From Jon Fisher, Technology Manager, Palio
CES is a show that geeks and nerds from around the world look forward to every year and I was fortunate to be one of the geeks that attended this year. My badge holder cleverly disguised me as an “Industry Affiliate.” An estimated 200,000 people from across the globe migrated to Las Vegas, NV, for a few days to check out what the world’s largest consumer technology tradeshow had to say about what the electronics industry had to offer for 2011, here’s my take…
By far, the biggest surprise for me was how much 3D TV has evolved in so little time. Different manufacturers have adopted different technologies; Samsung, Sony, and Panasonic have used, and are continuing to use, the active-shutter technology. However, the end-user is required to have multiple $100+ glasses that use rechargeable batteries in order to view the 3D effect. From my perspective, this isn’t ideal – between having to worry about charging batteries, the inevitability of the dog using the $100 pair of glasses as a chew toy, and the social awkwardness of inviting your 10 best friends to watch the latest and greatest 3D movie when you only have one pair of glasses (same ones the dog chewed on!)?
Enter LG. They didn’t only make a splash with the size of their booth and their non-3D TV lineup, but they showcased their disposable, polarized glasses. To me, this technological innovation makes buying a 3D TV much more appealing, and from what I saw at the show, the quality is definitely comparable to the active-shutter technology.
Fast forward to a couple years from now, I think it’s reasonable for one to expect to be looking at x-ray or MRI results in 3D with a doctor. How soon before all surgeons are using 3D technologies in the operating room?
If you’re wondering about glasses-free 3D, it still has a long way to go. And, although most vendors had some sort of glasses-free 3D, the technology needs further development.
When it comes to tablets, Android and Blackberry were the players at CES. Blackberry was there with their proprietary hardware sporting their new OS developed by QNX. I sat through a demo and was quite impressed; they took multi-tasking to the next level. I’m not sure what level of consumer buy-in it will get due to Android and Apple owning that market, but I can see corporate buy-in being pretty high if it takes off. I’ve read numerous reviews focused on concerns of getting developers to readily make apps for it. We’ll soon see as this is slated for a Q1 launch.
As far as Android goes, pick any manufacturer. From Samsung to Creative Labs, it seemed everyone had an Android tablet to display, some with a specific purpose. For the most part, they showcase as bigger versions of an Android phone. But with future releases of the OS, they are slated to have more tablet specific functions. Due to the reach of all these manufacturers and price points, I expect a heavy adoption of the Android-based tablets.
Next to 3D TV, Internet connected TV is the next must-have in a family room near you. At this point, it’s just a matter of what it’s going to look like. And, even though Google TV has run into challenges of its own, that didn’t stop Sony or Logitech from having their Google TV appliances/hardware on display. Samsung on the other hand displayed their partnership with Yahoo and its version of an Internet connected TV. Their version seems to be more about getting as much information as possible on your TV, e.g., watching your favorite movie while having an ESPN ticker across the bottom of your screen. Your universal remote you ask? There’s an app for that: download an app to your Android-based phone and you can control your connected devices.
Better yet, satellite TV and cable TV providers are getting in on this game. Time Warner is the most ambitious. By replacing their cable box with just an Internet connection to the TV, they will be able to stream all the channels to your TV and allow for similar functionality that we’ve seen in Google TV already, difference being they’ll have network buy-in.
The next year or two will be telling. A phone just being a phone is no longer. With the right apps, you’ll be able to start your car, change the channel on your TV, send a Tweet, update your Facebook, and check-in to the local coffee shop. The same trend now seems to be happening to your TV – it just isn’t a TV anymore. As the capabilities of our phones, tablets, and TVs becomes more robust, what does the future hold for PCs at home? Quite some time ago there was MSN TV, but due to dial-up connections and it being such an earth shattering idea, it didn’t take off. Is 2011 the year that these devices cause the PC in the family room to become an icon of old technology?
Palio is a full-spectrum global pharmaceutical and consumer advertising, marketing, and communications agency that excels in brand creation and specializes in brand strategy, product launches, global marketing, and digital and integrated media.