure audience enthusiasm to determine the winners. Guest emcees Gary Dell’Abate and Jon Hein from the Howard Stern Show will host the event. 

Enter at MobileAppsShowdown.com.

Now in its third year at the International CES, this event, honoring the best smartphone and tablet apps, will take place on Thursday, January 12, 2012.

Judges will select 10 finalists for the apps competition, which will take place live at the 2012 CES and online. Two winners will be selected, one based on a live vote at the 2012 CES and the other based on online voters at the site.

Nominations for the competition are now open. Developers can submit entries to be judged by a panel of tech experts including Gina SmithChristopher NullHelena StoneDave Whittle and other industry notables. Ten finalists will have a chance to present on stage at the 2012 International CES, held January 10-13, 2012, in Las Vegas. Readers of the Mobile Apps Showdown website will have a chance to try the apps and vote for the people’s choice award. Winners will be awarded based on audience response, both online and live at the Las Vegas Convention Center at 2:30 p.m. PT on Thursday, January 12, 2012.

Special Hosts Gary Dell’Abate And Jon Hein Add To The Fun
Co-hosts and fellow techies Gary Dell’Abate and Jon Hein, from SiriusXM Radio’s Howard Stern channels, will once again bring their inimitable wit and knowledge of all things geek to the festivities. For extra fun, they’ll lead a rollicking trivia contest. Want to see last year’s fun? Watch the Gary/Jon show in action. All contestants will be available to show their apps at a “meet up” immediately following the event. 

Winners of the 2011 CES Mobile Apps Showdown
Last year’s mobile apps winners have gone on to become two of the most successful apps on the market today. DriveSafe.ly 2.0, an app that addresses the hazards of road distraction, won based on audience applause. Line2, which gives smartphone users a second line, won the online ballot with over 50,000 votes. Clixtr and Gwabbit, winners in 2010, have gone on to rank as some of the top selling apps and still feature its Mobile Apps Showdown Award prominently. Good apps. Good business.

See you at CES 2012!

Computers at CES?




ASUS at CES

Originally uploaded by JoeDuck

There are more different types, sizes, and brands of computers at CES than you can shake a stick at, though Apple is always conspicuously absent. In fact the Apple Tablet somewhat overshadowed much of the innovations of the Las Vegas show because clearly the Apple Tablet is going to be the “one to beat”, especially given the lack of any clearly “superb” tablet offering at CES.

Although I have not done enough research to generalize much about the best new PCs I think it’s clear that the mainsteam trend is towards smaller laptops and netbooks with robust features. Costs are going down – features that would have been unheard of at any cost 5 years ago are now standard on even a modest PC. Battery life is impressive and getting better – one of the ASUS PCs shown here had a battery that lasted something like 10 hours.

ASUS also has a new interesting line of *very large* laptops with high quality speakers built into the sides of the chassis to the left and right of the screen. Although heavy, these will offer huge power and a “desktop” feel for your mobile computing. Still, I think weight is the key factor driving down PC size and predict it’ll be the netbooks that dominate the market for the next few years.

CES South Hall




CES South Hall

Originally uploaded by JoeDuck

It’s hard to describe the size of CES becuase it’s really, really big. This is a photo of *part* of the South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center. There’s also a North Hall and Central Hall, the Hilton Venue and the Sands Venetian Convention Center (though that venue was a lot smaller than last year.

Still, the early numbers suggest attendance was up this year even as total exhibit space appeared to be somewhat smaller and the “party food” metric suggested that folks may have been scaling back somewhat despite the fact that this is generally considered the largest and most influenctial technology conference of the year (there is some dispute about that I understand as some conferenences have more attendees, though I think CES remains the largest in terms of exhibit square footage.

ZigBee Energy Control


ZigBee Energy Control

Originally uploaded by JoeDuck

Monitoring and controlling energy use has become a major theme in technology and several CES vendors had devices, chips, and standards that worked to monitor and control energy use for appliances.

