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CEMA Heralds Workstyle Product Category

Consumer electronics products are changing from entertainment-only devices to workstyle- and lifestyle-enhancing devices, according to the Consumer Electronics Manufacturers Association (CEMA). “A lot of the products that have come out during the 1990s cross the boundaries between personal use and business use,” said CEMA vice president Todd Thibodeaux at a briefing in New York City. It is these new product technologies — PDAs, telephony options, digital imaging, home networking and internet access devices — that will be the highlight of the 2000 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) next January in Las Vegas.

“Workstyle products give consumers a range of benefits, including convenience and the ability to access information and increase personal productivity while on the go,” said Robbi Lycett, CES vice president. “These products allow consumers to work when and where they want to.”

The use of these products for work is also influencing personal purchase decisions among consumers, according CEMA research. More than half of all consumers are likely to buy products with both personal and work applications while 61 percent say it’s helpful to have products work as well for business life as for personal life. “It used to be there were clear lines between consumer and enterprise technologies,” Thibodeaux said. “But workstyles are changing and consumer technologies are giving people the flexibility, portability and ease-of-use they want. These technologies are bringing the user-friendly characteristics of consumer technologies to the workplace. Employers and corporate decision-makers should take note.”

On Jan. 7, 2000, at CES, a series of Workstyle Awards will be given to the best workstyle products at the show. Also, to help attendees sort through all the exhibits on the show floor, CEMA has created the “CES Workstyle Technology Conference Track,” which is geared toward providing information about the small business industry, the telecommuting market and other trends in consumer work habits.