Gearing Up for CES

The annual Consumer Electronics Show kicks off this week and there will no doubt be a flood of product announcements, many of which will be relevant to the local and online media space.

Last year, CES saw the launch of Yahoo! Go (new version launched today, on its anniversary) and Google Video. There was also a clear shift from the geekdom of past shows to a glitzy Hollywood dominance of the stage and conference grounds (your keynote was nothing if you didn’t share the stage with the likes of Tom Cruise, Ellen DeGeneres or Robin Williams). This was a good metaphor for the degree to which entertainment content is dominating the tech world and its product innovation and marketing.

I’m not sure if the Hollywood presence will be as prevalent at this year’s show (likely not, as its novelty has worn off), but we expect many interesting announcements in online video (beyond user-generated amateur video), IPTV, and mobile search and entertainment. I also expect a theme of convergence, where content can be shared across devices, similar to Yahoo!’s Go announcement last year and Apple’s iTV launch in September (Macworld is also going on, making this week a veritable orgy of gadgetry).

We’ll be taking a close look at product announcements and their many implications for local media, here and in written reports over the next few weeks. You can also follow announcements at CNET, which usually does a good job covering the show. As they say, stay tuned.

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