A question I’m working to answer with more research is whether the best approach for this type of home energy control are the solutions proposed by some of the high end exhibitors at CES – Control4 and Zigbee , or the very simple yet elegant “smart socket” approach taken by USA / Beijing’s “i-Sockets.com” where very inexpensive sockets communicate with the home PC and allow control of things plugged into these sockets via the PC and even remotely over the internet.

Another inexpensive “smart socket” approach is from Picowatt, featured as a CNET CES top pick

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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 Day 3 ….

Now that I’ve seen a lot more of the show but will stick with the upcoming Lenovo Hybrid (out in May) as the most innovative product I’ve seen so far and the Intel “World View” cube as *by far* the most innovative exhibit.   There seems to be good buzz about the existing Lenovo tablet netbook where the screen swivels to form a single unit, but the hybrid is even more impressive as the tablet *detaches*, creating something of an ebook with a weight of only 1.6 pounds.   If this device can handle ebooks as well as it appears to (it felt like a giant iPhone in my hand and it adjusts the picture to match the screen orientation), I predict it’ll be well received by the public.

Bravo Intel: I think a lot of folks walk by without realizing how brilliantly this application is working to identify nearly real time data and pictures that match a query and then present that information in a beautifully appealing format on a massive touchscreen.

Unfortunately Intel has no plans for this beyond the show, but this is *exactly* the type of surface computing / educational application Microsoft always talks about but can’t seem to deploy properly (Steve Ballmer’s keynote presentation to open CES …  was crippled by a power outage.    Note for next year – find out what Intel is planning and showcase that!    If Ballmer had unveiled something like the Intel World View as a new Microsoft Web 2.0 application to integrate with Bing search and allow users to “see”  data in this very creative format it would have been a nice “wow” moment for CES.     Instead, we basically just got the Windows 7 pitch. It’s a good OS and I think will preserve Microsoft’s OS viability in the face of competition from Google and others, but unless I’m really missing something (always very possible of course), there’s nothing really amazing and new behind the Windows 7 curtain.

While I’ve been underwhelmed so far, John has been more impressed ,feeling that the products from last year are better and more mature
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CES 2010 – Fewer Exhibits but more China?

CES 2010 = fewer exhibits but more China?    I haven’t researched this to know for sure, but I think there’s a larger China presence here at CES than last year, especially from “mainland” companies from Beijing and other cities outside of Hong Kong.     The conference no longer has the large exhibit space at the Sands, making it a bit easier to navigate because there is less need to travel back and forth between the Venetian Sands venue and the Las Vegas Convention Center.

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Drew Carey at CES 2010

Drew Carey at CES 2010

CES 014Drew Carey hosted a short tech trivia contest for CNET this afternoon here at CES.   Carey’s joke during the contest summed up one of the major stories here here at the conference.  Carey joked that the $50 gift certificates from CNET were going to be $100, but CNET  “had  tough year”.       I spoke with CEA briefly and they said the preliminary counts indicate about the same attendance as last year’s which I think they said was 107,000 after the auditing that is mandatory for major shows.    Of course I think that many attendees are from exhibitor groups so it’s not a simple task to determine the year to year trends in terms of the industry at large.    I think the Drew Carey analysis probably sums it up – 2009 was  tough year in tech.      However overall the feel here seems to be optimistic, and I think we’re seeing more from China as “good quality, lower price” may start to define the industry more than it has in the past.

DrewJoeDuck

Cirque du Soleil = Amazing Technology

Yesterday we toured the Cirque du Soleil show KA and I was blown away by the spectacular technological innovations they have developed to create the spectacular world of KA.

I’ll have a full report with pictures later in the week, but frankly it’s going to be hard to find things here at CES to compare with what the amazing Cirque folks do on a daily basis to put on the KA show.

Of particular interest were the number of invisible safety features that keep performers safe even as they appear to defy gravity, a collision algorithm to avoid object catastrophes, and the world’s largest surface computing platform – hundreds of square feet of embedded sensors communicating the performer’s positions.     There are more people behind the scenes than there are performers on stage, making KA arguably the world’s most advanced technical theater  production.    Bravo!