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App-Rising.com covers the development and adoption of broadband applications, the deployment of and need for broadband networks, and the demands placed on policy to adapt to the revolutionary opportunities made possible by the Internet.

App-Rising.com is written by Geoff Daily, a DC-based technology journalist, broadband activist, marketing consultant, and Internet entrepreneur.

App-Rising.com is supported in part by AT&T;, however all views and opinions expressed herein are solely my own.

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January 10, 2008 1:11 PM

CES (Disappointingly) Doesn't Provide Ways to Save Society

Working on a longer post that details my reactions to specific products I saw while in and around the show floor of CES, but for now I wanted to share my overarching feelings.

To be frank, I was more than a little disappointed.

While I'll admit my inability to see everything CES had to offer, I feel comfortable claiming to have walked at least a third and probably more than a half of the exhibit space, which is a sufficient enough sample to draw this conclusion: there wasn't much there that used broadband in an innovative way.

Sure there were fancy shmancy webcams, boxes that bring Internet video to your TV or pocket, a variety of security systems, and other boxes that help you manage and remotely access your content, but there was next to nothing there that sent or received bits over the network that did much of anything new other than to add features and/or make easier existing functionalities.

Also disappointing was the near total lack of anything broadband-related that enhanced something other than entertainment. This shouldn't have been surprising given the overall bent of CES, but it's still frustrating that we have yet to a reach a point where a show like CES is littered with cool new technologies that leverage broadband to improve healthcare, education, and government. These areas weren't totally ignored, but at best they were only represented by a small handful of companies.

But at the same time, the degree to which entertainment is increasingly wired to the Internet is staggering. We're talking about more and more set-top boxes that bring online content to the TV, TVs that connect directly to the Internet, cars with built-in media systems, cameras that upload photos and video all on their own, home servers for backup and managing your media, USB thumb drives with Wi-fi that automatically backup to an online service, and more.

I don't think any of these things are going to improve society to any great degree, but they're all likely to find an audience eager to leverage their capabilities and in turn create more demand for bandwidth.

And despite my complaints I did find some cool things, which I look forward to sharing with you all in tomorrow's post.


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