Gary Shapiro, CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), Arlington, Va., warned in his opening address Monday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas of storm clouds over the free trade among nations that his industry has been enjoying. He predicted a sales increase in 2008 of $171 million by the international consumer electronics industry, an increase of 6 percent.
Shapiro announced that the CEA, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), wrote a letter to Congress urging approval of pending free trade agreements and restoration of the president's ability to negotiate free trade.
Panasonic AVC Networks Company President Toshihiro Sakamoto delivered the opening keynote address, in which he displayed a prototype plasma television less than one-inch thick, another one with a screen measuring 150 inches diagonally (11 feet wide) and wireless transmission of high definition video.
An experimental technology called Life Wall also was demonstrated in a simulation. It allows an entire wall of a home to function as a television screen on which television and images of furniture, windows and other furnishings, along with Internet content, can be displayed and arranged with a wave of the hand. The wall also has facial recognition technology that allows it to identify a home's residents, greet them and display their preferences.