Mobile, Tablets and the Cloud to Dominate CES

3DTV and connected TVs have been all the rage the past couple of years at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), but so far there's been little hype surrounding those topics leading up to the latest show, held Jan. 10 to 13 in Las Vegas. Instead, everyone seems to be talking about mobile. "Mobile and portable connected devices are driving growth in the CE industry and will be a major focus of the 2012 CES," said Karen Chupka, SVP of events and conferences for the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). "The 2012 CES is the best place to see all the latest tablets and smartphones that bring broadband capability to wireless devices that fit the way consumers work, live and play." CEA research has tablet computer growth at nearly 160% for 2011, with more than 26.5 million units shipped, producing $14 billion in revenue. Smartphone sales are expected to grow 45% by the time the year's finished, producing $23 billion in revenue. CES's Access on the Go TechZone will highlight devices that deliver on-the-go content, including movies, TV and music, and basically every major smartphone company, other than Apple, will be on hand. Digital Hollywood will run a two-day Smartphone and Tablet Conference with several panels Jan. 9 and 10.

LG unveils new 3D glasses, hopes lighter and better looking spectacles drive adoption

LG's FPR 3DTVs already featured lighter, cheaper passive 3D glasses than their active shutter competition, but next year the company will push its advantage even further with these new models. The three options available include the F310 which it says weighs 20 percent less than last year's default and are curved more for a better fit, the F320 clip-on design for glasses-wearers and Alain Mikli-designed (the guy who made Kanye's shutter shades, among other high-end eyeglasses) F360 half-rim frames. It also rolled out a press release trumpeting new Smart TV features for 2012, but beyond the updated remote and confirmation of Intel WiDi integration, it's pretty short on details.

STREAM TV NETWORKS, INC. PREPARES TO LAUNCH GROUNDBREAKING 3D WITHOUT GLASSES PRODUCT LINE AT CES 2012

Stream TV Networks, Inc. announced today that it will unveil its new Ultra-D technology at CES 2012. Ultra-D is a next generation 3D without glasses display technology that surpasses all 3D viewing experiences offered to date. Developed by Stream TV Networks, Inc., the producer of the eLocity brand of mobile tablets launched first in 2010, the Ultra-D technology is strictly proprietary and leverages custom hardware, middleware techniques and software algorithms to create unprecedentedautostereoscopic 3D imagery. This technology will provide consumers with access tounlimited 3D content by enabling real-time conversion of: 2D content into 3D autostereoscopic (without glasses) 3D stereoscopic content (with glasses) to 3D autostereoscopic (without glasses) The Ultra-D technology thus supports the immediate adoption of 3D consumer hardware despite limited availability of 3D content. Real-time conversion of 2D to 3D and 3D with glasses to 3D without glasses works seamlessly with various content formats including Blu-ray, DVD, PC gaming, Internet, cable and satellite content.

LG'S NEW MAGIC REMOTE ADDS INNOVATIVE FUNCTIONS TO ENHANCE CINEMA 3D SMART TV EXPERIENCE

LG Electronics (LG) unveiled a new remote control for its CINEMA 3D Smart TVs, the Magic Remote. The new remote control maximizes user convenience with a new set of additional functions, namely Voice Recognition, Wheel, Magic Gesture and Pointing. 
The Magic Remote’s most obvious difference with conventional remote controls is that push-buttons constitute merely one dimension of the intuitive user experience. By implementing voice recognition technology into Magic Remote, users can enter text –- such as search terms -– with voice commands, speeding up the overall Smart TV browsing experience.

 

signagelive to introduce DOOH Loo at ISE 2012

At the upcoming ISE2012, signagelive will be showing its full range of products and services with live demos and examples of real-life applications. According to the company, the cloud-based digital signage software platform provides a simple and straightforward solution for public displays.  Visitors will be able to see for the first time the signagelive powered DOOH Loo. The waterless urinals from Urimat, to be launched in 2012, feature a 7-inch IAdea device with all the content and scheduling handled by signagelive software. The company will also showcase the Intel AIM suite — a facial recognition software integrated with signagelive for gender and age-based advertising. With an Internet browser and fixed or mobile Internet connection, installers and clients using signagelive.can manage and update any device with a screen from a mobile phones and tablets to LCD displays and video walls, the company said.

