Last week, four VMIXers attended the 2011 International CES conference in Las Vegas. This event can be more than overwhelming for anyone who attends—this year saw 2,700 technology companies exhibit, over 140,000 industry professionals attend, and an estimated 1.7 million business meetings set up over the course of the conference. We asked our team to distill the experience just a bit!
The Most Exciting Products
Android tablets seemed to dominate at CES, but with little product differentiation. Some were larger, some were smaller but nearly all were running older versions of Android.
VMIX Co-founder and CTO Greg Kostello: “One notable exception was the Motorola Xoom, running on the new Android 3.0 Honeycomb. This was, in my opinion, the first tablet that provided an experience that didn’t feel like an enlarged Smartphone.”
Greg noted that the Xoom UI has been reworked to make full use of the larger screen real estate, and that apps like Google Maps have been enhanced to take advantage of increased processing power.
“I only hope the battery life doesn’t suffer—one of the great features about the iPad is its battery life, and there is nothing like going on a long plane ride and being able to really use your tablet for the duration of the trip. I look forward to getting my hands one of the new Android tablets to test it in real-world conditions.”
Another device our VP of Marketing Bill Curci liked was the Motorola Atrix, which he saw as an early shot at making a user’s mobile phone double as their primary computer.
“How long have we wanted a Smartphone you can just hook onto a monitor and keyboard, and replace clunky laptops and desktops. We all want just that one device that does … well, most things. With the Atrix, it looks like we’re getting closer. I look forward to seeing where this technology goes in the next year.”
Bill also pointed to the buzz around smart TVs. “Panasonic, Samsung, Sony and LG are working hard to help us dump our cable boxes. They’re bringing your world and all of your connections into your living room, with media sharing, following your friends’ viewing preferences, and live video streaming on your TV.”
The Biggest Surprises
“Truly? The biggest surprise to me was that there is still so much emphasis on 3D.” This from VMIX Co-founder and Technical Product Manager Ian Miller. “There were a couple of improvements, but it’s easily another two to three years before we have a real, glasses-free 3D experience available to consumers. And so I was surprised to see so many companies doubling-down on their 3D offerings at CES when the media and consumers audibly yawned at the 3D push last year.
“I was also interested to see a number of online companies—Woot!, Alibaba, Skype and others—hosting their own booths, as well as the star power present, like Lady Gaga, actively promoting a line of products for Polaroid.”
Bill Curci agrees that there was a lot of emphasis on 3D but was pleased to see the progress made in 3D gaming, with systems like NVIDIA’s 3D VISION PCs, a wholly interactive and very natural fit for the technology.
The Most Important Take Away for Video
What’s in it for video vendors, video publishers, video users? It’s easy to get caught up in the flash of new devices. That’s what the Consumer Electronics Show is all about!
But what our team settled on as the single key take-home from CES 2011, was the absolute certainty—just in case there was any doubt before—that video will permeate every aspect of our lives in years to come.
From live video chat on your Smartphone to virtual video training embedded on machinery on the factory floor to viewing your favorite video recipes, stored online, on a small display above your kitchen range.
VP of Product at VMIX Wayne Kao: “Video will be everywhere, especially when it comes to personal video. What the prevalence and growth of personal technology is telling us, is that the necessity for personal storage, for different kinds of sharing, viewing and playback anywhere and on any device, can only grow. And that we must position ourselves to enable and sustain that growth.”