The CES 2006 Story: Silicon Valley and Hollywood on a Date

2006 is not two weeks old but the year's first and probably most important show for IT, consumer electronics (CE) and entertainment industry already has closed its doors again. If you have been following our extensive on-site coverage of the show, then you already have a good idea about the major announcements and a first impression what the consumer electronics industry expects you to spend your money on. Now that the information flood has settled in our brains, we can sort good from bad, reality from wonderland and trendsetters from nonsense.

In its 39th year, CES was larger than ever. Spanning over 2,500 booths on more than 1.6 million square feet - or the size of about 34 football fields - the hosting Consumer Electronics Association had trouble providing and adequate environment for more than 150,000 industry attendees and about 4,500 members of the press to capture the essence of the exhibit and conference. Despite a tradeshow that clearly has outgrown Las Vegas' ability to accommodate such an event and organizational hiccups galore, there was much to see and learn. It was impossible to see all the new and existing products and to listen to all the visions and ideas, but key CE trends have emerged through the traditional cloud of hyped normality.

All of those trends somehow ended up in what is advertised as a romance between IT and CE giants and the entertainment industry: But as much as some Hollywood actors try to hide their affection for each other, Silicon Valley IT and Hollywood entertainment did not miss any opportunity to exchange public love notes and finally dazzled us with the announcement of several surprise weddings in Vegas. But it's not that kind of romantic story that makes you feel like falling in love all over again. We found that this Vegas wedding is much more like a business date rather than newlyweds planning their future. Before those couples can look forward to a bright future, some serious kinks still need to be worked out.

We invite you to join us our recap of CES 2006 to get up to speed on what to expect and what not to worry about over the next 12 months.