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Digital Future

Kid Reporter gets a look at cutting-edge technology

By Aaron Broder | January 9 , 2007
Show attendees walk past booths at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, on January 8, 2007. (Photo: Jae C. Hong/AP Images)
Show attendees walk past booths at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, on January 8, 2007. (Photo: Jae C. Hong/AP Images)

The International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is the biggest annual technology convention in the world. This week, nearly 3,000 companies have set up at CES in Las Vegas, Nevada, to show off their latest gadgets and software, and introduce upcoming projects.

More than 140,000 attendees, hailing from over 130 countries, have gathered for the show. The Scholastic Kids Press Corps is among the 4,500 media representatives bringing you breaking news from CES.

"The 2007 International CES is the only place to be this week for consumer technology professionals," said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association (producer of CES).

Bill Gates, chairman of software giant Microsoft, delivered the event's keynote address on Sunday. Gates spoke about where Microsoft would be headed in 2007 and beyond. The theme of Gates' speech was "Connected Experiences" and was all about the integration of Microsoft products. Demonstrations of the Windows Vista operating system were also included in the talk.

Microsoft's President of Entertainment and Devices Division, Robert Bach, spoke next about Microsoft entertainment. The Windows platform, already the number one gaming platform with over 200 million users worldwide, is only going to get bigger and better.

"We are...going to revitalize the gaming market," Bach said. 

Scholastic Kid Reporter Aaron Broder
Scholastic Kid Reporter Aaron Broder finds a place to work in the crowded press room at CES. (Photo: Courtesy Aaron Broder)

One strategy Microsoft developed to accomplish this goal is to launch Live for Windows. Xbox Live is already one of the biggest online communities, with over 5 million members. Microsoft plans on expanding that market by allowing Windows Vista users to play online with Xbox Live members.

One of the biggest announcements was a partnership between Microsoft and the Ford Motor Company to launch the product Sync. Built-in to over a dozen Ford cars, it will sync to your Zune, cell phone, and iPod, as well as many other gadgets. You can then control them using voice commands, making for convenient, hands-free operation.

The 40th Anniversary

This year's event is the 40th anniversary of the show. In 1967, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) decided to hold a show for companies to unveil products. During June of that year, 17,500 people gathered in the Americana and New York Hilton hotels to view new products from 110 companies. Eventually, the CEA moved the show from New York to Las Vegas, and decided to host it during winter instead of summer.

Today, CES covers nearly 11 times the space that the original event covered. (Instead of the original 150,000 square feet, there is now 1.7 million square feet for companies to showcase their products. That is the size of 35 football fields!)

This year’s show boasts a large number of product introductions. Everything from the latest in gaming to the newest MP3 player is on display.

Many products in your home probably debuted at the Consumer Electronics Show. Microsoft unveiled the Xbox at the 2001 CES. In previous years, CDs and DVDs first appeared at the show. In fact, the model of computer you are reading this on was probably introduced at CES.

The 2007 International Consumer Electronics Show runs from January 8 until January 11. Be sure to check in with Scholastic throughout the week for the latest news from the show floor.


Critical Thinking Question

Read today's news story, and then answer the following question.

Digital Future

In what ways have consumer electronics improved your life?

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About the Author

Aaron Broder is a member of the Scholastic Kids Press Corps.

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