When Innovations Collide
With a few exceptions, advancements in technology are evolutionary. Most come in pieces and blocks that eventually fit together to form logical, practical solutions that make sense to a variety of end users.
A few of those pieces were on display at CES. Taken as a whole—and combined with future products and technologies—they represent the future of computing and mobile entertainment. These are the types of things that retailers, as they transition from being A/V specialists to the trusted home and small business technology advisors, should keep their eyes on.
The first was during Samsung’s press conference when Doug Albregts, vice president of sales and marketing, IT division, showed off the Central Station ultra-thin monitors. Central Station is essentially an IT hub built into the base of the monitor that can automatically connect a notebook and its peripherals to a screen and the network when the notebook is placed within one meter of the hub. A similar technology is used in Samsung’s “One Foot” connection (found in the company’s higher-end TVs, some Blu-ray players and the CY-SWR1100 wireless router), which automatically connects devices to the network when they come within one foot of the base unit.
The selling points are seamless connectivity and device discovery. As the general technology evolves, we’ll eventually be able to place almost any device, such as a smartphone, tablet, camcorder, portable hard drive, etc. next to a display, projector or gaming console, and they’ll automatically connect. That type of seamless connectivity will become more important as portable computing, entertainment and communication devices become smaller and more powerful.
A great example of such a product is Motorola’s Atrix 4G smartphone, shown as a prototype at CES and due this spring from AT&T. The Atrix runs the Android OS on a dual core processor and features 1GB of RAM and up to 48GB of storage (16GB internal and an optional 32GB MicroSD card). Motorola’s web-top application runs a full Mozilla Firefox 3.6 browser and supports Adobe Flash. Those features combine to make Atrix one of the most powerful smartphones on the market.