Following the crazy storm of tech news that rained down from Vegas yesterday, it’s hard to believe that today is actually the official start of the 2011 Consumer Electronics show. But today is the day, and things are set to pick up right where they left off last night. Verizon Wireless CEO Ivan Seidenberg has been called on to deliver the first big keynote today, and the focus will be LTE 4G. AT&T set the ber pretty high yesterday, but Big Red still has the jump with LTE already having been deployed in several markets. So what’s in store for today? 4G modems? 4G smartphones? 4G tablets? 4G iPhones? Ok, we probably won’t see any iPhones, but hit the jump to follow the action in our live-blog.
8:30AM: We’re in our seats and ready to rock. Data connectivity is a little iffy right now so please bear with us. We’re also working on getting images up soon.
8:37AM: An announcement just came on saying the show is set to start in 10 minutes.
8:45AM: The monitors all have Verizon logos on them now – should be kicking off any minute.
8:48AM: CEA Chief Executive Gary Shapiro is on stage making an introductory speech.
8:55AM: They’re showing us a little video on wireless innovation now. Seidenberg should be up soon.
8:59AM: Shapiro is pitching his book, The Comeback, now. Mmm hmm.
9:05AM: Now we’re hearing about how great CES is this year, and that almost every major player in consumer electronics is represented here.
9:07AM: Shapiro says Seidenberg is going to make history with his keynote this morning.
9:09AM: And now the Verizon CEO is getting a verbal massage from Shapiro. Looks like he’ll be out any minute!
9:10AM: Now we have an intro video playing and Seidenberg is making his way on stage.
9:11AM: Seidenberg is praising CES CEO Shapiro – and now he’s joking that keynote attendees should turn their wireless devices back on (Seidenberg has said to turn everything off).
9:13AM: There are 2 billion Internet users and 5 billion wireless users around the globe.
9:14AM: Smartphones are growing at 90% per year and the mobile app market is blowing up.
9:15AM: video now accounts for 50% of home Internet traffic. Average home broadband speeds are 7Mbps.
9:17AM: What will customers want over the next 10 years? 3D, holograms, smart homes. Verizon’s 4G network will help take us there.
9:18AM: Lowell McAdam is now on stage.
9:19AM: Verizon set out to build the fastest and most advanced wireless network in the country according to McAdam, and that vision is becoming a reality in 2011.
9:19AM: Verzion will double LTE coverage in the next 12 months, and blanket the country by the end of 2013.
9:20AM: LTE ecosystem is developing very rapidly. Motorola DROID Bionic and Motorola XOOM are examples of that.
9:20AM: “LTE is a game changer because it speeds up the development cycle.”
9:21AM: Verizon is more than capable of handling the huge growth of video and other traffic moving forward — gigabit home service isn’t far off.
9:23AM: It takes 4.5 hours to download a full length film at today’s average home broadband speeds. On Verizon’s top FiOS service, it takes 4.5 minutes to download that same movie.
9:25AM: The real magic happens when you bring all of this together.” LTE, home broadband, next-gen smartphones, etc.
9:26AM: Now we’re going to see how Verizon’s partners are going to help push Verizon’s vision forward. Seidenberg is back do make some intros.
9:28AM: Jeff Bewkes, CEO of Time Warner is up first – he says the first golden era of TV was when it was invented and the second is now.
9:29AM: Bewkes said we’re in the midst of the best programming era in the history of television. Not just variety – quality, picture quality, 3D, etc.
9:30AM: Seidenberg: Verizon is now tasking with delivering all of this great content to homes, computers, smartphones, and so on.
9:31AM: They’re playing a video of Conan O’Brian, who is concerned with how and where he’s going to watch his own show.
9:33AM: Time Warner also enlisted the help of TNT’s NBA team, Wolf Blitzer, Ellen DeGeneres, Mary Mark – I mean, dramatic actor Mark Wahlberg – and others in this video.
9:36AM: So the basic idea is… Time Warner programming is awesome.
9:38AM: The video demo is over now. They’re discussing TV Everywhere now – getting programming on all devices over all types of connections. “If you have subscribed to a television service […] you ought to have it on demand, on every device you want.” And, according to Seidenberg, you shouldn’t have to pay extra for it.
9:40AM: Verizon’s FlexView is a huge challenge to to all of the different providers and devices out there.
9:42AM: Seidenberg is saying thanks and goodbye to Bewkes now, and here comes Motorola Mobility boss Sanjay Jha.
9:44AM: The DROID franchise is a huge success, and it was the result of a collaboration between Motorola, Google and Verizon.
9:45AM: The DROID Bionic is the next step. Jha calls it the era of “no more waiting.” No more waiting for downloads, videos, etc.
9:46AM: Now he’s showing off the Motorola XOOM tablet that was introduced yesterday. Demo video time.
9:48AM: The Motorola XOOM will launch in February and it will be upgraded to 4G in the second quarter. The DROID Bionic will launch in the second quarter.
9:49AM: Now Google engineer Mike Clarin is on stage to demo Honeycomb!
9:50AM: With Honeycomb, Google focused on catering the OS for tablets and improving the tablet experience across the board.
9:52AM: Now we’re getting a demo of Android widgets on Honeycomb. Unlike the iPad, Honeycomb tablets will offer full widget support. Widgets can be customized, moved around, etc. Now we’re looking at the browser.
9:54AM: The Honeycomb browser offers a “desktop browsing” experience. We’ve heard that plenty of times before but truth be told, this looks pretty darn slick.
9:55AM: Great integration with Google Maps 5.0, of course. When you zoom in far enough, it automatically enables 3D view.
9:56AM: Non-intrusive notification system that carrier a lot more information than Android’s smartphone notifications. They can even include photos.
9:56AM: Task switching looks great in Honeycomb.
9:57AM: Google eBooks has also been redesigned for Honeycomb. It has automatic cloud sync for your book library and to hold your place across devices.
9:59AM: Now we’re seeing video chat via Google Talk. The demo went really well after a hiccup, and the quality is ok (all things considered).
10:00AM: Final predictions from Sanjay Jha: This year will create the biggest technology opportunities for consumer electronics companies.
10:01AM: Sanjay made sure to snag that XOOM as he hurried off stage.
10:02AM: McAdam is back and he’s talking about Verizon’s great programs for developer and entrepreneurs. Verizon is currently working with over 6,000 developers on LTE-friendly solutions.
10:05AM: Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg is back to wrap things up.
10:07AM: Verizon is working with a variety of partners to utilize its networks in the best ways possible. Verizon is testing “connected home solutions” that will roll out in the first half of this year, for example.
10:09AM: “Our business has been driven by the belief that anything is possible. It still is.”
10:09AM: That’s it ladies and gents. Time to hit the show floor.