The biggest and most important US-based technology trade show comes rolling into Las Vegas, Nevada, on Wednesday, attracting hundreds of thousands of attendees from the computer and consumer electronics markets. As with the past few shows, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2005 promises to usher in the technologies we'll be using throughout the year, especially home- and consumer-based technologies such as digital media, High-Definition Television (HDTV) and home theater, home networking, smart phones, video games, and wireless.
CES 2005 starts with a preconference keynote address by Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates (and if this year's speech is as boring as usual, I'll never attend one of these things again). The address will concentrate on the home-oriented technologies that Microsoft will later display at the show, including Digital Rights Management (DRM), Media Centers and entertainment PCs, new Xbox information, portable video, and Smart Personal Object Technology (SPOT) smart watches. Video game enthusiasts are hoping that Gates will publicly demonstrate the next Xbox system during his talk.
As for the rest of CES, promoters say that this year's show will highlight the major technology trends of 2005, including media servers, portable entertainment, smart kitchen accessories, video gaming and interactive entertainment, and telematics, which lets cars and other vehicles connect wirelessly to online services. "It is clear that content is beginning to drive the creation of new devices and that the continued adoption of broadband will allow product innovation to soar," Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), said. "These technologies are slated to bring value to consumers' lives and have the greatest impact on our industry in the months to come."
I'm traveling to Las Vegas this week with Contributing News Editor Keith Furman. We'll report daily from the show starting late Wednesday.