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Consumer Electronics Show:

Technologies showcased at CES are game-changers, experts say

E-readers, 3-D and cloud computing examples of disruptive technology

CES 2010: The Year of the 3-D TV

The 3-D TV may have been introduced at CES last year, but this year, some major companies are bringing it to market as early as this spring. A panel Wednesday summarized the major 3-D TV announcements from CES 2010. We asked viewers how they liked the experience and got a behind-the-scenes look at three of the hottest new models.

CES Unveiled

Mitsubishi unveils its new 3D televisions at the CES Unveiled event Tuesday at the Venetian. Launch slideshow »

E-readers, 3-D and cloud computing are among the top technologies showcased at the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show, and a group of tech company executives said the concepts will be changing the face of their industry for years to come.

The panelists described the innovations as disruptive technologies. To most, the word disruptive mean troublesome and intrusive, but the consumer electronics industry defines disruptive as a game-changer, pushing tech companies to the next level.

RealD Founder Josh Greer was among those on Friday’s panel on emerging technologies. His company is behind almost all the 3-D developments on the CES floor this year.

RealD’s company name is probably most recognized for the 3-D glasses it produces, worn by audiences at virtually every 3-D film.

“3D isn’t really a disruptive technology. It’s really a natural thing. We all see in 3-D,” Greer said.

Five years ago, RealD was approached by Disney to produce “Chicken Little” as the company’s first major 3-D movie. At the time, the technology wasn’t taken very seriously, Greer said.

The next task was convincing more than 100 movie theaters to install the technology.

Greer said theaters that choose to show 3-D versions of films see three times the revenue than those that feature only the standard version.

James Cameron’s “Avatar” is a testament of that. The film has grossed more than $1 billion.

“We’ve been preparing for a long time but to be quite frank, I’m little bit surprised by the eruption,” Greer said.

The next step is bringing 3-D technology to the home, which RealD started actively pursuing about two years ago, Greer said.

The result: Almost every major TV and video manufacturer has a 3-D product at CES this year. The Consumer Electronics Association expects 4.3 million 3-D TV sets to be sold this year.

“Yes, 3-D is going to be in the home, but I think 3-D is going to enter every visual display in the next five years,” Greer said. “To me, the real disruptive technology is everything being digital.”

Cloud computing has changed almost every aspect of the consumer electronics industry.

Users expect to be able to download content on their computer and stream it to their mobile devices, TVs, MP3s and netbooks.

It’s changed things significantly for content producers, too.

The technology will eventually force studios and publishers to produce media in one cohesive format, panelists said.

Dave Habiger, chief executive of Sonic Solutions and CinemaNow, said the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem, which his company is involved in, is trying to produce a system where users could type in a name and password on any device and access all of their media.

Plastic Logic Chief Executive Richard Archuleta showed off his company’s e-reader, Que, which the company unveiled on Thursday.

The Que is made of plastic instead of glass, allowing the company to make the e-reader larger, lighter and more durable. Between creating the product and talking with publishers, Archuleta said, the Que took more than 10 years to develop.

“Disruptive technologies don’t happen overnight,” Archuleta said.

The technology executives agreed that as the connectivity of devices increases, companies and advertisers will be able to make content more personal for users, changing the game for everyone.

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