Friday, January 28, 2011

CES 2011 — Looking Back to Move Forward

I’m back from the annual gathering of consumer technology providers, buyers, and hangers-on that is officially known as the Consumer Electronics Show. Put on each January in Las Vegas by the Consumer Electronics Association, CES is 1.5M square feet of exhibition floor, multiple keynotes, embedded topical conferences, showmanship, and sore feet — all in equal measure.

As Climate Savers Computing looks ahead with an eye to the CE space, it was a great opportunity to broaden awareness of the issues facing GreenIT and to talk about CSCI with potential new members. With some key support from members such as sponsor member Sony Electronics and board member Intel, we began an important dialogue with CES attendees to showcase the organization’s mission and our desire to work with CE companies the same way we have done with the PC, server, and networking industries.

As many of you know, the scope and size of CES is overwhelming in terms of content and products. There were over 20 themed areas on the show floor targeting specific audience segments; for example, the “Silvers Summit” pushed products and services aimed at the aging baby boomer population. Higher Education, Electric Vehicles, and Fitness were new Tech Zone topics of interest, and they showcase that the CE industry touches all elements of our lives.

And, while CES is expanding beyond your conventional consumer electronic device, the GreenIT exhibit, “Sustainable Planet Tech Zone,“ was still a bit underwhelming. This area was the smallest and was located in a low-volume traffic area on the show floor. A couple of companies stood out with regard to their GreenIT practices and philosophies: Panasonic had a significant portion of their large booth area dedicated to renewable energy, energy management, and electric vehicle offerings; LG was featuring the energy efficient characteristics of all their offerings from TVs to freezers; and Powermat (an inductive charging mat for handheld devices) was highlighting products that eliminate vampire power draw. Based on all of my conversations at the event, there is interest in learning more about power management and, more important, there is willingness and eagerness to engage. The good news is the door is open with some new companies and agencies to further discuss how they can participate and improve energy consumption.

All that said, I prefer to look at the glass half full — this is truly an opportunity to lead and inspire the ICT industry to engage in smart computing practices, change behaviors toward power management, and ultimately work together to address larger computer and sustainability issues.


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