Interview with Andrea de Polo on his trip to 2012 International CES

Francesca Tavanti (Alinari 24ORE spa)

We interviewed Andrea de Polo, from the PATHS Consortium,  before and after his trip to the January 2012 CES, PMA and DIMA events in Las Vegas (USA) about his thoughts and participation in the event.

A week before the event:

Hello Andrea, many thanks for taking your time for this interview. First of all, what do you do, and what is your involvement with the PATHS Project?

I am Project Manager at Alinari 24ORE. I have been involved in research projects and EU tenders since 1995. I have a BFA in photography from RIT (USA) from 1994. Currently I am involved as project coordinator and partner in three EU projects. My work in the PATHS project is about the identification of content to be used within the project, attending project meetings, dissemination and exploitation activities including identification of potential business scenarios as outcome for the project.

Why CES ?

CES is the largest computer show in the US and probably one of the most important events in the field of imaging. It is produced by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) the greatest trade association promoting growth in the U.S. consumer electronics industry. CES is an ideal forum to reach global companies and innovators providing the newest technologies and services;  certainly it would  be the occasion to target  an international audience and monitor market developments,  in line with our PATHS project dissemination and exploitation goals. 

You’ll be attending the upcoming CES (Computer Electronics Show), PMA (Photo Marketing Association) and DIMA (Digital Imaging Marketing Association) in Las Vegas next January 2012, what do you expect from the show?

This year CES will be colocated along with PMA and DIMA so it will be a huge event! A great international show with over 3,000 exhibitors and over 34,000 international attendees.  What do I expect from the show? Learn more about the latest tendency in the consumer and commercial market about imaging. Focusing great attention on the cultural and imaging opportunities and news from the show in order to provide to PATHS consortium useful information and input for the last two years of the project. I do hope to find great innovations for our project  and get some useful feedback about the current status of the project. In addition, establishing contacts with international experts in the field of imaging and cultural heritage will help to investigate opportunities of exploitation of  PATHS outcomes.

What will be your activity at CES, PMA and DIMA?

I will present and disseminate the PATHS project during face-to-face meetings at various workshops and ad-hoc events. Since I have registered to enter the event as press, I will also promote  the project in the press lounge hoping  to have the PATHS objectives reported in some international media press reports later on.

A week after the event:

You’ve recently attended  the CES, PMA and DIMA in Las Vegas, USA. How was the event, and how successful was it?

The event went very well and was very good although very busy, day and night. The 2012 International CES was the largest in the CES history.

Some numbers: more than 3,000 exhibitors, more than 153,000 attendees (of which 34,000 international attendees), delegations from thousands of global companies, more than 20,000 new products launched. The 2012 CES  included keynotes from top executives of global companies like Facebook, Google, Qualcomm, Mercedes, Wal-Mart, Intel, Ford, Verizon, Unilver, Ford, eBay and GE.

At the conference, I attended about eight specific seminars and workshops every day, covering various topics related to imaging, cultural heritage, content preservation, state of the art technologies and innovations for the year 2012. During the sessions I had the chance to exchange business cards and distribute the project's flyer to several attendees (about 250 during the 5 days of the show). I had the opportunity to share the project objectives and get feedback from companies including LG , Panasonic, Spatial View, StreamTV networks, Fujifilm, DreamWorks, 3D Bee, Sony and CeWe. Although mainly from the hardware sector, they showed high interest in the PATHS project. They  find the project innovative and  very interesting the concept of paths and see  business convergences between their products/services and the project itself.  In the near future, once our technology is more mature,  we will contact those vendors/companies to discuss possible synergies and joint activities in more depth. 

Could you briefly explain some of the latest news and innovations from the show and how some of them could be useful to PATHS?

Dozens of ultrabooks, OLED TVs, Android 4.0 tablets, next generation smartphones and 3D printers have been launched.

CES 2012 demonstrated that 3D TV is still not mature yet as there is indeed a huge demand at this stage for high quality of 3D content. Moreover 4000x2000 HDTV will appear in the near future and OLED TV will become very popular and successful in 2012. iPad 3 and iPhone 5 are expected to become top sellers and people will start to move their habits/work from PC/notebooks to iPad and ultrabooks. In this aspect, PATHS should find a niche to try to offer its service, for example, in bundles with some of those hardware vendors, or find ways to integrate the service with existing and popular imaging and cultural networks.

Some winners and losers from the show?

Winner: Intel and Ultrabooks

Ultrabooks have been one of the main themes of this CES; Ultrabooks benefit from excellent battery life, fast boot-up and SSD storage… their only problem is price! They are still very expensive.

The CES 2012 scene was definitely held by Sony, SUS and Lenovo;

Android was leader in the show.

Acer and Motorola successfully showcased their products during the event while Samsung and LG preferred to stand aside in this CES.

Loser: Blackberry

Blackberry has to face competitors which seem to offer better products:  the Apple iPhone, Android devices from companies like Samsung, HTC and Windows Phone 7 devices from Nokia.

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