Connecting to Content
There was a lot of pessimism in the electronics industry just before this year’s Consumer Electronics Show. The abysmal economic news of late 2008 and the poor sales at electronics stores threatened to cast a dark shadow over the bright lights of Las Vegas. However, as Vegas prides itself as a place where anything can happen, CES proved that technology innovation hasn’t slowed down, and people have good reason to look forward to a 2009 filled with plenty of impressive new products designed to entertain and enhance people’s lives.
The biggest trend of the year was in connectivity. As U.S. broadband penetration rises, people search for more ways to take advantage of that large data pipe to the home. The trend was mostly readily seen in new connected televisions. The biggest new player in this growing space isn’t one TV manufacturer, set-top-box company or even a Hollywood studio. It’s Yahoo. Yahoo, along with partner Intel launched its Internet@TV service, a platform for running Web-enabled applications on an Internet-connected television.
The applications, called Widgets, can be brought up on screen via the TV remote and range from simple news/weather/stock information to photo sharing applications (Flickr is a Yahoo brand after all) to streaming videos and social networking tools. It uses the Yahoo Widget Engine, currently in use for PC Widgets, and is an open platform for developers.