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Last Pile of Pics from CES 2009

Before closing the book on this year’s CES, I thought I’d post some final pics from the booth. Some of these photos are mine and some come from the official Motorola Flickr stream. Enjoy.

motorola-wimax-cpei-775-wi-fi-ces-2009Here are several colorful versions of the new Motorola CPEi 775 WiMAX/WiFi modems.

motorola-cce-storefront-on-cell-phoneThis is the Motorola CCE Storefront app shown on a mobile device. Sorry the photography’s not better here. The full demo showed all three screens running the Storefront interface.

motorola-cdma-femtocell-phone-frame-ces-awardThe award-winning femtocell photo frame above got a lot of attention at CES.

motorola-tru2way-flickr-app-cesMuch to everyone’s embarrassment, this muscle-man photo kept showing up in the Motorola demo of the tru2way Flickr app. Lovely.

motorola-wimax-usb-adapter-at-ces-2009Here’s the Motorola WiMAX station. I didn’t get a chance to use the USB adapter this go-around, but I’m looking forward to getting my own.

TV Medicine and Other tru2way Apps

medication-reminder-motorola-mit-tru2way

Even as President-elect Obama aims to digitize health records within five years, the commercial and academic sectors are working at other ways to improve the health system through technology. MIT, for example, is working with the video industry on an application for providing medical reminders to patients through their TV sets. Very few people take their medications exactly as prescribed, which results in a huge margin of error – one that everyone would like to see decline.

At CES this year, a representative from MIT demonstrated the new application on a Motorola set-top. As shown in the photos above and below, the tru2way application acts as a prescription reminder and provides details on medications and dosages. Using the technology, doctors would be able to send reminders and info directly from their office computers to patient TVs. The application is conceptual only, but it points to the ways we’ll see the health industry evolve in the coming years.

Motorola also showed off other tru2way apps in the CES booth, including Flickr. See pics below.

Internet on the TV – What’s Changed Since CES 2008

motorola-cce-storefront-internet-tv

I’ve heard many people say that CES 2009 was evolutionary rather than revolutionary. The follow-on is that with no break-out products, the latest gadget extravaganza was rather dull. While I agree with the first premise, I heartily disagree with the second.

When I think back to CES 2008, netbooks were barely on the radar, only road warriors used mobile broadband, and there were very few ways (or reasons) to access Internet on the TV. At CES 2009, all three trends showed exponential growth. Ignoring the first two for now, let’s focus on the convergence of TV and the Internet. The trend is not just showing up in sexy new retail electronics; it’s filtering down to TV service providers as well. And just like with the birth of DVRs, it’s when the service providers start rolling out reasonably priced, convenient new technology that mass adoption takes place.

This year at CES, TV service providers were not highly visible (especially compared to last year), but that doesn’t mean they weren’t there. Word at the Motorola booth suggests there were plenty of representatives around scouting the latest technologies, and there was certainly lots for them to see. From Motorola alone in the TV/Internet category we saw:

  • CCE Storefront – a software platform for organizing premium IPTV content and making it accessible across three screens
  • The au Box – an IPTV set-top showing Internet content accessible on the TV and transferable to a cell phone
  • New tru2way apps on the Motorola DCX set-top line including Flickr, weather info, and medical reminders (more on the medical app later)

Motorola is far from the only player in the TV/Internet space, but the company does illustrate a nice spectrum of ways for making Internet content available on the living room television and beyond. By next year, I bet we’ll see several of these technologies available from service providers around the country.  And if CES 2010 is another “evolutionary” show, I don’t think that will be a bad thing at all.

Exclusive Pics of the Motorola au Box from CES

motorola-au-box-kddi-ces-2009-dvd-phone-set-top

With a backlog of CES content to post, I thought I’d start with some new details and exclusive pics of the Motorola-created au Box launched by Japan’s KDDI last November. The idea behind the KDDI au service is to make content transferable between au set-tops and au mobile phones. The last information I had suggested that the only transferable video allowed would be non-DRM, but now I hear you can buy select video titles from the au Internet portal on the set-top and move them to one of seven au phones available. Given the apparent prevalence of au phones in Japan, that’s pretty sweet.

