Mobility, Connectivity Drive 2011 International CES
Where is Microsoft in all of this? It demonstrated Windows running on an ARM processor, and that’s a move in the right direction given its absence in cell phones and tablets. I would love to sit in on some of Microsoft’s planning meetings. While its designers try to come to a consensus, Apple and Android have already got an overwhelming lead. Maybe Microsoft has an opening to do something big with HP, which did not show a tablet or smart phone.
Consumer Stuff Like TV
The big news last year at CES was 3D TV. It was there again this year, but not as the main event. Probably the big news would be the glasses-less versions and some lower prices. Lack of content is still a problem, and I’m not sure the average consumer really doesn’t give a wit about seeing 3D movies.
It is a fascinating special effect and the technology is amazing, but it will probably go no further than a consumer niche. I suspect when the prices come down a bit more, it will really be popular with the gaming crowd. More and meaningful content is the answer to 3D. Nintendo is certainly a winner with its new 3DS handheld 3D games.
More in the background at CES but still visible was the trend to more and more Internet connectivity. The main target is to get every TV connected directly or via an external box, with lots of examples at the show. So-called Internet Protocol television (IPTV) has been with us for a while, but the action in this sector has really picked up over the last year or so with the huge increases in video downloading and streaming. Netflix, Hulu, and a bunch of others are making DVDs go away.
Mobile TV was on display, and that means it is alive and well. Yet there seems to be a lack of interest from the consumer. Maybe it is the content factor. More TV broadcast stations are adding mobile TV and even trying to offer customized content. That should help. However, what may make mobile over-the-air TV really succeed is the tablet with its larger screen.
But TV isn’t the only platform being connected to the Internet. More and more, we’re seeing general appliances and other products with built-in Internet connectivity. Machine-to-machine (M2M) modules are cheap and common, so it’s easier than ever to connect anything—remote, mobile, or otherwise—to the Internet via the wireless networks.
It is a good thing that IPv6 is finally being implemented, because as the cost of adding an Internet link to even the cheapest product keeps dropping, we may indeed make a dent in all of the 2128 available addresses that IPv6 provides—Internet wireless location-based and enabled golf balls, any one?
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