CES Demonstrates Web’s Ever-Widening Boundaries
As the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas showcases this year’s must-have gadgets, New Media Knowledge’s Chris Lee takes a closer look at the latest technology on show.
The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas is a traditional show case for new and emerging technologies and gadgets. This year saw Microsoft demonstrate its new ‘slate’ PC, which it developed with HP, while Google was keen to talk about its Nexus One phone.
Other technologies on display included artificial intelligence, virtual and mobile technology, entertainment and gaming.
Web on the Box
Yahoo announced a host of new partners for its Connected TV project, which aims to provide Internet service to televisions, as well as helping programmers build apps for Internet-connected TVs.
For Andrew Lim, editor of mobile reviews site Recombu, the increased accessibility of the Internet through applications and hardware will be one of the defining developments of this year.
“An example of this progression towards a more Web-friendly environment is a Panasonic TV with a built-in video camera allows you to make Skype video calls,” Lim told NMK. “It's about giving consumers better access to existing services, which is why we're also seeing a lot of large screen tablet-style devices. Tablets offer a portable web experience without the bulk associated with laptops and many of them feature 3G, which means you can use them wherever you go.”
Further expanding the boundaries of social media is car manufacturer Ford. The company chose CES to showcase its Sync MyTouch in-car Internet system, which includes a pair of touch screen computers situated on the dashboard for passengers – and drivers – to access the Web via WiFi or 3G mobile connection while on the move. The system is touch or voice-activated and the company said it would be useful for navigation and local search.
Quoted in The Guardian, Ford CEO Alan Mulally said: "We are actually now bringing the Internet to the car," he said. "We're going to bring all the applications you can get on mobile phones today, we'll bring in the car - absolutely hands-free, voice activated, and focused on the road – but you can get access to all your cool stuff."
The Simple Things in Life
According to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), CES 2010 also demonstrated that once-complex technology was becoming simpler to operate.
"In the last 10 years, consumer electronics devices have become feature-rich, while also becoming more affordable," said IEEE Fellow, Stuart Lipoff.
"We're now seeing an emphasis placed on improving the user experience despite adding more and more features. Technologies such as artificial intelligence and voice recognition will make it possible to make the complexities of the device invisible and easy to use,” he concluded.