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CES 2009 Technology Laughs At The Recession

By Terry L. Brock

Dateline: Las Vegas at the Consumer Electronics Show Sure we’re facing a challenging economy. Yet, I’ve found that in any economy if you can be smart and leverage technology you gain a strong advantage. Part of being smart is leveraging other resources and technology provides a great resource to get more done with less. In essence, technology laughs at the recession!

This year’s CES is showing a number of practical technologies that you can use to increase security, sales and even make your personal life better. Here are a few of the technologies I’ve seen thus far and how you can use them to make your business and personal life better.

Asus S121 Netbook

Asus is a manufacturer that has sparkled in the new world of Netbooks. These are those tiny, lightweight computers that weigh in the 2 lb range while having access to the Net, providing USB ports for multiple expansion possibilities and have long battery life. The new Asus S121 provides 8 hours of battery life in a unit weighing in at a little over 2 lbs. The cost is $899 for this powerful, lightweight computer. You can see a video of it for more information at (

Trends In Technology

Consumer electronics provide tools for small business and mobile professionals that give a real advantage in the playing field of real-world competition. One man who knows a lot about that is Gary Shapiro, the CEO and President of the Consumer Electronics Association. I was able to get a quick interview with Gary and you want to experience this interchange. In that interview Gary talks about trends with mobile Internet (Internet in your car), the ability to work more effectively from home and be more mobile with productivity. He also discussed the trend in California to increase fees and taxes on larger flat panel TVs and what CEA is doing about that. This is a video you’ll want to see and you can catch it at

Krown Sign Language Translator

Being successful in business requires you to communicate with many people in different languages. One of those languages is sign language used by the deaf and hearing impaired. Up until recently it was very difficult to learn that language based only on still images. Even with video it took a lot to communicate it. Now Krown Manufacturing has come up with a portable, hand held video device that allows you to type in a word and the see a short video clip of the sign language equivalent demonstrated. If you deal with customers and/or employees who use sign language you can learn how to better communicate with the sign language translator. It is projected to be available in Mid-May with an expected retail price of $199.00. ( )

Inada Sogno Massage Chair

When we think of technology for business we usually think of laptop computers, PDAs, Smartphones, scanners and tools like that. These are great, and I feature devices like these often. However, I discovered another technology that helped me personally and might help you as well.

I recently hurt my back with my morning exercise routine so when I came to CES to cover this show I was in pain. I saw this company called Inada which was demonstrating a massage chair they call the Sogno (Italian for dream, pronounced sound you) envelopes your body as you lay in it. Well, being the jaded journalist I am, and having real back pain, I wanted to check this out. I laid down and put my arms securely into the enclosed armrests. Then I gave them the word and the good people at Inada turned on the massage chair for my 15-minutes of therapy. Well, I have to say it was amazing.

The chair moved around and allowed the various robotic levers to massage my feet, my calves, arms and hands and, most important for me, my back. I can’t say it is a replacement for a professional trained to relieve back pain (nor would the people at Inada) but it sure helped me. When I got up after my 15 minutes (which I wish would have gone even longer!), I felt much better and the back pain had subsided. In fact, it was relieved for the rest of the evening and the next morning.

In business you have to be productive. Pain curtails that and hurts the bottom line. This type of device can signal more possibilities for personal help. Right now the pricing is steep. The chair I was on retails for $6,500. Prices range from $3,000 to $15,000 depending on the chair and features. Electronic chairs are not new. However, this indicates a trend of allowing technology to do more than the perfunctory tasks in the past. This is an example of technology helping real people in real ways to live better. (

More To Come

These are just a few of the technologies I’m experiencing. To see more, watch this column or go to my website at to see videos, read more and hear detailed audio. The right technology can help you make it through any economy as you master it and learn how to take advantage of changing conditions and a new environment.

Copyright © 2009, Terry Brock and Achievement Systems, Inc. Terry Brock is an international marketing coach and professional speaker who helps businesses generate profitable results. He can be reached at 407-363-0505, by e-mail at [email protected] or through his website at

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