CES 2005 Day 1

I’m officially indoctrinated into CES 2005 after a trip to last night’s Digital Experience press event. So far, I haven’t seen anything revolutionary but several companies are offering interesting evolutionary improvements to previous product offerings. For instance, you’ll want to check out online comparison shopping tool Shopzilla the next time you are in the market for almost anything. I’m already finding the search to be faster than Pricegrabber and CNET Shopper with a larger catalog of products. The search includes over 50,000 stores. The real kicker for me is it actually finds what I’m looking for even when I misspell the product name. For a quick comparison of the three services, check out my search for the Edirol R-1 on all three services:

Shopper search for Edirol R-1

Pricegrabber search for Edirol R-1

Shopzilla search for Edirol R-1

Digital cameras offer more megapixels from several camera makers along with the usual worthless feature enhancements like more digital zoom. The company with the most interesting camera innovation is Pentax. All the other camera makers offered a large spread of their entire product line, including some older models. Pentax attracted my attention with their OptioWP positioned squarely under a fountain of running water. The point being that the camera could be submersed and still function. I didn’t get a great answer from any of the marketers manning the booth about how this actually works, but they assured me it does, in spite of obvious potential leak spots like a microphone and the opening for the card slot. I gave a demo model a quick test out of water and the 5 megapixel point-and-shoot looks to provide some nice shots on dry land too. A demo unit should be on the way so I can see what kind of pictures the camera takes when submersed. Even if you don’t dive this might be a safe alternative for snapping pictures of the kids during a rainy soccer game or if you live in the Pacific Northwest.

Tivo fanatics may be happy to learn the company teamed up with Microsoft to provide mobile versions of the recorded shows. I haven’t seen the service in action yet, but apparently the service will make transferring programming from your Tivo to a laptop possible, which is great for anyone who travels and wants to catch up on TV shows from the cramped confines of coach.

The radio show debuts in a matter of hours. Tune in live between 11:30am and 2:00pm Pacific Time to hear live interviews with Microsoft, Limelight Networks, Doc Searls, Sun, in addition to numerous other companies. Sun may be of particular interest because we are expecting to see a preview of the Java Desktop. If you don’t catch the show today, we’re on air again tomorrow, January 7, from 11:30am to 2:00pm. If you don’t catch the live broadcast, archived versions will also be available for later listening.