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February - 2009 - issue > Tech Tracker
Novel-Tech-Gadgets-Fail-to-Save-CES-from-Downturn
Eureka Bharali
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Brimming with novel technologies, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) was presumed to wither away the strong blows of the downturn, but the empty booths and plummeting attendance bore testimony to this extravaganza turning another victim.

Through gadgets right out of the fantasy box, the 2,700 manufacturers displayed their technical prowess. ioSafe flaunted Solo, its disaster-proof external hard drive, which can be cooked over the fire without a scratch. The tech show also aided the visitors to plug in the green technology through iGo green chargers and Toshiba's Portégé laptop. In the meantime, steering everyone's mind towards the smartphone genre, Palm Pre seized the 'all time favorite' tag in CES and also won CNET's Best of CES award. The feat has definitely sent a message to its competitors like T-Mobile, HTC, Nokia, and Motorola who also took the opportunity to display their versions of 'iPhone killers'. Dominated by genuine innovations, the electronic vaudeville also had certain wacky creations: like Ozaki iMini Pets, stuffed animatronic gadgets that combine an iPod dock, radio, clock, and speakers and Nopopo Pee-Powered Batteries that can be powered by water or anything water-based.

Even the continuous flow of technological innovation couldn't hide the inability to lure large crowds to the show, where previously even the largest tech companies had to struggle to be heard above the din. Lending glamour to the dimmed scene was Hollywood movie star Tom Hanks, who turned up to help pitch Sony's new products including P Series Vaio notebook, small enough to fit in a coat pocket. Even the Apple rumor mill ran wild with crazy predictions of Apple joining the Las Vegas event, but the poor performance of the Macworld proved that even the iPhone maker wouldn't have been a savior of CES.
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