See pics below of the au Box connected to a video camera, music player, and mobile phone. There are also some great screenshots of the Japanese guide, including widgety info (IP-based weather, games, shopping, etc.) and even a link to the Japanese version of the show Bones. Who knew David Boreanaz came with Japanese subtitles?

As a reminder, the au Box platform is based on Motorola’s KreaTV open software platform. It includes a CD and DVD player as well as at least two USB ports.

New Motorola Remote Control!

motocharger-1000-motorola-remote-control-ces-2009

I don’t get to write very often about a Motorola product that falls squarely into the gadget category, so today’s news is both cool and rare. Motorola has announced a new remote control and charging station for the VIP series of IPTV set-tops. The MotoCharger 1000 includes a “find” feature where a switch on the base station triggers a sound and flashing light from the remote control itself. It’s powered via wall outlet or set-top USB port, capable of learning different functions, and even includes a digital clock display on the charging station.

I love this remote control – in no small part because I’ve lost remotes in my house more times than I can count. But possibly more important than the actual device is the fact that it shows how accessories can be added to a set-top through a standard USB connection. Simple really, but compelling.

Now here are some more specs:

  • Finder range up to 30 feet
  • Learning IR frequency: 30-100 kHz
  • Battery life: 4 months stand-by, 1 month heavy use
  • Remote control: width- 2.25″; length- 7.5″; weight- 0.25 lb
  • Base station: width- 2.625″; length- 7.81″; weight- 0.60 lb

I’m planning some hands-on time with the remote control in the Motorola booth at CES, so stay tuned for more pics.

UPDATED: We have video! See the find function in action

WiMAX Backhaul for Wi-Fi: the New Motorola CPEi 775

motorola-cpei-775-wimax-wi-fi-modemIn another pre-CES release out early this morning, Motorola announced the new CPEi 775, a combination WiMAX modem and Wi-Fi router. It’s not designed for jumping back and forth between WiMAX and Wi-Fi (my first, and erroneous, assumption). It’s for using WiMAX as the backhaul for a Wi-Fi connection. Bottom line: this device acts as a regular Wi-Fi router for consumers, but doesn’t require a wired broadband connection. Plug it into an outlet in an area where WiMAX is available, and it starts working. Given that very few consumer devices have embedded WiMAX yet, the new modem creates an extremely useful interface with commonly available, Wi-Fi-enabled CE.

More details:

  • The Motorola CPEi 775 combines a “high performing WiMAX 802.16e modem with an integrated Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g router, VoIP ATA ports for voice calling, and an Ethernet port.”
  • It needs no external antennas
  • It’s “ultra thin” and comes in several colors (I’ll try to get pics in Vegas)
  • The Motorola CPEi 775 works on the 3.5 Ghz frequency (i.e. not in the US)

Motorola CCE – Is There an App Store Coming to your TV?

motorola-cce-storefront-1-ces-2009

One of the big benefits of IPTV is its flexibility as a content delivery platform. Bits are bits are bits, which means that in the great hypothetical world of IPTV heaven, consumers should be able to receive virtually anything through a TV or other networked display. Want to access a concert? Buy swag? Download a ringtone? It’s all possible. And increasingly, that scenario is exactly what people expect.

In a CES 2009 preview, Motorola today launched an update for its Communications Convergence Engine (CCE) software that allows IPTV operators to manage and personalize content across multiple domains. For example, for a sports-loving subscriber, an operator could design a package with on-demand access to all college basketball games, video clips with analyst commentary downloadable anywhere (TV, PC, cell phone, etc.), digital coupons for fan gear, and a selection of sports pics and ringtones. The package would include a variety of content types and three-screen access for subscribers – ideal for consumers, and ideal for revenue-seeking IPTV providers.

CCE Storefront works by abstracting and centralizing key system information for operators, providing a consistent view of everything coming into and being distributed by the IP network. (More detail available here and in upcoming posts) Through a combination of software-based tools and the Storefront interface, IPTV operators can use the Motorola CCE platform to manage an infinite catalog of content and tailor it for specific audiences. Ultimately consumers end up with a “storefront” experience as well, able to browse personalized catalogs of content – virtually any kind of digital asset – across multiple devices.

Considering what can be defined as a digital asset, the possibilities are endless. Maybe it’s not exactly an app store, but a Storefront on your TV isn’t far off either.

Here are a few more details: