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Thursday, October 22, 2009

HOLIDAY SALES AND FORECAST, i-STAGE AND SIR KEN ROBINSON ROUND OUT DAY ONE AT CEA'S 2009 INDUSTRY FORUM

Consumer CE Holiday Spending to Increase; Regen Takes Home Top i-Stage Honors

The definitive CE holiday sales forecast, the second annual i-Stage competition and a luncheon keynote by Sir Ken Robinson, acclaimed innovator and author, were among the hot happenings on Day One of the 2009 Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)® Industry Forum. Designed to connect, educate and inform consumer technology professionals, CEA’s 2009 Industry Forum runs through Wednesday, October 21 in Phoenix, Arizona.

Shawn DuBravac, CEA's chief economist and director of research and Steve Koenig, CEA's director of industry analysis, kicked off the Industry Forum's programming with the popular Holiday Sales and Forecast presentation. DuBravac began with an economic overview and outlook, noting that despite a difficult year there are signs of optimism for the holidays.

Koenig announced CEA's research finding that consumers plan to spend more on consumer electronics this holiday season as technology plays a main role in holiday gift budgets. CEA found that consumers plan to spend an average of $222 on CE this holiday, a gain of eight percent over last year. The 16th Annual CE Holiday Purchase Patterns study tracks CE devices consumers intend to give as gifts, as well as those they hope to receive. Consumer electronics comprise four of the top 10 items on adults' holiday gift wish list, with computers and video games ranking two and three respectively, behind clothing.

“There are signs of optimism in our holiday forecast,” said DuBravac. “As the holiday approaches, consumer appetite for technology highlights the resiliency of the tech sector.”

Immediately following the Holiday Sales and Forecast presentation, CEA launched its second annual i-Stage competition where eleven finalists unveiled their products before a live audience and expert judges. Regen, the light powered personal and home electronics company, took the top prize for its ReNu personal solar power generation and storage system. Central to the ReNu system is the ReNu panel, a freestanding power module containing solar cells, a rechargeable battery and an intelligent user interface. The panel can be hung or placed in direct light to capture energy. When replenished by sunlight, a user can drop a ReNu panel into one of a series of Regen extensions to utilize the energy they have created.

As the winner, Regen will receive $40,000 dollars, a turn-key exhibit at the 2010 International CES®, the world’s largest consumer technology tradeshow and the option of a booth at CES Unveiled in New York or Las Vegas. Regen was also chosen by the audience as the Fan Favorite and took home a bonus $2,500.

In addition, EnTourage Systems, Inc. placed second in the competition with its eDGe™ product and was awarded $7,500, as well as the option of a booth at CES Unveiled in New York or Las Vegas. The enTourage eDGe is the world’s first dualbook, combining the functions of an e-reader, netbook, notepad, and audio/video recorder and player in one.

Sir Ken Robinson, acclaimed innovator and author of the book The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything, addressed attendees during a luncheon keynote Monday afternoon. Robinson began by stating that imagination is the only thing that sets us apart and that we spend most of our lives suppressing it. He went on to tell the crowded room that in order to achieve success both professionally and personally that we cannot be afraid of making mistakes and must embrace the unknown of our imagination in the search of innovation. "We must make innovation a habit, not an accident and to do that we need to challenge the things we take for granted."

Sir Ken Robinson, PhD is an internationally recognized leader in the development of creativity, innovation and human resources. He works with governments in Europe, Asia and the USA, with international agencies, Fortune 500 companies and some of the world’s leading cultural organizations.

Highlights for Tuesday’s Industry Forum will include: Economic Outlook-The Economy in CE Terms, CEA’s Annual Meeting and Luncheon Keynote with Jen-Hsun Huang, co-founder, president and CEO, NVIDIA Corporation and The CE Hall of Fame Dinner where new inductees will be honored for their historic contributions to the consumer electronics industry. A full list of inductees can be found here.
For more information on CEA and the 2009 CEA Industry Forum, visit www.CE.org.

About CEA:
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is the preeminent trade association promoting growth in the $172 billion U.S. consumer electronics industry. More than 2,000 companies enjoy the benefits of CEA membership, including legislative advocacy, market research, technical training and education, industry promotion and the fostering of business and strategic relationships. CEA also sponsors and manages the International CES - Where Entertainment, Technology and Business Converge. All profits from CES are reinvested into CEA's industry services. Find CEA online at www.CE.org.

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