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Connectivity: When Your Phone Talks To Your TV

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Connectivity: When Your Phone Talks To Your TV

CES 2011

Connectivity: When Your Phone Talks To Your TV

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STEVE INSKEEP, host:

Other companies are pushing new products at this week's Consumer Electronics Show.�It's the biggest annual showcase for anything you want to buy that involves screens, remotes or buttons. There are more than 100,000 people roaming 1.6 million square feet of floor space - 1.6 million square feet of floor space. It's like, I don't know, maybe 16 gigantic, big-box stores.

Among the people roaming that space is NPR's Laura Sydell, who's on the line.

Hi, Laura.

LAURA SYDELL: Hi, Steve.

INSKEEP: I understand you started off by buying a pedometer. How much have you walked so far?

SYDELL: Well, I would say, yesterday alone, I walked over five miles going back and forth from press conferences and demos and luxury hotels.

(Soundbite of laughter)

INSKEEP: Wow. Okay. So what did you see?

SYDELL: I saw what I would say the big theme this year is: connectivity. So you've got all kinds of connected devices, which we've seen in the past. But what's particularly interesting this year is that you're seeing a lot of connected devices that are talking to each other. So your phone is talking to your TV, things like that. So, device talks to device.

INSKEEP: Meaning that I can pick up my telephone - and what? Call up a program? Call up a movie? Use it as a remote? What are you talking about?

SYDELL: Well, a variety of things. I think my favorite, right now, connected device: Sony Ericsson just put out a new phone, or they're about to put out a phone, the Xperia Arc. And this phone, you can, say, watch a movie while you're coming home from work on the train. And when you get home, if you haven't finished the movie, you can connect the phone to your TV and finish watching the movie.

INSKEEP: Oh, on the bigger screen that you've presumably got at home now, I suppose.

SYDELL: Exactly. So all those devices are talking to each other, you know, and you're going to have tablet computers that are able to connect to your TV, and all sorts of stuff like that. And then there's the cars.

INSKEEP: Well, let's talk about the cars. A gentleman was telling me this story about the notion that you could be listening to the radio on your phone - which people now do, Internet radio. You get in the car, and the car notices that you're listening to the radio and picks it up on the car speakers. Could that be true?

SYDELL: Absolutely. That is distinctly possible, because what you're starting to see are Internet-connected cars. So this year, Toyota is going to come out with its N Tune system. They're going to start putting this in their cars, and there's basically going to be, in your car, an Internet-connected device. There'll be a screen, a touch screen. It'll also have voice recognition. It'll have OpenTable. So you'll be to, for example, make a reservation at the restaurant you're going to. Let's hope that the voice recognition works well and that you're not using your fingers while you're doing that. But you'll have things like that.

You also have the possibility of devices that will connect to older cars. So there's a company called Mavizon Technologies, and they've got this device that'll connect to most cars made after 1996. And it will connect your car to the Internet and, for example, if you can't find your car in a parking lot, it'll send a signal to your iPhone telling you where your car is.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SYDELL: (unintelligible), right?

INSKEEP: A little GPS direction to find your...

(Soundbite of laughter)

SYDELL: Exactly. No, it's great. And believe me, I could use that.

INSKEEP: Well, I'd like to know, Laura Sydell, I mean, you cover this all the time. Even the new stuff may be a little old to you. Is there some device that you've run across that really made you stop in your tracks?

SYDELL: Well, here was one that I just found kind of amusing. So you know we've had radar detection systems in cars for a while. It lets you know when you're driving along if there's going to be a police car that's trying to track whether you're going too fast. Well, now they have one that is a social radar device.

So if your car sees that there is a radar system nearby, it will tweet to other people who have the system and let them know that the cops are there with a speed trap.

INSKEEP: Laura Sydell, drive safely out there in Las Vegas, okay?

SYDELL: All right. Thanks a lot, Steve.

INSKEEP: NPR's Laura Sydell is at the Consumer Electronics Show.

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