News Column

2005 Consumer Electronics Show Roundup

January 11, 2005

Anthony Limon

CES 2005 Crowd

More than 140,000 technophiles from 115 countries flooded into Las Vegas last week for what many consider to be the world's largest technology showcase. A three-day exhibition, the 2005 Consumer Electronics Show previewed many of the latest and greatest products and technologies from more than 2,500 exhibitors.

Technical difficulties aside (Microsoft CEO Bill Gates kicked off the event with a problematic keynote address, including an "out of system memory" warning during an XBox demo), the 2005 CES lived up to its billing with over 50,000 products showcased, including a host of new gadgetry sure to pique the interest of business executives and tech junkies alike.

High on the list of 2005 must-haves was the Sony Ericsson P910a, an all-in-one super powerful Smartphone perfect for on-the-go executives. The P910a features PDA functions, Bluetooth and speakerphone, as well as compatibility with enterprise Outlook and Lotus Notes servers, up to 1 GB of internal memory, and a host of entertainment features. While some may find the price a bit steep, the phone retails for $700 to $800, road warriors will delight in its all around smooth handling, including a thumb keyboard, jog dial and large color touch screen that make sending email, web browsing and taking notes a breeze.

Another noteworthy gadget wowing convention goers was the Texas Instruments palm-sized DLP projector developed in conjunction with Mitsubishi. The digital projector has an 800 by 600 resolution, runs on a rechargeable battery pack and was displayed projecting movies onto ceilings and even another person's back. The machine is compatible with all devices with a video output, including DVD players and gaming systems, and is set to retail under $1000.

Also worth a look were the X-Pointer II, a remote control, slash laser pointer, slash 64 MB thumb drive designed to operate like a handheld mouse and capable of controlling multimedia programs such as PowerPoint and Windows Media Player from up to 50 feet away, and the Phillips PSS110 MP3 Personal Surround System, a 256 MB handheld mini MP3 boombox that weighs a mere 350 grams and boasts ten hours of battery life, an FM tuner, and speakers that can be used with any music player.

On the lighter side of the technological spectrum, Motorola hyped their partnership with Burton Snowboards with a sight to behold: Four snowboarders set atop a giant mountain of snow in the middle of the Las Vegas Convention Center. The two companies are set to develop wireless communications-enabled outerwear, including Bluetooth-enabled jackets, helmets and beanies by 2006.


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