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EDITIONS
 Tuesday, 14 January, 2003, 09:14 GMT
Tech buzzwords fill the air
Attendees at CES
Getting wired up to the future

Big technology events like the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), which has just wrapped up in Las Vegas, are full of jargon.

The air is full of talk of the latest, coolest gear which, if the companies are to be believed, is going to change our lives.

CES kicked off with Microsoft's boss Bill Gates touting the idea of smart living in the digital age. It seemed everybody was talking about a networked digital lifestyle.

The idea behind the hype and spin is of a home where all your digital gear - be it a computer, DVD player or stereo - is connected and works together.

So you could listen to music on the PC or on the hi-fi, or watch films in any room of the house, even if the DVD player is in the lounge.

Of course, all this media would be part of a DRM ecosystem. DRM, or digital rights management, is a way of limiting what you can do with that track you legally downloaded from the internet.

Crowds at CES in Las Vegas
Thousands try to go digital
A DRM ecosystem is seen by many media and technology companies as a way of ensuring you can listen to your purchased digital content like MP3 music files, on all your gadgets, be it a handheld computer or a mobile.

This amounts to a ubiquitous value network, Sony's way of describing a digital lifestyle.

In this future, we would all rely on glanceable information, being able to look quickly at a gadget like a watch and find out about the weather or traffic.

Once we have fought our way through rush-hour traffic to return to our homes, we would be able to enjoy immersive experiences.

With a massive flat TV screen and speakers all around, we would feel like we were part of the action when watching a film.

The movie may not even be in your home. It would be coming down your broadband connection and being played by remotely hosted applications.

In other words, the software playing the film would not be on your DVD player or inside your TV.

It would be running somewhere on a computer, anywhere in the world.

This wired home of the future would have no wires. Instead of messy cables everywhere, all your electronic products would talk to each other using ultrawideband.

This is a little-known technology which sends big chunks of information over major distances through the air.

By now, you should know enough to avoid stumbling on our journey into the digital terrain of the future.

Consumer Electronics Show 2003, Las Vegas

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