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tech in the spotlight

CES 2014 Recap: Tech Connects to Get Up Close and Personal with Consumers

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 10, 2014 07:16 PM

As the International Consumer Electronics Show wraps up its annual spectacle in Las Vegas, it's difficult to make the call on who or what exactly 'won' CES 2014. With brands (and marketers) big and small from nearly every sector presenting impressive tech, it's hard not to call everyone a winner—especially consumers. 

Still, this year's show presented some key themes, the most apparent being "connectivity." As consumers adopt more technology into their lives, the task at hand is to now connect those technologies—create an ecosystem of sorts that allows for seamless control and enjoyment. 

On that front, the automotive and mobile industries made a strong showing at CES, where Google's Android unveiled the Open Automotive Alliance and connected-car platform with nearly 10 major automakers signed on, including GM, Honda, Audi and Hyundai. The Alliance, meant to develop connected-car innovations with the same standards, plans to see the first vehicle with Android integration by the end of this year. 

Similarly, AT&T announced its own connected-car platform and new AT&T Drive Studio in Atlanta, where the company will partner with developers to create specialized apps for automakers like Audi and Tesla. 

But the car wasn't the only environment to get the connected treatment.Continue reading...

tech in the spotlight

Microsoft Steps Out of CES Spotlight

Posted by Shirley Brady on December 21, 2011 01:09 PM

Microsoft's announcement today that the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas will be its last took the tech world, and particularly tech journalists and bloggers, by surprise.

The kick-off CES keynote addresses by Bill Gates and then Steve Ballmer (who last January talked up Kinect, among other big product launches for the company) were always highly anticipated as agenda-setting events for the global consumer electronics industry, while a massive Microsoft booth typically dominated the show floor.

Starting in 2013, neither will be present.Continue reading...

CES 2011: Tech Brands and Trends to Watch

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 10, 2011 05:30 PM

"Smart technology — really?" Jane Lynch, LG spokeswoman, quipped in a video that the brand brought to last week's Consumer Electronics Show tech confab in Las Vegas. "Just exactly what do you mean by smart technology? Smart like Einstein? Smart like LG products can read my mind? Are you telling me my refrigerator will know things, like what I'm craving right now?"

Yes, Sue — brands and tech just got a whole lot smarter and connected, as was amply in evidence on the show floor at CES 2011.Continue reading...

tech innovation

Microsoft at CES: Tablet-Ready Windows, Avatar Kinect, Windows Phone, Xbox Live

Posted by Shirley Brady on January 5, 2011 07:00 PM

We knew that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has an irreverent sense of humor — but we didn't realize how wacky until we checked out Chet. That's "Chet Logothestian," a touchy-feely character that Microsoft used to build viral buzz ahead of Ballmer's third annual kick-off keynote at the Consumer Electronics Show, which streamed on Facebook and at Microsoft.com.

The kooky "Creative Presentation Creative Consultant" was played up with a Facebook page and Twitter feed, while on YouTube the viral social marketing effort was mocked by commenters. (Watch Chet chat about CES with execs for Windows Phone, Xbox and Kinect, plus Elvis impersonators, after the jump.)

Ballmer's keynote presentation was nowhere near as kooky, with highlights including a tablet-ready version of Windows (dubbed System on a Chip), and the successful 4th quarter launch of Kinect, which sold 8 million units in its first 60 days.Continue reading...


OnStar for All! GM Finally Opens Up as Auto Brands Connect at CES

Posted by Dale Buss on January 5, 2011 06:00 PM

General Motors has been promoting its OnStar “telematics” brand as a standalone marque for many years — nearly since the pioneering automotive safety-and-security services package became available on GM vehicles in 1996.

Now, in an about-face announced this week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, GM is going to make an OnStar package available to anyone on an aftermarket basis at Best Buy stores nationwide, in the form of a technologically enabled rear-view mirror. It will retail for $299 and come with an $18.95 monthly (or $199 yearly) service fee.

GM is showing off OnStar's abilities with a Verizon 4G-integrated concept car at CES, above.Continue reading...

tech innovation

CES 2011: The Connected Everything Show

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 5, 2011 11:30 AM

As the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show takes over Las Vegas, three major trends are evident: tablets, first and foremost, taking aim at the 800-pound gorilla that is Apple’s iPad; consumers expect "appified" technology; and a focus on connected driving, as executives from Ford and Audi deliver keynote speeches.Continue reading...

health matters

Yes, It's Black Monday for Fitness Brands

Posted by Dale Buss on January 3, 2011 05:45 PM

Now that you’ve poured the last of the eggnog down the drain and crumbled up the Christmas cookies for bird food, your first thought is to wonder why you consumed all that stuff in the first place. And your next thought is to figure out how not to look and feel like you did it.

A new survey from 24 Hour Fitness, for instance, indicates that 72% of American consumers “hope” that they exercise more in the New Year.

That’s why today is Black Monday for weight-loss and fitness brands, and most of them are breaking out some kind of new marketing campaign, tagline, promotion or other gambit to try to bust through the branding clutter they collectively create in early January.Continue reading...


What's Hot for Holiday 2010? Tablets, iPhone Drones, GPS Ski Goggles

Posted by Caroline Smith on November 17, 2010 12:30 PM

Hopefully Santa’s elves spent the summer months getting their engineering degrees.

The Consumer Electronics Association just released its annual CE Holiday Purchase Patterns Study, and it seems that although overall spending this year on gifts will be down two percent, spending on technology-based gifts will be at a record high, up five percent from last year.

The report included a “Holiday Gift Wish List” for adults, and unsurprisingly, the CEA bypassed peace, joy and goodwill to all men, and honed in on laptops, tablet computers and e-Readers.Continue reading...

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