January 25th, 2012

Consumer Electronics Show 2012

It is now a week after the close of the CES chow in Las Vegas, that annual gathering of the electronics and computer industry to show the newest “stuff” in their arsenal. This year, it was joined by the Photographic industry officially with the participation of the Photographic Marketing Association, PMA.

The problem with this show is the hype. As if Vegas wasn’t enough, you have to wade through thousands of booths each touting the latest in bells, whistles and shining lights. After you get through the rap stars, country and western singers on stage, you need serious decompression time figure out what are the likely trends for 2012.

Now that my eyeballs have recovered from the bright lights and fancy hype, here is my modest list of what I consider the real deals.

  1. Windows 8. This was truly ho-hum at the show, unless you took the time to watch and experience the demos at the Microsoft booth. Microsoft would not announce a launch date, but I have already told my buyers they are not allowed to take time off during a certain month in 2012. This newest edition of Windows is a huge departure from what you and I both know as Windows. The interface has changed. Applications are grouped together for better and easier access. For a change, Microsoft paid a lot of attention of how people work, play and use their computers. This Operating System is built for users, not programmers. It is also optimized for touch, which means it will provide a common interface to phones, tablets, notebooks and desktop computers.
  2. Research in Motion demo’d their Playbook 2.0 Operating System. No one will argue that RIM launched the Playbook before it was ready, but with 2.0, it is ready. The unified inbox is astounding. It groups all social media and email communications into one application. Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, Email are all there in one application. No more flipping, flopping, closing, opening applications. The ability to use your Blackberry as either a touchpad or keyboard is also new and great for users. That’s just for starters. Check out the calendar. As your day gets busier, the calendar for that day grow larger and the typeface changes. Easy and elegant organizational tool.
  3. Enough of Operating Systems already. People are falling asleep. How about LED DLP projectors? Don’t know what they are? Well, they are about the size of a John Grisham paperback and probably a bit lighter. Unlike the earlier pico-projectors, which seriously suck, these throw a decent image onto a projection screen or white wall. Easy to carry around, it is great as carry-on luggage. No, it will not replace a full sized projector, but you can fire the Sherpa guide you have been hiring to carry your luggage when you travel to do presentations.
  4. Ultrabook. Let me repeat that: ULTRABOOK. This will be the tiniest humongous hit of 2012. It is a notebook computer that starts up in 20 seconds or less, weighs less than 3 pounds, slimmer than a few tablets and uses fully functioning Windows along with the bajillion applications for Windows. Yes, it is a full function, powerhouse of a computer. There will be a variety of Intel processors represented in this category. Samsung, Hewlett Packard, Asus and more brands will have their own interpretation of this form factor.

Enough for today. More later.

Written by Cedric Tetzel

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