Well, we didn’t go to CES this year, and given the lack of earth-shattering news from the event so far, we’re glad we passed (along with thousands of others.) But there are some interesting announcements from CES (or timed to CES) that we’ve boiled down right here:
- WRAL launches an iPhone app, News Over Wireless’ first local TV partner to launch. I gave it a try, and it’s a solid app with video, Doppler radar and traffic cams in addition to the usual news coverage. Of course, a WAP site can accomplish the same thing, but apps are another distribution pathway with a slightly faster interface (and more opportunity to include geo-aware and networked content down the road.)
- 63 TV stations in 22 markets plan to launch mobile DTV in the near future — free over-the-air television on mobile devices — with standards from the Open Mobile Video Coalition.
- CNN.com plans to launch an inauguration video player with Facebook Connect built right in. So you can post your own Facebook status from the player while monitoring a stream of your friends’ status reports, as well. A good use of social tools surrounding a shared-experience event of historic proportions.
- The AP demonstrated two concepts for Microsoft Mediaroom to give “TV viewers a new way to blend original news content with rich interactive services from the Internet.” One is an interactive ticker, which would include local news. The other is a celebrity news feature.
- Boxee, which is running on my AppleTV right now, added Joost and BBC video. I’ll post something on this later, but essentially Boxee allows you to watch internet video on your TV set. (I’m watching Hulu in a pretty good quality experience, for example. Cool, eh?)
- Microsoft is bringing back the Cuecat, sort of, with “Tag” — an iPhone application that reads special bar code-like tags via the camera that triggers associated multimedia content. So you can scan different objects, like bus stops for the schedule or a magazine article for more details, and get associated content. Interesting. But to make it work, Microsoft has to make their proprietary tags the universal standard. So stay tuned.
- Lots of announcements of TV manufacturers integrating internet content right smack on the TV set, such as Yahoo and MySpace with a social approach. I think there are lots of opportunities here but it will take some experimentation to find the right user experience that doesn’t just mirror the web/mobile. Mashable is a little more pessimistic.