TechPublishing Now MS Certified

TechPublishing Now MS Certified
Professor Robert McMillen, MBA Microsoft Certified Trainer and Solutions Expert

Saturday, April 7, 2012

New Consumer Electronics for 2010

New Consumer Electronics for 2010

By Robert McMillen, Koin’s Tech Guru
Many questions have come my way via email about CES. Everyone wants to know what hot new consumer electronics debuted at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last week. Here is a rundown of what I see as the most promising. Now I could go for the unusual, or the extremely innovative, but many times those don’t sell well. Many electronics companies make products that people just aren’t ready for. Remember Apple’s Newton? It was the right idea, but the wrong time. Because of that, there was poor execution and Steve Jobs temporarily lost his job.
Every year there are dozens of gizmos just like that, although not as famously bad. I had a Newton for a couple of weeks. Someone wanted one badly and I sold it for a small profit before it turned into a door stop. Of course now they sell for as much as $350 used on EBay.
So here are the top contenders for new products this year:
The most talked about product was a phone. It wasn’t the iPhone or the Droid, but it was the Google Nexus One. The reviews are in and if you like a heavy, chunky phone that is tightly controlled by Google technology, then you are in luck. Google decided to hire HTC to make it for them, and these guys make sturdy phones. It’s very similar to the Droid but it’s getting better reviews, mainly because of the better graphics. Yes, you can watch movies in HD on this phone. Just keep it near an AC outlet because that battery won’t last. 
If you’re a new T-Mobile customer, you’ll get it for $179 with a two year agreement. If you’re an existing customer it will cost a lot more. I never understood the reasoning of cell phone company executives.  I think they’re either failed lawyers or wannabe comedians.
This next one is a shocker. I didn’t think the public would be ready for it, but 3D TVs are here. Every major manufacturer including Samsung Group, Panasonic Corp., Sony Corp., LG Group, and Mitsubishi Electric Corp. are making them. Of the 37 million TVs expected to be sold this year, a whopping four million of them will be 3D according to the Consumer Electronics Group. It is generally believed that Avatar was the main movie that will cause the rush to 3D. These types of TVs will cost more, but not for long once mass production kicks in. Most 3D viewing will be on Blu Ray players since almost no one is broadcasting 3D programs as of yet. Expect to see a big jump in this type of broadcasting toward the end of this year.
I can’t wait to see Sussman present the weather in 3D.  I expect the police will be getting a lot of 911 calls as viewers mistakenly think he’s actually in their homes.
There’s a new company called Oregan Networks. No, it’s not Oregon. I had to re-read that a couple of times myself. They’re an Asian company that makes widgets, or small applications, that will soon be available for your TV. With Oregan you will be able to turn your TV into a type of iPhone. There will be games, but also a host of useful applications that may tie into other devices in your home, or give you useful information about your community. You’ll have to have an internet connected TV to make it work, but most TVs sold the latter half of this year will have that feature.
Apple’s tablet computer is coming, and although I expect it to be a big hit, there were lots of companies that tried to jump the gun with their own tablets. However, they’re not all that innovative, and the way the news has been reporting it you would think that a tablet computer is a new thing. In reality we have had them for years, but they weren’t that exciting. The Apple tablet has the potential of reinventing the tablet industry, and in fact it already has without even delivering one yet. All a tablet does is allow you to interact with the computer screen by making it touch or heat sensitive. This way you no longer need a mouse or even a keyboard if you can type on the software generated one.
The excitement comes where you have the iPhone-like interface attached to a tablet. The Apple tablet will also allow you to download apps and music from Apple which makes it even more exciting. I see this as a big hit, and although there will be lots of imitators, it will take someone as big as Google or Microsoft to bring on any serious competition.
Microsoft did reveal their tablet at CES this week, but everyone is waiting on Apple to decide which one they like better. I think most everyone who ran out and bought a netbook will drop it like a rock and buy a tablet. Although these are the same people who spent $1,000 on VCRs and microwaves in the early 1980’s.
E-readers are the last of the major innovations I see for this year. Of course I see many brands from Sony to Barnes and Noble and others, but the winner this year is definitely Amazon with their Kindle. Even if it’s not the most innovative device out there, it has a few things going for it. Amazon made enough supply to meet the demand, something no one else did, and Amazon is a powerhouse company for selling the printed word. It apparently no longer matters that the word can be printed on paper or with e-ink.  Amazon sold more electronic books last Christmas than printed books. That tells me they are finally here to stay.
For great tips, check back here each week and listen to me on the All Tech Radio show at
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If you would like your technical question answered here, just email rmcmillen@koin.com. Even if it doesn’t get answered in the column, I will always answer by email.



Published Monday, January 11, 2010 11:39 AM by Katatkoin