The drum beat has already started for next week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, where you won't be able to swing a dead rotary dial phone without hitting a slick sales type breathing the word "wireless" into your ear.
Elena Malykhina, writing in Information Week this morning, advises show goers to "look for mobile TVs, wearable computing devices, portable media players, wireless in-vehicle technology, next-generation networking equipment, and much more."
CES is historically a big coming out party for new technologies and this year should be no different. Information Week reports that CES will have more than 2,700 exhibitors showcasing products in over 30 categories -- and that wireless technologies should cast a huge shadow over all of them
Vaguely disappointing, to me at least, is that the wireless influence will be a "more of the same" affair, with no new wireless phones announced. But the event should be stacked high with vendors touting new wireless peripheral equipment like portable media players, GPS systems, new networking software, mobile TV (a market we covered two weeks ago) and more.
"Although many of the top phone makers, including Nokia (NYSE: NOK), Motorola (NYSE: MOT), and Research In Motion (NSDQ: RIMM), will be at the show, none of them have officially disclosed plans to introduce new mobile devices," says Information Week's Malykhina. (But) that doesn't mean the show won't be packed with other mobile and wireless innovation likely to hit the mass market over the next year or two."
Motorola is rolling outs its newly-announced a new mobile TV unit called the Mobile TV DH01 -- a pocket-size media player that lets users access live, on-demand, and recorded programs saved on a DVR. It comes with a 4.3-inch Wide Quarter Video Graphics Array Screen that uses up to 16 million colors, a five-minute memory buffer for pausing programs during live viewing, and a four-hour rechargeable battery.
LG Electronics should be showcasing its new mobile television device that lets users watch televised broadcasts in the comfort of their own cars (hopefully not while driving), and provides direct access to key transportation issues like weather and traffic patterns.
With wireless, at the CES anyway, the future is now. The telecom industry is betting heavily on the technology in what is shaping up to be a cautious investment environment in 2008. With CES on deck, it's batter-up for wireless technology providers.
Vendors can only up what happens in Vegas next week doesn't stay in Vegas.