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How to Be Cool in the Desert

ces.jpg By MIKE PASINI
The Imaging Resource Digital Photography Newsletter

SAN FRANCISCO -- Santa hasn't even started loading his sleigh but we're already making our NASA-like check list to get to the Consumer Electronics Show in a couple of weeks. As we did last year, we'll dash through the Las Vegas Convention Center for a couple of days then fly back to San Francisco in time to see what's going on at Macworld. We might even employ a radio controlled rover or two to expand our reach.

Microbot UBOT-Navigation. An intelligent cleaning robot that vacuums, scrubs and wet mops the floor on a single pass. The perfect darkroom employee, no?

Our first report will likely cover the Pepcom Digital Experience! press event taking place the evening of Jan. 6. We tend to have a lot of off-the-record conversations at Pepcom events, but we also get a few pictures, too. Pepcom exhibitors don't always exhibit on the CES expo floor, so this is the only chance we'll get to see what some companies are up to.

CES itself covers a great deal more than photo equipment, of course. Anything that uses electricity seems to be the line in the sand. USB TV sticks, radio for the deaf, single point audio (stereo without A and B channels), and more are among the intriguing non-photo pitches we've already received. Closer to home are wireless USB ExpressCards (and monitors), set-top boxes to move your content "around the house effortlessly," "bandlet" technology that recovers missing pixels and removes noise in HD images, yet more digital photo frames (some with Wi-Fi), new printers we can't talk about, Domke's retro "chocolate" canvas camera bags (plus some new designs), digital filter software effects from Tiffen, a 1-TB (yep, terrabyte) Hitachi drive and more.

SanDisk V-Mate. It's a video memory card recorder that captures and records video content from an analog source directly into a flash memory card.

And just to get things going, Panasonic President Toshihiro Sakamoto will deliver Monday's opening Keynote address. The "Spotlight on Imaging" panel discussion Tuesday will include President and CEO Mitch Goldstone.

Every year CES promises to unveil the coming of the high definition living room. We looked in vain for it last year and we'll keep an eye out for it this year as well. If you take digital pictures, you're already exceeding the resolution of any HDTV. So why is it still so hard to display your images on an HDTV? We'll see if anyone has developed anything to rival the Apple TV solution to this vexing problem.

That's just the stuff we know about now. The surprises will have to wait until we arrive. Come along with us, starting with our Jan. 6 coverage. And feel free to use the link below to post questions and suggestions.