Just finished up with CES in Las Vegas. Touted as the largest consumer electronics trade show in the world, this event can make your head spin. I can’t imagine the radiation I took in as I walked the equivalent of several football fields lined with every conceivable gadget on the planet.
The big focus was on high definition video and audio, gaming and robotics. Honda continues its tireless development of its star robot, ASIMO, who can now run 6 km per hour, run in circles, up stairs and tell corny jokes. It froze and needed to be rebooted at the demo I watched (do you just kick it?) but they have to be commended for their long-term ‘drive’ where this cool project is concerned.
From speaking to people at the show, the real star has to be the Sling Box by Sling Media. This wicked little device that allows you to watch your T.V. set remotely from any internet connected device is about to get much better.
Leslie Moonves, the President of CBS, announced during his keynote the launch of the Clip+Sling, the next generation of the Sling Box that allows you to take clips of something you saw on your Sling Box send it to a friend. Slated for release in Q2, Sling Media will be hosting a portal that stores the clips and make them publicly available to further augment the proliferation of free content that the YouTube revolution began. No word on how long a clip you will be able to share but I did see a ‘private’ and ‘public’ option during the demo with no explanation.
What’s really interesting are Leslie Moonves comments about copyrighted content sharing. He said that CBS was going to embrace this revolution and not make the same mistakes the music industry made by trying to enforce digital rights management. They don’t want to spend time, money on bad PR (see Metallica) on a lost cause.
Truth is music and video are two different animals. I think he’s confident that the enjoyment of T.V. – and related advertising revenue – still remains in the living room. Music can be enjoyed anywhere but only a small percentage of the population will watch an hour of content on a mobile phone. And those who do will evangelize and ultimately provide grassroots promotion of the content.
Moonves’s keynote ended with a Star War’s like credit reel of all the partnership’s CBS entered into in 2006 – YouTube, Verison, Sling Media, Google . . . and made it clear that 2007 will be a banner year for content distribution.
Tomorrow I’ll touch upon mobility and a couple cool new products coming from Nokia.
V.P. Sales and Marketing
Softcom Technology Consulting Inc.