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CES Kicks Off 2010 On Upbeat Note

International CES opened this month with a burst of innovative new products and, dare one say, hope for a recovery for the industry and the economy for 2010.

The show, which ran from Jan. 7-10, here, featured introductions and advancements in such categories as 3D TV technology, mobile DTV, tablets PCs, netbooks, e-readers, apps, connected TVs, embedded Internet technologies and green technology, as well as visits from the content community, government officials from the U.S. and around the world, and entertainment and sports celebrities.

After a year of economic recession, job losses and federal bailouts to the financial industry and two of the Big Three U.S. car manufacturers, CES is “a great way to start 2010,” said Gary Shapiro, president/CEO of CEA, during his Leaders In Technology (LIT) dinner speech on the second evening of the show.

Shapiro added that he thought there was “more innovation at this show” than any he has attended in his career.

Hyperbole, maybe, but you could understand his enthusiasm when later that evening he announced that preliminary two-day attendance for CES was 112,515, higher than the 98,495 at the end of 2009’s Day 2 and higher than CEA’s pre-show estimate of 110,000 for all four days of the show.

The news got better for CEA, producer and owner of International CES, when it said preliminary registration figures showed the 2010 show had more than 120,000 attendees, up from the 2009 CES that hosted 113,085 verified attendees. (The audited report will be released in the spring.)

The LIT dinner was a microcosm of show attendees — key manufacturers, retailers, content creators, media and government policy makers worldwide — who came to network and hear featured speakers Maria Bartiromo, CNBC anchor and Josh Silverman, CEO of Skype.

TWICE heard at that event from manufacturers, retailers and distributors, that while they don’t see business booming to pre-2008 levels soon, they were more optimistic than the past 18 months. CEA’s estimate about 2010 factory sales to retailers reflected that cautious optimism — a forecast 0.3 percent increase in sales to $165.3 billion. (See story on p. 14.)

In addition to Bartiromo and Silverman 2010 International CES featured keynote addresses from industry leaders including Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer, Ford’s Alan Mulally, Intel’s Paul Otellini, Nokia’s Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, Qualcomm’s Dr. Paul Jacobs and Hisense’s Zhou Houjian.

More than 250 conference sessions took place over the four days of the 2010 CES spanning industry topics ranging from distracted driving to social media.

The 2010 CES welcomed government officials from the U.S. and around the world, including U.S. Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski and FCC Commissioners Meredith Atwell Baker, Mignon Clyburn and Robert McDowell. Some 100 other government officials attended CES.

Complete coverage of International CES appears in this issue, the January 25 post-show issue, and at

And for those of you marking your calendars, 2011 International CES will be held here on Jan. 6-9, 2011.