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The Business Page

Welcome to the business page, a blog where I'll take you behind the scenes of greater Rochester's fast-changing economy. My name is Ben Rand, and I intend to introduce you to some of the personalities, concepts and events that make news in business here. I've been a business reporter for eight years in Rochester and a journalist for 18, working in four states. I grew up in Pittsford, but moved away after college for about a decade. My wife and I live in Irondequoit with our two children.

Friday, January 06, 2006

More on CES

Kind of hard, given the first week of the new year, to avoid news from the Consumer Electronics Show. And while it all the new gadgets and gizmos aplenty sound cool (excuse the Little Mermaid reference, I have young kids), I also have to add a voice of caution. But hopefully not cynicism. New ideas always take longer than anyone anticipates to come to fruition. Telecommunications deregulation in the mid-1990s was immediately supposed to open the floodgates of competition in telephone service and cable and other telecommunications. That era really is a fairly recent phenomenon. HDTV has been a promise that's been put off and put off and now appears to be seriously on the horizon. So I guess my message is, if you think you'll be viewing movies and TV shows on your cellphone next week, well, it may take a while to get the bugs worked out. Clearly, though, this is where the world is moving -- to a converged world of media. It's of interesting locally, of course, because of Kodak, which wants its imaging technology in devices of all kinds. That's the main thinking behind its alliance with Motorola.

One cool little thing for a small local company. Icuiti, which develops wearable computer displays, landed a mention in the Wall Street Journal's CES news roundup during the week. The Journal said:

"New Ideas From Newcomers: Along with new products from well-known giants, CES is a launching pad for some curious offerings from upstarts. There is the personal video system made by Icuiti of Rochester, N.Y. The $549 eyewear, called the DV920, contains two tiny LCD screens. It can be connected to an iPod, cellphone or other device. Icuiti says the eyewear's design makes videos appear to be projected 11 feet away on a floating 42-inch digital screen.

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