CES or CBS? Leslie Moonves, the CEO of CBS, ended day two with a Keynote presentation that focused on the future of programming and consumer technology. Or, er...should we say, how much did CBS pay to put on a 45 minute commercial? Though padded with a rockstar CBS line-up, the presentations were completely scripted and devoid of personality. Philip Rosedale, the founder of Second Life, demonstrated how his virtual universe could one day become prime-time CBS viewing, while Brian Bedol, the brains behind CSTV, walked us through an online interactive college sports CBS viewing. (Catch the trend yet?) Vegas' very own Anthony Zuiker, responsible for the CSI sensation, discussed how CBS was reaching out to new media in braodcasting, as Jennifer Beals and Ilene Chaiken of the hit CBS show The L Word, walked us through a simulation of the new lesbian social-networking site 'OurChart.' Most interesting was Blake Krikorian, the brains behind Slingbox, who introduced 'Clip & Sling' - a novel way of sharing television content via the internet. (Think of it as iMovie with an instant messenger function, and, of course, underwritten by CBS). Chad Hurley of YouTube spoke of '15 Seconds,' a contest for users to create 15 second interstitials for the Super Bowl shown on...you guessed it, CBS!
Overall, interesting to see how big media is expanding into new technology, but could've done without the flashy over-designed CBS branding and enormous LCD cue card displays. As a third of the audience snuck out under the veil of smattered applause, I believed we were all in the same camp, until the untimely theft of my Mac AC cord led me to the Apple Store in the Vegas Fashion Show Mall. To my suprise, no one was checking free email at the computers; instead, all were huddled around a widescreen watching the demo of the new AppleTV and phone.
'It's been like this all day," sighed a store attendant, "They just won't stop coming."
Hmmmmm....so that's where everyone was going. Watch out CBS!