Apple Plots Its TV Assault

Apple Inc. is moving forward with its assault on television, following up on the ambitions of its late co-founder, Steve Jobs. In recent weeks, Apple executives have discussed their vision for the future of TV with media executives at several large companies, according to people familiar with the matter. Apple is also working on its own television that relies on wireless streaming technology to access shows, movies and other content, according to people briefed on the project. In the recent meetings with media companies, the Apple executives, including Senior Vice President Eddy Cue, have outlined new ways Apple's technology could recognize users across phones, tablets and TVs, people familiar with the talks said.

Smart TVs Outpace 3D TVs This Holiday Season

One in five U.S. broadband households intends to purchase a new flat-panel TV before the end of 2011, making it the most popular CE product this holiday season, according to new consumer research from Parks Associates. Among households intending to purchase a flat-panel TV, 73% plan to select a set with advanced features such as 3D capabilities or built-in Internet connectivity, but the demand for smart TVs (sets that connect to the Internet) is nearly twice the demand for 3D TVs. "Smart TVs are now pushing into the mainstream, whereas previously smart-TV buyers were largely early adopters and those from high-income households," said Kurt Scherf, VP, principal analyst, Parks Associates. "The combination of a maturing product ecosystem with great holiday deals is putting smart TVs within the reach of the American middle class."

LG, Intel Team On WiDi-Enabled TVs

LG Electronics (LG) said Thursday it has entered a strategic alliance with Intel to use the chip-makers' wireless digital video over Wi-Fi (called WiDi) technology in next year's Cinema 3D Smart TVs. The agreement makes LG's TVs the first to feature the WiDi system, LG said. WiDi was developed by Intel to stream video content from an Intel-based laptop, notebook or other external mobile device to a TV, projector or display monitor. Currently, the system requires a receiver box or dongle be connected to a TV's video input, but the agreement would enable the system to be built into LG's Cinema 3D sets. The WiDi system uses point-to-point connectivity and features a wireless interface for instant viewing of content on the wirelessly connected display. "Through this strategic alliance, Cinema3D Smart TV users will be able to access a wider variety of content in a more convenient manner," said Seog-ho Ro, LG Home Entertainment TV Business Unit senior VP. "Intel WiDi will be one of several features that will enhance the user convenience of our Cinema 3D Smart TVs, further differentiating our products from the competition."

CEDIA Unveils Findings from New Market Research Report

The Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association (CEDIA) has released findings from the new CEDIA market research report, Size and Scope of the Residential Electronic Systems Market in the US in 2011©. Findings indicate that the industry is optimistic about the future.
The report features data on the characteristics of companies working within the residential electronics systems industry in the U.S. The report is an expansion of CEDIA’s research offerings, which are designed to provide CEDIA members and other key stakeholders with market data that will enable them to make better business decisions and identify new opportunities. CEDIA’s Size and Scope of the Residential Electronic Systems Market in the US in 2011© report offers details on the state of the industry as well as current opportunities and threats. The findings of the study indicate that there are 20,000 to 22,500 companies in the US that are installing CEDIA portfolio products in residential environments.
 

Study: Costly electronics product returns on the rise

Consumers are returning lots of electronics products, and it's costing the U.S. consumer electronics industry a bundle, says a study by Accenture. According to the management consulting firm, product returns cost U.S. consumer electronics retailers and manufacturers nearly $17 billion this year, an increase of 21% since 2007. Included in the $17 billion are costs associated with "receiving, assessing, repairing, reboxing, restocking and reselling returned products," Accenture reports. Product return rates over the past three to five years have increased for 57% of the retailers and 43% of the manufacturers surveyed by Accenture. If there's any positive news for the industry, it's that just 5% of returns are related to actual product defects, Accenture says. Indeed, 27% of returns reflect "buyer's remorse" and 68% of returns are characterized as "No Trouble Found." Accenture calculates that just a 1% reduction in the number of "No Trouble Found" cases could save a typical large manufacturer about $21 million in return and repair costs or $16 million for an average consumer electronics retailer.

