Archive for ‘CEATEC’

December 30, 2011

Back to the Future–Predictions for 2012 in Tech

by Auri Rahimzadeh

A couple more days and it’ll be 2012. What a year! Let’s take a look at some new tech happenings from this year that got us pretty excited, and bummed, too:

  • Microsoft’s overall software reputation appears to be a lot better this year, with huge adoptions numbers for Windows 7… congrats on a great product, guys!
  • Windows Phone Mango (hey-oh! they shipped a great product, but it needs some company love!)
  • Android Ice Cream Sandwich (and the laughs that it was [legitimately] only on one phone!)
  • Plasma finally went on clearance, and good riddance (Sasha’s gonna kill for me this one)
  • iPads as laptop replacements (only to be carried around with keyboard cases)
  • AMD Fusion APUs (finally, low power processors that don’t suck)
  • *Still* no good office applications for Android
  • Large HDTVs are finally affordable *and* green
  • R.I.P. Steve Jobs – we will miss you

And here’s what will probably be declared dead in 2012, or so I hope:

  • Standalone portable game systems – who needs ‘em now that even media players run Android, have dual core processors, and play games from the Market?
  • Blu-ray 3D
  • Non-glasses-less 3D in the home
  • Non-LED backlit displays
  • Windows XP
  • IE 6, finally (although they’ll probably stick with IE8 and up)
  • Windows CE-based handhelds
  • ThunderBolt®/LightSpeed® ports on average consumer computers, with USB 3.0 being used instead
  • Google+ – does anybody use it?
  • Any iPod with a capacity under 32 GB

Things I’m looking forward to, or hoping are created this year:

  • Our 10th year in business – YES!
  • Windows 8, especially how it will run on ARM
  • Better Windows Phone advertising by Microsoft
  • Lots of interesting new things out of MS, now that their DOJ shackles are off
  • Windows Live Mesh integration in Windows 8, and a backup plan for using Live Mesh to auto-backup important files to the cloud, for free
  • CES 2012 (Vegas)
  • CEATEC 2012 (Japan)
  • Sprint’s Wi-Max based 4G, and a class action lawsuit for all those who paid the $10/month surcharge for a service Sprint didn’t offer in their area (ahem)
  • An Android interface building kit from Google that doesn’t’ stink, and helps you create great looking apps
  • A web service connectivity API for Android that doesn’t stink, either
  • A free utility to convert Flash to Android / iOS / Windows Phone apps, or at least get you a good way there
  • A free utility to convert Silverlight or Flash to HTML 5-based apps (I think Adobe’s working on this already, and Microsoft might beat them to it)
  • XCode for Windows (and I wonder if it won’t work on Windows8 when that’s released)
  • Superbowl 2012 in Indianapolis! w00t!

If I’m wrong about any of this, we may not be around to complain, since the world is apparently going to end before Christmas next year. Get your complaints in now!

My friend Andy Marken also has a great write-up about 2011 and 2012, which you can read here

October 4, 2011

Reporter’s Notebook: CEATEC 2011, Day 1

As part of the CEATEC Innovation Awards panel, we were treated to an advance tour of the show’s exhibits. Below are photos and descriptions of what awaits us on the show floor, a small fraction of which is shown in the following photo.

DSC00209

This year, the Innovation Awards are even more prominent. Pretty cool being with so many cool folks and reviewing and judging tech together.

DSC00205

MeoTune

Taxan was showing the MeoTune, a terrestrial (over-the-air) television re-transmitter. The device takes a television signal and re-broadcasts it over WiFi so one can watch TV on any Android or iOS device via the MeoTV app. Oddly enough, the MeoTune only transmits via 802.11b/g, not 802.11n. Of course, only 1SEG television is supported at this time, so US consumers are out of luck at this time. They plan on bringing an ATSC (US of A) version to market, but I haven’t yet received the timeline. The device requires no batteries and charges via USB.

The beauty of this device is you can put it anywhere in your home – in ideal areas for television reception – and then watch your television anywhere. This is a boon for those who don’t have their television in the most “reception-friendly” area of the home.

DSC00200

Alps – Touchpads Everywhere!

Alps was displaying two-point multi-touch capacitive drawing pads for the XBox 360 and Playstation 3, as well as touchpads for car steering wheels. They suggest touchpads are safer and more convenient than separate buttons on the car steering wheel, using the technology to swipe around to change radio channels, volume, navigation controls, and so forth. If you don’t know who Alps is, or their Cirque division, chances are you use their product in your laptop – they practically own the touchpad market.

P.S. It will be interesting to see how the XBox 360 + Windows Phone + Windows 8 products use multitouch, such as common gestures across the Windows platform.

DSC00198

NTT DoCoMo & KDDI – Keeping You Healthy

NTT DoCoMo had a number of projects still in research mode, teaming sensors with Android apps, sensing everything from halitosis (bad breath) to handheld radiation detectors to measuring a person’s fat burning status just by measuring breath acetone levels.

DSC00176

DSC00173

DSC00172

P.S. There are a lot of Android apps in the booths and I’m not seeing an iOS push. Of course, it’s only Day 1, and I haven’t toured the entire floor. I wonder if that’s really the case…

KDDI showcased a new method of audio transmission in a phone. No speaker is apparent. Instead, similar to how the JawBone headset works, vibrations are sent through the phone which vibrate your ear canal. Nobody can hear your conversation except you – a blessing for privacy, and peace of mind for those around “that guy with the loud phone”. KDDI pinky swears it’s safe.

DSC00187

DSC00186

DSC00185 

An NTT DoCoMo research project on display ran an Android app with image recognition (care of the Intel Open Vision library) for food health analysis. Take a photo of a dish and the app will [attempt to] determine the total number of calories in the meal you are about to [hopefully] enjoy.

DSC00170

DSC00168

If you haven’t figured it out by now, many Japanese phone manufacturers are working to provide health management solutions in handsets. This has not quite made its way to our shores, although Lord knows it should.

In a foreign country and can’t read the menu? Just take out your [NTT DoCoMo] phone, hold it over the menu, and voila!

DSC00161

DSC00160

None of these Android apps or their associated attachments are shipping as of yet. Bumr!

Also on display was a slick battery system that charges up an auxiliary battery case in 10 minutes, which the phone can comfortably slide into and charge from post-case-charge. NTT wouldn’t confirm the battery manufacturer, but my guess is Toshiba, who has shown similar tech in the past, yet none that had been integrated into an actual product.

DSC00184

DSC00183

And of course there were all matter of quirky things, as always:

DSC00201

Nobody knew what these little critters were, but everyone for sure wanted a New York Salad!

DSC00199

What?!!!???!

DSC00191

This way cool shirt could hold a 7” tablet with no problems. Nice!

Oh, and if you never thought omelets were beautiful:

Omelet Chef at the Hotel New Otani Makuhari, Chiba, Japan