Report on Consumer Electronics Show 2003
Michael Fanous (Annenberg School for Communication, University of Southern California)
Las Vegas, Nevada, also known as sin city, was more like sim city this past weekend as hundreds of thousands of high tech companies and enthusiasts from all over the world gathered for the 2003 International Consumer Electronics Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
There was barely enough room to breathe as 1.25 million square feet of convention center space was jam packed with people, exhibitors, and several million dollars worth of electronics.
This year's convention was the biggest ever, with an estimated 116,687 attendees and 2,283 exhibitors, compared to last year's attendance of under 100,000. The increase in numbers proves that there is indeed some hope for our struggling economy.
From the latest in digital cameras to top of the line home theater systems, CES had it all. This year, home entertainment and wireless technology were some of the more dominant items.
Samsung and a company called Magis Networks worked together to show off their joint effort of a high definition wireless television network. Samsung used Magis・Air5 chipsets to send and receive wireless signals in high definition to their plasma monitors.
Zenith, one of Samsung's major competitors, showed off their best in high definition liquid crystal and plasma displays. The company unveiled their new high definition personal video recording sets that are housed with 80 gigabyte hard drives used to store high definition recordings.
While Microsoft wasn't busy handing out VIP party passes to swanky Las Vegas Nightclubs, they showcased their current stab at convergence, the Windows XP Media Center Edition, a computer that works much like a home entertainment system.
Just like a television set, the media center system is controlled with a remote and allows the user to watch and record television broadcasts, surf the web, play video games, watch DVDs, etc.
As if a packed convention center wasn't enough, CES also took over the Alexis Park Hotel and used it to display their higher end audio exhibits.
Thiel Audio, a Kentucky based company, featured a pair of loud speakers that were priced at over $13,000 a pair!
Despite an overcrowded Las Vegas with long lines and an impossible parking situation, CES 2003 was a success, showing some light at the end of the technology tunnel.