Bass Pro Shops Selects Digital Signage Partner

DMX, Inc. and its digital signage partner, 11Giraffes, were selected by Bass Pro Shops to launch its new digital signage program throughout the United States and Canada. Offered under the DMX®MARQUEE brand, Bass Pro Shops is now displaying multiple screens per store in the Fishing, Hunting and Marine departments. "We are excited to announce that Bass Pro Shops, the nation's leading retailer of outdoor gear, has selected our DMX®MARQUEE product to provide customers with a digital signage experience. DMX®MARQUEE, along with the current music and messaging services DMX provides to Bass Pro Shops, gives their customers a superior branded experience. Our partnership with 11Giraffes, which launched in January of this year, has been a truly exceptional example of our two companies bringing an excellent product to the marketplace," said John Cullen, CEO of DMX. Bass Pro Shops, known as The World\'s Greatest Outdoor Store, serves millions of people each year who pass through their doors seeking to satisfy their outdoor passions. The DMX®MARQUEE digital signage product will provide Bass Pro Shops with an outstanding tool with the flexibility for control at both the corporate and local levels - promoting their highly regarded brand, unsurpassed product line, and providing their customers with the information and knowledge they seek.

Forget 3D, here comes the QD TV

Researchers have developed a new form of light-emitting crystals, known as quantum dots, which can be used to produce ultra-thin televisions. The tiny crystals, which are 100,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair, can be printed onto flexible plastic sheets to produce a paper-thin display that can be easily carried around, or even onto wallpaper to create giant room-size screens. The scientists hope the first quantum dot televisions - like current flat-screen TVs, but with improved colour and thinner displays - will be available in shops by the end of next year. A flexible version is expected to take at least three years to reach the market.

Apple's 'hobby' could own 1/3 of streaming set-top market in 2011

By the end of this year, the streaming set-top box market will reach about 12 million units worldwide, according to a survey published Monday. And the company known mainly for phones, tablets and computers is set to own a third of that, according to Strategy Analytics. It says Apple's small $99 streaming Apple TV is on pace to hit 4 million units by the end of this year. For perspective, four million devices is what the iPhone 4S sold in a weekend. But Apple's somehow managed to reach this number in Apple TV without really trying. And by "trying" I mean doing things like running TV and billboard advertisements or making it the centerpiece of press events. Apple has for years since its introduction excused Apple TV as merely "a hobby." And while it's played with the concept and design and the price, doesn't talk much about it or how many it's sold. Breaking with tradition, Steve Jobs did say in October 2010 that after a month on sale, the new $99 Apple TV had sold 250,00 units.

Panasonic Announces Availability of LF30 Series of Professional LCD Displays for Digital Signage

Panasonic announced the availability of the LF30 Series of Professional LCD Displays. The LF30 Series was designed to serve as a reliable indoor digital signage solution distinguished by high brightness, slim design, fanless design, low power consumption, light weight and a wide range of professional features. The displays are built specifically for digital signage and are ideal for environments such as airports, showrooms, shopping malls, hotels/casinos, financial institutions and hospitals. The LF30 Series features Slot 2.0 architectures which accommodates optional boards, expanding application possibilities. The technology allows users to easily mount and swap optional function boards to suit specific applications. The Slot 2.0 architecture also allows for a variety of input terminals, including DVI-D In/Out and RS-232C In/Out, for connection of up to 100 displays in a daisy chain configuration for greater operating efficiency.

Google TV: how soon will it be on your set?

Google chairman Eric Schmidt's claim that half of TV sets in stores next year will have Google TV capability sounds impressive – but how quickly does that mean it will reach everybody? Eric Schmidt, previously Google's chief executive and now chairman, forecast at the Le Web conference in Paris on Wednesday that "by the summer of 2012, the majority of the televisions you see in stores will have Google TV embedded on it". That's because he sees the "smart TV" sector exploding – with companies that make TVs wanting to build in internet connectivity and processing capacity. He didn't specify which companies will be selling sets with that capacity, but Samsung and Sony have already been offering "smart TV" sets for more than a year.

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Automation & Control - Featured Product

Light sockets; Not just for lights anymore

Light sockets; Not just for lights anymore

Smart Bulbs are out there and they can do far more then just provide light. Speakers, projectors, wi-fi extenders and more. The standard light socket that is wired up and ready to go in nearly every home in North America is now providing an easy and affordable option for home owners and renters alike to enter into the world of the "Smart Home". Here is a look at some of the Smart Bulbs and Smart Lighting options out there, and this list is just the beginning. In this ongoing article we hope to continue to add to and grow this list, so stay tuned!