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CES Feature Articles

January 05, 2009

Report: Recession Turns Technology's Focus to Customers

As foreshadowed by declining chip revenues, the economic recession reportedly is having a negative impact on the United States largest trade show, one that’s closely tied to technology.

According to Peter Svensson of The Associated Press, exhibitors at the International Consumer Electronics Show are focusing more on reserving meeting-room space to make connections with customers than on physical showroom floor booths.
“That fits with a cooler economic climate,” Svensson writes. “The booths are chapels to conspicuous consumption where companies one-up each other with bigger and badder gadgets, like the 150-inch plasma TV Panasonic (News - Alert) Corp. displayed last year.”
That said, some cost-saving technologies are expected to make a big splash at the Las Vegas event being held this week.
As TMCnet reported, a Salt Lake City-based provider of audio, video and Web conferencing applications and systems announced recently that it’s joining IT industry giant Microsoft Corp. to showcase its wares at CES (News - Alert).
Officials from ClearOne say they’re planning to show off their new – and the only – conference phone for the Microsoft (News - Alert) Response Point VoIP phone system, the so-called “MAX IP Response Point,” at the event, to be held Jan. 8 to 11 in Las Vegas.
According to Zee Hakimoglu, chief executive officer at ClearOne (News - Alert), the CES show remains an important marketing venue for his company’s suite of audio conferencing products.
“We are excited about the increased attention our products are receiving, especially today as organizations are looking for ways to increase productivity and reduce expenses,” Hakimoglu said. “A significant number of decision makers across all industries will attend CES and we want to make sure they have an opportunity to discover the many benefits of ClearOne’s products.”
About 130,000 CES attendees will have a chance to view those products, according to Jason Oxman, senior vice president of industry affairs at CES’ host, the Consumer Electronics Association.
The director of product development at the U.S. subsidiary of one major company – South Korea’s LG Electronics Inc. – said he’s still viewing CES as a major event for the industry and a launch point.
Tim Alessi said his company will be showing 35 new LCD TV models – such as the 42-inch LG60, an $1,800 model, shown at right – among other products, according to the AP. At the same time, Svensson reports, LG is looking at how many employees it really needs to send, and Alessi expects the number to be down slightly from last year.
“That said, we still have a huge booth staff and a lot of dealer and partner meetings set up,” Alessi reportedly told the AP.

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Michael Dinan is a contributing editor for TMCnet, covering news in the IP communications, call center and customer relationship management industries. To read more of Michael's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Michael Dinan

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