In 2006, the consumer electronics industry pushed $145 billion worth of product, with the average U.S. household spending $1,500, according to Gary Shapiro, president of the Consumer Electronics Association. This year, the stakes are even higher and will come into clearer view with a pair of dueling conferences-- 2007 International CES in Las Vegas and Macworld Conference and Expo in San Francisco.
Not only will the two shows cast a spotlight on our gadget-filled future, but the starring roles of industry icons Bill Gates and Steve Jobs (as keynoters, respectively) will likely serve as a better barometer of what lies ahead. Both companies are at inflection points, so speculation is rampant on how Mr. Gates and Mr. Jobs will utilize the massive media attention. What they say, how they say it, and, perhaps most importantly, how their remarks are received in the blogosphere, may resonate for years to come.
Here's a smattering of speculative posts:
Microsoft's recently -introduced Zune portable media player, Maybe even a rumored Zune cellphone
An improved Xbox 360 with 120GB hard drive and HDMI ports. Also the use of the Xbox 360 as an IPTV set-top-box.
Possible topics for this year's Macworld may include: