Consumer Electronics Show to Highlight Games and Motion

DN Staff

January 8, 2009

2 Min Read
Consumer Electronics Show to Highlight Games and Motion

From CES: Despite gloomy economic forecasts for 2009, expectations arestill high at this year's Consumer ElectronicsShow. The Consumer Electronics Association,producer of the show, expects to pack more than 100,000 visitors and 2,700 exhibitorsin 1.7 million sq ft of space.

The 2009 version of the show, whichofficially opens on Thursday, January 8th, promises to place a heavyemphasis on gaming and motion, as well as HDTV products and audio. "Gaming isdriving everything," says Denis Labrecque, DSP marketing manager for Analog Devices, Inc. "It used to be that gameswere made about movies. Now, movies are being made about games."

Many consumer electronics expertssay that the Nintendo Wii has permanentlychanged the consumer electronics landscape. A few decades ago, audio companiesannounced they were moving from analog to digital; a decade later, video movedto digital. Now, motion is being digitized.

"We're talking about no morebuttons or fingers," Labrecque says. "Just gestures."

At the show, Hillcrest Labs will demonstrate areference design for a product called Freespacethat will incorporate motion into televisions and home theaters. Thetechnology, which uses Analog Devices' MEMS sensors, would eliminate the needfor television viewers to press buttons on their remote controls. Instead, remotecontrollers would take their direction from user motions. (See a video of Freespace.)

Similarly, Sixense will demonstrate a technology thatcombines RF and DSP technologies to enable multiple "gamers" to step in frontof each other and have their motions recognized by an HDTV system. (See videoof the Sixense technology.)

As always, handheld technology willalso draw CES crowds. FreescaleSemiconductor will team with Pegatron Corp. todemonstrate a reference design that promises to cut as much as $100 off theprice of so-called "netbooks," which are designed to more easily place Internetaccess in the hands of teen-agers.

Others at the show read like aWho's Who of the electronics industry, with such heavy-hitters as Microsoft Corp., Intel, TexasInstruments, Advanced Micro Devices, Sony, Sharp,Panasonic and others showing off thelatest in consumer technology. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will take Bill Gatesannual spot as the opening keynote speaker on Wednesday night, and a host ofother big-name speakers, including Alan Mulally of Ford Motor Co., Dirk Meyerof AMD, and Intel chairman Craig Barrett will address CES's throngs.

This year's agenda will also include appearances from a host ofcelebrities, including former-NBA star Clyde Drexler, Indy race-car driverSarah Fisher, basketball Hall-of-Famer Bill Walton, Boston Red Sox star DavidOrtiz, Chicago Cubs' shortstop Ryna Theriot, singer Stevie Wonder, and the castof NBC's Today Show.

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