Wednesday, April 21, 2010

CEA Wires Washington's Historic Eastern Market

Take a small slice from the gigantic International Consumer Electronics Show, bring it to Washington, D.C., invite the press and members of Congress and what do you get? CES on the Hill, a surprisingly interesting and busy event held at Washington's historic Eastern Market Tuesday.

Not only did the Consumer Electronics Association bring dozens of high- and low-ranking Capitol Hill officials to the Eastern Market, it also left something behind: $8,500 worth of Ethernet jacks and cabling.

During a brief interview, Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the CEA, noted that when rescheduling the event from the Russell Senate Office Building to the Eastern Market for space and other reasons, the CEA discovered that the Eastern Market's North Hall had wireless Internet connectivity, but no Ethernet jacks for exhibitors who needed them for security or bandwidth reasons.

The CEA, he said, decided to correct the problem itself: It donated $8,500 to the District of Columbia to install the needed hardware, which will now be available to future renters of the site.

On Tuesday the crowded hall was filled with gadgets and technology demonstrations from familiar CES exhibitors such as Samsung, Microsoft, XStreamHD, Kodak, Audiovox, Qualcomm, and Panasonic.

For example, Samsung showed off its new Restore, a handset built with 84 percent recyclable materials. To no one's surprise, the phone does not include a paper manual (it's available online) and what little packaging it has is 100 percent recyclable and made from 70 percent recycled material.

The unit has a standard phone keypad as well as a slide-out QWERTY keypad. Also included is a two-megapixel digital camera and camcorder, a microSD slot for removable memory cards with capacities up to 32 gigabytes, stereo Bluetooth support and an MP3 music player. Also bundled with the 4.3-ounce phone is Sprint Navigation for turn-by-turn driving directions. The handset will be available from Sprint in the summer.

Text and photos Copyright 2010 Stadium Circle Features

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