Commentary

Things And Things And More Things Connected As CES Opens

The Consumer Electronics Show is opening in Las Vegas this morning with devices that smarten up the home, the car and the body in an elusive quest to connect us all to everything — at least in the Internet of Things. Pick your roundup of early announcements from “Press Day” Monday and you’re likely to see a different angle. 

The New York Times’ Emily Steele takes the “cord-cutting” route in writing about Dish Network’s announcement that it will “lure younger viewers back to paying for television with the start of a web-based offering that includes ESPN and a number of other popular networks for $20 a month, about a fifth the cost of the average household bill for cable and satellite service.”

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If you’re a fan of the Crazy Eddie School of Drumming Up Attention, be sure check out the accompanying photograph of Dish CEO Joseph Clayton sounding the battle cry with Hopper and Joey, the kangaroo mascots. Main difference being that Crazy Eddie was an actor.

“It is the launch of a whole new industry here,” Clayton tells Steele in an interview. “We are innovators. We are disrupters. We don’t always make people happy because we challenge the status quo.”

CNET’s Claire Reilly writes that the 4K TV screens — “which utilizes phosphor-based LED backlighting for better image quality” — was a “big topic” of the day with new products forthcoming out of LG, Sony, Sharp, TCL and Panasonic. Reilly then moves on to developments in the Connected Home, Imaging, Audio and Content Streaming and Wearables. 

“There’s plenty more to come,” she promises, which CNET reporters will be covering live at a CES landing page.

The Wall Street Journal’s Min-Jeong Lee devotes an article to Samsung’s decision to roll out TVs running its homegrown, open-source operating system — Tizen — in the U.S. and Korea next month, with the rest of the world to follow.

“Samsung is widening the use of Tizen to beef up its own internal software capabilities as it attempts to compete better with Google Inc. and Apple Inc. in the more lucrative market for software and services,” Lee writes following an interview with B.K. Yoon, Samsung’s executive in charge of its consumer-electronics business, who also delivered a keynote address on “The Internet of Things”  last night that was covered by Ryan Mac and Aaron Tilley for Forbes.

“Samsung says it aims to enable Internet connectivity in all of its TVs by 2017 and expand connectivity to other consumer electronics within the next five years,” Lee reports.

In a five-point summary of yesterday’s news, USA Today’s Brent Molina leads with the ever-growing wearable market, observing that you can’t walk (or jog, sprint or climb, presumably) anywhere without observing somebody wearing a device that’s reporting something or other to someone. But they are not just on wrists. And they can also put the wearer in the driver’s seat.

“Ring is a smart ring that lets users perform simple tasks such as controlling lights with hand gestures,” Molina writes. “Belkin unveiled a series of trackable motion sensors, including a keychain fob users can hand to their kids or attach to a pets' collar to track their activity,” which the paper’s Jefferson Graham elaborates on in prose and video pieces about its WeMo technology. (Watch how an iPhone can turn a Crock-Pot Smart Slow Cooker with WeMo on and off from the comfort of your cubicle, for example.)

The Los Angeles Times, with a staff of live bloggers at the show, headlines with Sony president and CEO Kazuo Hirai “[breaking] his silence on the cyberattack that crippled the company's film and television studio, calling the hacking ‘vicious’ and ‘malicious.’” 

But there are treats from the show floor, too, such as the “Mercedes self-driving car of the future,” tennis racquets that gauge your swing and The iGrow hair growth helmet found by Andrea Chang.

“You wear it on your head for 25 minutes a day, four times a week. $695,” she writes.

What won’t they think of next?

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