Thursday, January 15, 2009

CES 2009

Last week I was at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas seeking mobile learning related tools and announcements.

The biggest mobile news in my opinion was that of the Palm Pre. The demo was very impressive and it should again move the industry, but until we get a chance to put it through its paces we will have to wait. The one thing that we know is that despite the down economy there will be new mobile devices hitting the market, each touting new improvements. We do need to make certain that our learning and performance support content will still operate on them.

If you are interested in the Palm Pre, check out the Palm site for information and the announcement video. For a good overview see Engadget’s review.

Bar codes were front and center with Nokia. Visitors were encouraged to send an SMS message with Nokia as the content to receive a link to download a 2D barcode and then bring their phone to the booth for a chance for a prize. The booth was busy. I had checked it out both with a BlackBerry Bold and the iPhone. The code was quite small, but the Nokia reader read it just fine. They certainly have improved it since last year.

BlackBerry’s booth was crowded with 3rd party apps. The arrangement of it made it very difficult to go through it systematically and make sure that you saw all the vendors.

LG showed their “Wearable Mobile Communicator” digital watch behind a glass case and did not release pricing or availability. It could be useful for SMS alerts.

MobileTV was being shown in several booths. I had planned to try it this week, but don’t have the bandwidth available.

While I was in Las Vegas I was able to use Qik on the Bold to video a few demos an interviews and was impressed with the ease of use and quality. There are so many used for this tool in education and training.

Although CES touted mobile as one of the next big things, most of their references were to automobiles and navigation or syncing. This was mainly in the North Hall where the bass speakers were blasting so loud that it was impossible to carry on a conversation.

Since mid-November we have driven over 5,500 miles escaping the snow and frigid weather. I certainly do not miss it, but have to admit to missing sitting in front of the fireplace. We are really enjoying the mobile lifestyle, but are experiencing varying levels of connectivity.

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