In less than a week, the annual gizmo love fest, CES will get under way, and this year like previous years we will have grand visions of connected home unveiled. Bill Gates will spout his annual spiel, only to under deliver. Intel will make promises it cannot keep. Small companies will with Best of CES awards for their products which will never come to market. The plasma and LCD televisions will be the stars of the show, and the wannabes will try and inch up on Apple’s iconic iPod. In short, it will be the first hype event of the new year. But this year, the stakes are high, according to Reuters.
The living room, despite all the noise still remains a virgin territory. Sure 2 million odd TiVos have been sold, and Plasma screens have gone from status-items to being affordable alternatives to large tube televisions. But still the connected home is as illusive as ever. The wireless home networks are still a bitch to set-up, though they are getting easier. That is why the most promising booth for me at least will be the one set-up by MoCA. Multimedia Over Coax Association will be demonstrating whole house networking for digital entertainment with the ability to send multiple HDTV, movies, data and audio from room to room using the existing coax in the home. (MoCA’s members are Cisco, Comcast, EchoStar, Entopic Communications, Motorola, Panasonic, Radio Shack and Toshiba.) Still, I along with some of my colleagues from Business 2.0 will be out in full force, scouting for new trends and gizmos that will be likely winners in this ongoing battle for the living room. Why do I have a feeling that the real answers will be at MacWorld, which opens right after CES on January 10th.