Trade Show Chief Touts Many Gadgets, But Not 3D TV

Gary Shapiro promises more cool stuff than ever at the giant Consumer Electronics Show in early January. But the trade group leader sounds less than enthusiastic about one of the most talked-about topics, 3D television.

In an interview Thursday, Shapiro argued that the technology has been over-hyped compared with more fundamental developments like high-definition TV, a huge driver of industry sales for much of the past decade. Giving those digital TVs the capability to simulate 3D images, by comparison, is more of an enhancement than something altogether new, he says.

“3D is not a category, it is not a product, it is a feature,” says Shapiro, chief executive of the Consumer Electronics Association. “The truth is that every high-end TV will be 3D.”

But there are plenty of other important new categories, Shapiro says, including tablet computers and Internet-connected TVs. An avalanche of announcements about those and other products are expected at the show, whose exhibit floors are open January 6 through 9 in Las Vegas. “I’ve never been as excited,” he adds. CES this year will be “huge by any measure.”

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