Top 10 Must See Sessions at CES 2009

Ok we all know that no one really goes to the International Consumer Electronics Show for the sessions. With over 2,700 exhibitors eager to showcase their marquee product line for this year in hopes of creating the kind of buzz that will carry them into next year, there are plenty of distractions to waylay even the most educationally focused attendee. Plus, while it may be ahead of the curve in terms of the technology being showcased; CES tends towards the mundane with its sessions unless you happen to have never heard of Web 2.0 or don’t know that mobile is the next big marketplace.

This year, with the upcoming change in the Administration and with the challenges everyone faces with today’s economy it is good to see CES offering sessions that are timely. The following sessions are my pick for those you can’t miss at CES 2009:

1)  One-on-One with Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin

I am a big believer in the truism that you are doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past if you don’t learn from them. As part of an unpopular administration Kevin Martin has served as chairman of the FCC for over three years.  As the subject of a congressional investigation which cited him with creating a “climate of fear” within the FCC, Martin has seen his share of mistakes and we can learn from those. It will be interesting indeed to see how he perceives the challenges facing the incoming Administration.

Panelists include:

~Kevin Martin, Chairman, FCC
~Gary Shapiro, President and CEO, Consumer Electronics Association

2) Reaching the Promise of Universal Access to Technology: Creating the Global Tech Ecosystem

The economic crisis has served as a reminder of how real the global economy has become. Providing easier access to technology to people in growing economies promises to create a flood of new users whose ingenuity and participation may well create a shift in the way we interact with technology. Tackling the subject of universal access as a catalyst for growth, the Technology and Emerging Countries (TEC) Panel is sure to be interesting.

Panelists include:

~Eric Nonacs, Managing Director for Global Affairs, Endeavour Financial Ltd.
~Michael Fairbanks, Co-Founder, The SEVEN Fund
~Kazi Islam, Chief Executive Officer, Grameen Solutions
~William Kamkwamba, Inventor
~ Kentaro Toyama, Assistant Managing Director, Microsoft Research India

3) The Internet – How Do We Keep The Road Open?

Hand in hand with providing global access to technology is insuring that the Internet pipeline remains open to everyone. This creates challenges in managing the infrastructure of a network that companies and countries will desire to access and control. How to keep that access open to everyone will be a tough problem to solve and will directly impact the future of net neutrality.

Panelists include:

~Rob Pegoraro, Personal Technology Columnist, Washington Post
~Scott Cleland, Chairman, and President, Precursor LLC
~Paul Misener, Vice President, Global Public Policy,
~Brent Olson, Assistant Vice President- Public Policy, AT&T
~Ben Scott, Policy Director, Free Press
~Rick Whitt, Washington Telecom and Media Counsel, Google Inc.

4) Washington Update: The Times They Are a Changin’

After recovering from the spin of FFC Chairman Kevin Martin and orienting yourself to the global stakes, this session further speculates on how the incoming Administration will take on topics such as global access, intellectual property, media regulation and net neutrality.

~Andrew Noyes, Reporter,  CongressDaily
~Markham Erickson, Executive Director, NetCoalition
~Jim Harper, Director of Information Policy Studies, The Cato Institute
~Leslie Harris, President & CEO, Center for Democracy & Technology
~David K. Rehr, President and CEO, National Association of Broadcasters (NAB)
~Gigi Sohn, President and Co-Founder, Public Knowledge

5) Emerging CE Technology – A Preview of the IEEE ICCE’s Most Interesting Technologies

I always found the OZ behind the curtain far more interesting the flashy Wizard in front of curtain. Although CES often provides a bit of flash the chance to peek at what the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers feels is the most interesting emerging technologies should be tempting to anyone attending.

~Stuart Lipoff, Partner, IP Action Partners
~Atul Batra, Senior Director, Marvell Semiconductors Inc.
~Tom Coughlin, President, Coughlin Associates
~Uwe Kraus, Professor, University of Wuppertal
~Scott Linfoot, Professor, De Montfort University

6) Finding Money in a Bad Economy

Have a startup idea or want to fund you newly launched startup? Well, 2009 will prove to be a tough year to find funding with venture capital firms actually seeking to (gasp) fund business whose fiscal strategy makes sense. This session should prove to be a good gauge for the type entrepreneurial pitch VCs are open to this year.

