FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

At Consumer Electronics Show, the Word is "Portable"

The stars of the 2006 Consumer Electronics Show, opening this week in Las Vegas, are portable media devices that make even the video iPod seem positively quaint.

Services from Microsoft and Vongo will allow users to download movies from the Internet, and view them either on their PCs or on portable devices (although such devices have been available for some time, sales have been poor, and vendors are banking on second-generation devices to build consumer interest). Similarly, RCA is launching a portable device that can download programming from TVs and service providers such as DirecTV for later viewing. Meanwhile, Intel will unveil its new dual core chip technology that will provide even greater horsepower to the latest video devices.

Allying themselves with the portability trend are Yahoo, Google and MSN, which are jockeying to become go-to portals for video content. Their ambitions are not lost on the television industry; 40% of TV executives surveyed by IBM expressed serious concern about competition from Internet portals by the end of the decade.

This year's Consumer Electronics Show -- the premier consumer technology trade show in the US -- is said to be the largest ever, with 2,500 exhibitors covering 28 football fields' worth of space.

UPDATE: An article in the New York Times speculates on what the future of Internet-based video distribution could look like for the major Internet players, cable carriers and broadcasters.

Source: USA Today