LAS VEGAS — The 2008 International Consumer Electronics Show kicked off here yesterday, setting an upbeat tone for makers of televisions, cell phones, handhelds, displays, semiconductors, software, and multitude of other electronic products.
Billed as the “world’s largest consumer technology tradeshow,” CES featured a Sunday keynote speech from industry giant Bill Gates, who told a standing room crowd of attendees that the future will involve more touch screens and voice commands for devices, as well as a blizzard of new “in the cloud” Internet applications.
The show, which boasts 2,700 exhibitors and 1.7 million square feet of exhibit space, draws attendees from 140 countries. Some 140,000 visitors are expected to attend this year’s show, with 25,000 international attendees.
This year’s CES is expected to feature an emphasis on high-definition (HD) television and wireless technology. Texas Instruments will demo 3D TV, Sony will show off a 50-inch TV that’s 3 mm thick, and virtually every cell phone maker will roll out phones with video capabilities.
Could our view of distant galaxies be obstructed by a lawnmower? That unlikely question is at the heart of a growing debate between the National Radio Astronomy Observatory and a robot manufacturer that seeks to build self-guided lawnmowers.
Design News readers spoke loudly and clearly after our recent news story about a resurgence in manufacturing -- and manufacturing jobs. Commenters doubted the manufacturers, describing them as H-1B visa promoters, corporate crybabies, and clowns. They argued that US manufacturers aren’t willing to train workers, preferring instead to import cheap labor from abroad.
Using wireless chips and accessories, engineers can now extract data from the unlikeliest of places -- pumps, motors, bridges, conveyors, refineries, cooling towers, parking garages, down-hole drills and just about anything else that can benefit from monitoring.
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