@ CES: Sling Media Generates Buzz On The Floor


ces2007 197A change in my 6 a.m. travel plans — I swear, I only had one glass of wine at BlogHaus — gave me a few hours to spare in Las Vegas and a chance to visit the Innovations Plus booths at the Sands Convention Center. Some things that caught my eye:
— a laptop with a screen that slides back and pivots up for a more desktop-like monitor experience but highly portable. 12-inch screen, Intel Core Duo and light. About $2100. Not in the U.S. yet but I’m in lust.
— A lot of VOIP and Skype products. The one that got me to stop for a look was a company called Iconic with a cluster of products that focuses on managing Skype calls and facilitating remote Skype use on the road or on conventional phones. Each small disk has outlets for plugging in a phone, an ethernet connection and a PC. I’m sure there are other products purporting to do the same.
— The “Dummies” folks had a large-ish booth and were giving away mini versions of “Podcasting for Dummies.”
The most action I saw anywhere at the Sands — including the cell phone accessory booth with bikini-clad models in a hot tub — was at Sling Media and its partner area. Scant hours before the show was closing when other action was dying down, the demo space for Sling was full, the various hardware solutions were getting attention and people were milling about the booth. Sling took up a lot of expensive real estate and looked very slick in the process; amazing $50 million or so in funding can do for staffing and presentation. Sling has come a long way from the first pre-launch demo I saw and from its actual launch in mid-2005: the establishment of Sling Media Entertainment and the announcements of Clip+Sling and Slingcatcher show a company determined not to be a one-trick pony. This kind of display shows the organization at work. But it takes more than funding, announcements and savvy displays; the Krikorians and company have a lot farther to go.

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