Panelists include:

~Don Rainey, General Partner, Grotech Ventures
~Mark Heesen, President, National Venture Capital Association
~Brian Jacobs, General Partner, Emergence Capital Partners
~Michael Kelley, Principal, PricewaterhouseCoopers
~Jeb Miller, Principal, The Carlyle Group

7) Greener Gadgets: The Future of Consumer Technology

One field we know VCs are open to is greentech. This panel on emerging green trends and innovations should provide a peek at how new and established companies are moving towards sustainable design.

Panelists include:

~Marc Alt, President, Marc Alt + Partners
~David Floyd, Managing Director, Freeplay Energy
~Mary Lou Jepsen, CEO, Pixel Qi
~Jeff Omelchuck, Executive Director, The Green Electronics Council

8 ) What Will They Think of Next? Consumer Technology in 2025

After the IEEE trots out the technologies it finds interesting, join in some good old fashioned speculation as tech experts attempt to predict how the consumer electronics industry will evolve over the next 25 years. Personally, I am still holding out for jetpacks.

Panelists include:

~Kara Swisher, Co-Executive Editor, All Things D
~Stephen DiFranco, Vice President and GM, Americas Consumer Group, Lenovo
~Gregory Harper, Co-Founder, Gadgetoff and President, Cerberus Corp.
~Len J. Lauer, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Qualcomm Inc.
~Sean Maloney, Executive Vice President, General Manager, Sales and Marketing, Intel
~Phil McKinney, Vice President, CTO, Personal Systems Group, Hewlett-Packard Company

9) Your Robot Will See You Now – How Technology is Creating Your Personal Hospital

In a case of the future is now, the field of health informatics is growing as smart technology begins to augment health monitoring. From remote doctor visits via video to advanced personal diagnostics the way we think of medicine is changing quickly. Of course with the boon of such devices comes concerns over privacy and quality of care which hopefully this panel will address as well.

Panelists include:

~Rick Merritt, Editor-at-Large,  EE Times
~Howard Jay Chizeck, Sc.D, Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering and Adjunct Professor, Department of Bioengineering, University of Washington
~Mir Imran, Inventor & Authority on Medical Electronics, In-Cube
~Rajiv Mehta, CEO, Zume Life
~Marshall Stanton, M.D., Vice President, Remote Disease Management, Medtronic
~David Whitlinger, President and Board Chair, Continua Health Consortium

10) Tie between the two: Day One Keynotes

Keynotes often set the mood for a conference. A lot of challenges currently face the Consumer Electronics industry. Especially with Ford Motor Company being on the schedule (2nd Keynote of the day) it will be interesting to see how rose tinted or straightforward will CEA CEO Gary Shapiro’s State of the Industry address be. My bet is on rose tinted.

Keynotes by:

~Gary Shapiro, President and CEO, Consumer Electronics Association
~Sir Howard Stringer, Chairman and CEO, Sony Corporation
~Alan Mulally, President and CEO, Ford Motor Company

That’s the rundown of my picks for what should be a very interesting CES. What sessions are you looking forward to? What technology do you most want to see unveiled?

About Angel Djambazov

Born in Bulgaria, Angel Djambazov has spent his professional career in the fields of journalism and online marketing. In his journalistic career he worked as an editor on several newspapers and was the founding Editor-in-Chief of Wyoming Homes and Living Magazine. Later his career path led to online marketing where while working at OnlineShoes he earned the Affiliate Manager of the Year (2006) award at the Affiliate Summit, and In-house Manager of the Year (2006) award by ABestWeb.

For four years Angel served as OPM for Jones Soda for which he won his second Affiliate Manger of the Year (2009) award at Affiliate Summit.

Currently Angel serves as OPM for KEEN Footwear and His former clients include: Dell, Real Networks, Jones Soda, Intelius, Graphicly, Chrome Bags,, Vitamin Angels, The Safecig, and Bag Borrow or Steal.

Angel is the Editor-in-Chief and Co-Publisher for and

Angel lives north of Seattle, spending his free time reading up on obscure scientific references made by his wife MGX, while keeping up with a horde of cats and a library of books.

You can find Angel on Twitter @djambazov.

One Response to Top 10 Must See Sessions at CES 2009

  1. TrishaLyn says:

    […] on a tear with the sessions stuff, sharing his Top 10 Must See Sessions at CES 2009.  For those of you not entirely geeky (yet), CES is the Consumer Electronics Show, with […]