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World's largest consumer technology trade show kicks off in full swing
Date: 2011/1/10 Click: 1836

The annual international Consumer Electronics Show (CES) officially kicked off in Las Vegas on Thursday, as companies from around the world unveiled many of their latest offerings along with outlining their visions for the coming year.

The world's largest consumer technology trade show already got into full swing on Wednesday, the press day, which was filled with press conferences and notable product announcements.

While much of this year's CES opened in anticipation of news over the quickly growing tablet computer market, connectivity and the increasing convergence of media and technology were two themes that were repeatedly highlighted.

Especially in the television space, companies like consumer electronics giant Samsung emphasized not only advancements in screen quality, but also the ability to share and customize content on the screen.

In a contest called "Free the TV", Samsung challenged developers around the world to create applications for the company 's line of Smart TVs.

"The key to a successful TV application is its relevance to the TV," said Tim Baxter, Samsung's head of its consumer electronics business. "In short, it's not a race to get the most apps. It's setting the path to get the right apps."

In its efforts to give consumers a "smarter life", the theme of Samsung's press conference on Wednesday, the company also unveiled its concept of the "1 Foot Connect", a feature when added to Samsung's Smart TVs, will automatically connect any Samsung device that comes within one foot of each other.

"It allows seamless content sharing across devices in the home.. .no more messing around with IP codes," said John Revie, Samsung's senior vice president of consumer electronics.

Pioneer Inc., which has traditionally been known for its automobile audio devices, also announced its plans to delve further into creating an immersive in-car media experience for the user.

This will include a partnership with Aha Radio, an on-demand interactive radio, in hopes of delivering content from more sources, including news streams from popular social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook.

"We have all of this connectivity delivering content almost instantaneously. How do you communicate on these features?" said Ted Cardenas, Pioneer's director of marketing.

In the tablet space, several companies unveiled their answers to Apple's iPad on the eve of the CES.

Samsung announced its latest tablet product offerings including the company's newest Sliding PC 7 series. Taking the same concept that currently exists among many mobile phone devices, the series offers users a tablet with a sliding keyboard.

"What if you had a single device that performed the functions of both a tablet and a PC? It begins its day in tablet form but it also has a traditional keyboard that allows it to slide into PC form...this PC is perfect for everyone from students to mobile workers, the true audience is as versatile as the user," said Doug Albregts, Samsung's vice-president of its enterprise business division.

The South Korean-based company also said it would begin shipping a Wi-Fi only version of its already on-the-market Samsung Galaxy Tab, emulating the highly successful model Apple has used with devices like the iPhone and the iPod Touch.

Motorola, which has struggled in recent years to retain its once dominant position in the North American mobile devices market, also unveiled the Motorola Xoom tablet. The Xoom, which will debut on the Verizon network, is the first device to run on Honeycomb, the tablet-optimized version of the Android platform.

Sanjay Jha, Motorola's CEO, billed Xoom as the "most competitive on the market," highlighting the tablet's capabilities in delivering multi-tasking in real-time on its high-definition screen.

In Microsoft's keynote on Wednesday night, executives of the software giant also showcased various Windows-based tablets, including a dual screen unit from Acer. Steve Ballmer, the company 's CEO, also took the opportunity to remind audience members that "whatever device you use, now or in the future, Windows will be there."

This year's CES will go through Sunday, January 9.

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