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CES 2005

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If you were anywhere near CES this year, one thing you probably noticed - or rather, couldn't miss - was MotoMountain - the huge mountain that Motorola erected right in front of the convention center. Yes... mountain. Motorola and Burton (the trendy sports-gear company) actually built a gigantic artifical slope in the main plaza, covered it with snow, and had pro snowboarders doing jumps and tricks on the first night of the show.


I'm not sure if this brash defiance of nature (and flexing of marketing muscle) pleased the gods or pissed them off, but they definitely noticed, because it actually snowed (for real) the next morning. (That's not supposed to happen in Vegas, even in January.) But the snow was followed by rain, which unfortunately put an end to the snowboarding.

So why did Motorola and Burton pull such an insane stunt? Why, to promote Bluetooth snowboarding gear, of course! The two companies are rolling out a complete line of gear that seamlessly brings together jackets, headwear, stereo headsets, phones, Bluetooth, and music players such as iPods.


It's a pretty slick system. You get stereo music from your iPod or other music player, then when you get a call, the music pauses and you can take a call mid-mountain. On the jacket, everything is controlled from an arm-mounted control pad with oversize buttons so you don't have to take off your gloves. A special padded pocket holds your iPod. All of the wired parts pop out so you can safely wash the jacket.

The whole lineup, including jacket, helmet, and beanie, is expected to be available in time for next winter.

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