Tuesday, January 12, 2010

CES 2010

Although my visit to CES Las Vegas 2010 was cancelled for reasons of austerity I can still post my assessment just as though I had been there. Such is the power of the interweb.

I was most impressed by ..

Google Nexus One Phone

It's so difficult to bad mouth Google. With an established arsenal of excellent products the Nexus One phone holds out the promise of a phone that's got the features of the Apple iPhone without the tyranical, closed source mother company (I am referring to Apple ).

The obvious gotcha for existing iPhone and iPod users is to allow the Nexus one to connect and sync with iTunes. Why? Because I still regard the Nano and Shuffle as leading class players that I will continue to use and I'd like to maintain a single music and Podcast collection, manged by iTunes. I wonder if something like DoubleTwist might make that possible.

Nexus One User Guide

Lenovo IdeaPad U1 Hybrid Detachable screen laptop

An innovative idea shown here in the form of a Netbook whose screen is a detachable tablet. Of course I'm yearning to find the muscular individual who has the strength to carry a cellphone, Netbook, tablet and notebook. And who have time enough to synchronise files between these devices and your office and home desktops.

If this idea was supported on a regular laptop then it could show some promise. If the detachable tablet had enough of an OS to support browsing and a SSD for shared data storage (with the notebook), then I might just take the tablet (and phone) on smaller trips and the combined laptop (and phone) on longer ones. But in that "I like to scroll" small screen Netbook format, well I'm not so sure.

Liquid Image Camera Goggles

Perfect for capturing those great jumps and low falls on the ski pistes. For those of you who do snap pictures and movies whilst out on the slopes, it's actually quite a good idea, not to mention a lot safer.

Shuttle J series Compact PCs

I'm a great supported of Shuttle computer which for years has provided powerful desktop computing in an affordable and importantly silent and compact form factor.

The latest high end Intel X58 and potentially liquid cooled gamer versions will improve on the already fine selection. The move to a standard Mini ITX motherboard format is welcomed, though in practice very few people will change theirs.

I think however, that if your requirements are short to medium term you might as well select the existing and available SX58H7 because the improvements are not significant enough.

Shuttle had an idea to create a notebook motherboard standard and offer it to OEMs at low volumes (sub 1000 units). Sure their mock ups were not perfect, but showing a bare motherboard would not have caught people imagination. Shuttle should be complimented on such a great idea.

Sync My Ride

For me barely a plus. Ford promises me the features pretty much already available on your existing Audi, Porsche or BMW. More playing catchup than a true leap forward. Their 3 killer apps are
  • Voice activation of your MP3 player
  • Bluetooth handsfree phone calling
  • Spoken Text messaging

Boxee Box

Now not just a software platform but in a Dlink cooperation with Boxee a hardware media centre style platform that will display Internet content (music, movies etc) onto your Television.

If you have to got this way around (i.e. PC and Internet content) to a Television set then this seems like one of the best ways forward. However I'd personally recommend the reverse .. Home/Lounge silent PC connected to a PC quality screen with an internal TV tuner. Somewhat more expensive though.

And the Not so great ..

3D Television

What a load of crap! A main event at CES this year, but personally as a minnow television and nano sports TV viewer, who gives a ****. I'm sure film studios everywhere are crying with the thoughts of the further technological challenges to shooting movies in 3D. 3D is for real life, at the movies or in home 2D is just fine for me.

We're not attending an event we can't control (allegedly), so no CES presence for us. Meanwhile we (Apple) did nothing to stop the improbable rumours of a 4G iPhone (4G as in 4th generation of iPhone not 4G telephony), or an Apple tablet.

Camera Rash

Feature innovation there might be, but hopefully people might begin to notice that Sensor size not pixel resolution and infeasible large feature set is the key to a good camera. By all means add in a GPS or touch screen as well, just so long as the quality of the photographs (governed by sensor size) are good. Remember it is a camera! It is for photographs.

e-Book readers

In the current marketplace vendors like Amazon and Barnes and Noble provide both the reader and the e-Books. The e-Books subsidise the reader to an extent. I can't imagine anybody really investing in this technology until we see what Apple has to say. With an Apple device people will buy the proposed hardware (since it will be more than an e-Book reader). So e-Book suppliers can then just sell publications at cost. The competition, well their probably won't be any. So no matter how inviting it might seem, do not jump in, not yet.

Wifi Power -
From Aiergy

Surely some kind of wind up? A company claims that you can derive meaningful power to charge up your portable device from Wi-Fi energy. Come on!

And: in the "What were they thinking" category

Celebrity Ware: e.g.
Beats by Dre headphones
Ed Hardy Blingware

Lady Gaga designed headphones
Probably what LG knows about the design of a good sounding headphone can be written on a headphone bud.

Samsungs transparent MP3 player and transparent laptop
When you really want to make sure that you have no personal privacy

Toshiba's ultra expensive Cell processor 3D TV
Not content with losing the BlueRay vs HD-DVD format wars Toshiba want to go it alone once more in the already doomed 3D TV maketplace. Implausibly this TV, price unknown, can render 2D into 3D. Hopefully it will be so expensive that they'll never have to produce and then sell one, and lose another format war.