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Cisco at CES 2008

Two days and counting before CES 2008. The anticipation is building. The clock is ticking and people are diligently trying to tie up all loose ends. Today we’re finalizing our booth and setting up all of the meeting rooms. Tomorrow we will do the set-up for our high-roller hospitality suite at the top of the Venetian. CES is definitely an experience. It creates a level of anxiety, but also a sense of excitement. For those of who haven’t had a chance to attend the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, I will give you a brief tour.CES happens every January in Las Vegas. If Vegas is crazy for most of the year the dial is turned up to 11 for CES. 150K people descend upon the city booking every hotel room, restaurant reservation, and limo available. Celebrities, professional athletes, high-profile executives pop up everywhere. Just last night I saw Jalen Rose and Tori Hunter at a restaurant at the Venetian. As a Red Sox and Celtics fan I wasn’t overwhelmed, but it was a funny coincidence that the moment they showed up our service went south. Why do people deal with the hassle and continue to travel to the show?For the chance to see 3000 exhibitors ranging from Sony to a mom and pop accessory companies. For four days in January, Las Vegas is the center of the consumer technology world. Want to see the worlds largest TV? Odds are that someone from Samsung, LG or Panasonic will trump last years 107″ model. Want to see your favorite band? Odds are that some company is throwing a private party with the Black Eyed Peas, Matchbox 20, or some other musical act as the headliner. Most of the activity takes place at the Las Vegas Convention Center, but the hotels also book up for private meeting space for those folks who don’t want to brave the showfloor. For four days a population the size of medium size city walks booth after booth playing with the latest gadgets and searching for the best swag. If you can step back and take it all in, it really is a spectacle. This is Cisco’s second year attending (Linksys and Scientific Atlanta have attended for many years) and the experience is still fresh and exciting. Talk to me in a few more years and I may have a different opinion but for now it’s a fun show to participate in and one that we spend a huge amount of preparation on. We’re really excited about the progress that we’ve made and think we will have a good showing. There are some exciting new products, new branding and a general sense that the vision we see for how the consumer experience is evolving appears to be spot on. For this years show, we’re really excited about the emergence of visual networking. Visual Networking is the combination of streaming digital video and social networking and we think it’s going to be big. Underlying visual networking is the concept of video everywhere. Not just on your television, but on your laptop and your mobile phone.Not just used for entertainment, but for communications and for disseminating information. Not sure what the major new product announcements from other industry players will be this year, but I’m reasonably certain that the concept of “connected” or “networked” devices will continue to gain momentum. For the past two CES shows more and more manufacturers have been adding networking capabilities to their devices. For consumers this is a great thing. Devices connected to the network will be able to do things that previous generations of stand alone devices couldn’t dream of. Installation hassles can be more readily handled in the network. Getting devices to work together is easier because the network can act as the integrator instead of a person. Delivering new services and content to more devices is also now a possibility. Duty calls so I have to go. I will try to post several times over the course of CES on our progress at the show, cool new gadgets that I’ve seen and the general madness that is CES.To learn more about visual networking go to: Wikipedia

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  1. Thanks for the video tours! The Cisco booth looks amazing and the intro video is great! Can't wait to see/read what the rest of the week brings.