For years companies like Intel and Microsoft have been talking of this impending convergence of PC and Consumer Electronics (CE) devices.  In the past couple of years we have finally seen this convergence come to fruition, through a slew of devices that basically let you move or display content stored on your PC, on CE appliances.  While most manufacturers have tried, very few have “gotten it right” when it comes to convergence devices.  The end goal is simple: access to everything, everywhere on any device.  Making it happen however is far more difficult, as creating the devices that will facilitate this goal is like one giant game of process of elimination. 

Most of this year’s CES has been about poor attempts at convergence, with a handful of things that were worth while.  Despite very high expected attendance, the show wasn’t nearly as crowded as last year.  It still ends up taking 30 - 40 minutes to get a cab during the day, but we had no problems navigating the show floor and surrounding hotels.  Whereas in previous years we’d waste a significant amount of time wading through hordes of people, there’s actually breathing room this year. 

Whether it’s that the show is simply far more spread out this year, among two convention centers and many hotel suites, or attendance is simply down due to a lack of interest, we were here in full force in search of something interesting.  This year’s CES marked the end of an era of talking about convergence, and the beginning of the introduction of many convergence products.  While we’ve yet to see anyone with the vision to bring us the convergence world’s iPod (although Apple’s iPhone announced at Macworld looks like it may redefine another sector), that didn’t stop us from finding individual technologies that were worth a look. 

As with most trade shows, the vast majority of what we saw on the floor was poorly designed and/or executed.  What follows are some of our answers to the question we always get: “what was the most exciting thing you saw at the show?”

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  • artifex - Monday, January 15, 2007 - link

    I'm getting offers in the ads from companies who claim to offer "free" stuff provided you join a lot of trial offers and buy a bunch of stuff and sucker your friends into joining, also.

    Does Anandtech approve of these ads? Don't say you have no control over them, because you do. You can complain to your provider, IndustryBrains, or switch if they continue to show these things.

    The suckier the ads are, the less credibility you have among people who see them, and the more likely everyone will use adblockers, which will kill your revenue.
    Reply
  • artifex - Monday, January 15, 2007 - link

    You guys must be too young to remember G-Force, the anime. :)
    When Nvidia announced their first GeForce product, I thought they might get sued, themselves. But of course, g-force is a term that predates either.
    Reply
  • Houdani - Friday, January 12, 2007 - link

    <--- that's me being grumpy about Toshiba & Canon not displaying the SED TVs at CES'07 due to legal wranglings with Nano-Proprietary. This, of course, is only pushing out their availability that much farther, further closing the window on this tech. Hrmph! Reply
  • semo - Friday, January 12, 2007 - link

    quote:

    Performance of a game with PhysX enabled must not be lower than with it disabled - you should no longer have the problem of better physics but lower performance. This is a big step forward for Ageia, as it is difficult to justify spending money on getting better physics if you end up reducing overall game performance as a trade off.
    why is that such an issue? what is performance? some numbers you couldn't care less when playing assuming the fps stay above a certain number. you expect performance to drop when enabling other eye candy, but when it comes to realism everyone seems to complain.

    this makes me think, are ppl buying better video cards for the increased "performance" or for the more immersive experience.
    Reply
  • Houdani - Friday, January 12, 2007 - link

    Physics doesn't necessarily have to mean that more polygons are pushed to the screen (such as when things go boom). When this happens, then it taxes the video card more and has a subsequent impact on performance. I think this relationship is understood and accepted.

    However, if the physics don't add more polygons but instead cause objects to interact more realistically then we're at the spot where we don't want overall performance to slow down. This is where Ageia needs to flex their strength and not disappoint their audience.

    In *software* we already have the ability to have great physics, but at a loss to performance. For Ageia to excel, they necessarily have to remove that hindrance and give us the physics without the performance hit -- otherwise they've provided us with little or no benefit, really.
    Reply
  • semo - Friday, January 12, 2007 - link

    that makes sense. how much of a performance hit are talking here anyway. and how much of the physics calculations are outsourced to the ppu (and are there any big overheads as a result) Reply
  • LoneWolf15 - Friday, January 12, 2007 - link

    quote:

    The unit itself is extremely light and honestly is one of the first devices of this type that we could actually see being a reasonable replacement to carrying around tons of books. While the demonstration centered around reading novels, what we’d really like to see is this technology used to store textbooks for schools. Rather than having to carry around multiple books each composed of hundreds of pages, a single e-Ink based Reader like this would be a much better experience.


    It would be, if you can make sure this product is extremely difficult to damage.

    I've seen way too many students that don't care how they treat something a school gives them --after all, it's (in their minds) not like they bought and paid for it with their own money (the concept that their parents' taxes did is irrelevant in their minds in those cases).

    I agree that the concept is brilliant on paper, and it should be perfect for higher education. In the K-12 evnironment though, unless there's a way of accountability that works without making parents upset, or a way of making them durable enough that this is not an issue, this could be an idea that falls one tiny step short of a great finish.
    Reply
  • bokep - Friday, January 12, 2007 - link

    I've been following OLEDs since I first learned about it over half a decade ago. Nice to see it working that well and should be coming out within the next few years. Reply
  • CSMR - Thursday, January 11, 2007 - link

    Great reviews, thanks for keeping the world updated! Reply
  • archcommus - Thursday, January 11, 2007 - link

    ...let's be serious here, LCD is surely getting the job done just fine. Reply

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