Consumer Electronics Show Underway in Las VegasAired January 6, 2000 - 1:18 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: The average American household is expected to spend -- get ready for this, Natalie -- $1,100 in the year ahead on so-called consumer electronics. Now, that's up about 10 percent from last year and it works out to $85 billion in sales.
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: And what will all those households be buying, Lou? Probably the stuff our Ann Kellan is oohing and aahing over at the consumer electronics show underway this week in Las Vegas.
Hello, Ann, and what's hot?
ANN KELLAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, everyone loves their gadgets, and it seems we're getting more and more mobile. Everyone wants to be on the road and it's like, let's take everything with us, let's have the Internet in our pockets.
So with me is Mike Isgood (ph). He's going to show us a little bit about -- from Ericsson what is new in the way of phones. You're going to see a lot of ways to communicate with the world via your telephone, right Mike?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's right, Ann.
KELLAN: This is a personal digital assistance in a phone.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's right. This is our new R-380 and it's the first device that combines a mobile phone with a handheld computer.
KELLAN: And so you can surf the Internet and you can get you e- mail and that kind of thing?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Exactly. You also can completely organize your life, with calendar, all your contacts, you can write memos, you name it, all combined in a device that's the size of a normal mobile phone.
KELLAN: OK, so you can't do a lot of downloading of information. The bandwidth just isn't there yet, is that right?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, that's right for certain things. Clearly, the applications at this time are things with short bursts of data like stock quotes, headlines, that kind of information. And over time, though, it will only get better. KELLAN: Now, this is a way to download music and listen to music on your phone, right?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's right. This is a plug in attachment for our mobile phones. It's called an MP3 player. It gives you digital quality sound that you can download onto your computer and then onto this little diskette that can plug right in here. You push this into your mobile phone -- you can keep that in your pocket -- listen to music all day long. And when you get a phone call, it'll mute the music, you take the call, and then you can go back to music right after, all combined in one very small unit.
KELLAN: And maybe you can hear a little music playing in here. But this is really cool. This is wireless. This is where you take everything with you and no wires.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's right.
KELLAN: This is fun.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is Blue Tooth, and this is the first Blue Tooth product introduced to the market. It's a Blue Tooth headset.
KELLAN: So this is what you do: You just hook it up to your ear like this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's right, and you plug this module into your mobile phone, and then this talks with your headset so that you can put your mobile phone in your pocket or your briefcase, keep it in your desk, and everything operates straight with your headset, no wires.
KELLAN: Radio frequencies, right?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's right. So it works a lot like a remote control, in essence, but it doesn't need that infrared line of sight.
KELLAN: And this -- you can be how far away and it still works?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thirty feet away, and it can be anywhere.
KELLAN: So what is so new and different about this? I know people are talking a lot about Blue Tooth here. Why is this so unique and different?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, the big thing about Blue Tooth is it's going to allow a lot of devices to become more wireless, and it's going to allow them to become wireless in a more convenient way. Using radio, you don't need the line of sight that you do on most remote controls today. So what we'll see...
KELLAN: Right, so it's not line of sight. It's -- you don't need the line of sight anymore. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Exactly. It'd be like being able to have your remote control in another room and control your TV from it. So what'll happen is you'll see that mobile phones will be able to control other devices in the future using this type of technology.
KELLAN: And so if you get a phone call on this here, you press this button and you can answer your phone, or is this the button that you press if you want to make a phone call?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Both.
KELLAN: Both. And it's voice activated. You, like, say the number into this so you don't need to dial it -- hands free.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Exactly.
KELLAN: And there are a lot of little portable gadgets that we'll be talking about throughout the week, and we'll see you then.
This is Ann Kellan reporting. Back to you, Lou and Natalie.
ALLEN: Well, good, because we have to spend $1,100 this year on all this stuff.
WATERS: I don't think I'll be spending that. I've already had a problem plugging my nodule into my mobile phone, so I'll pass...
ALLEN: I'm sorry about that.
WATERS: ... until they get the kinks worked out.
ALLEN: Get your nodules in order
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