Tuesday, January 17, 2012

“Miracles” In The Sin City (Part II)

The last time I was in Las Vegas was six months ago when the Maynigo-Gal-lang clan had a family reunion.  Fr. Victor Arenas Maynigo, a first cousin Catholic priest of 42 years led the festivities symbolizing that the city was not necessarily a site just for the “sinner”. The presence of babies, children, and the elderly still looking young was a reminder of a miracle usually taken for granted – the “Miracle of Life”.

Although brought about by finite human beings in their not so “creative” ways, this miracle continues to be attributed and credited to some Infinite and Supreme Being by many.  But DNA technology has scientifically shown the sources, lineage and cause for being of the unique individual. At least we can claim to be principal material witnesses if not Principals by Direct Participation.

Now I am here again in Las Vegas attending,  as I have for several years, the International Consumer Electronics Show.  As I described in a previous column, I have been a living witness to many of the “miracles” in these modern times. They come in the form of new inventions, products and technologies that were all products of one’s imagination, then innovation, and finally, creation.

CES is indeed a show FOR the consumer, OF the consumer and BY the consumer. The digitization or “electronification” of many aspects of the life of the consumer always becomes the focus of the show.

New products are launched to satisfy the senses of the consumer.

Sound technologies come in the form of incredibly nice-sounding music players, speakers and earphones.  Listening to music or your voice played in a special device that includes smartphones or other players; projected on a special speaker delivered by wire or wireless; or heard from another special earphone/ear buds; and mixed by a special software application is just unbelievable.

Of course, the text to speech technologies are found in all e-readers and now great improvements in voice recognition applications have equally penetrated the communications, sensor, mobile and multi-media devices.  Just say it and the device will do it.

Vision technologies are even more pronounced. The advances in television, video, and camera (still and motion) technologies engineered and designed to portray beauty or otherwise, in color and/or pixel-measured formats in rapid or slow motion are all on display in the show.  “Super”, “Ultimate” and “Smart”, OLED, Flat and Thin/Light TV sets, screens and monitors with exceptional multi-media, gaming and communications capabilities in HD or 3D formats “miraculously” abound.

Touch has become a sense to reckon with. Using a mouse or a keyboard to create contents or to institute changes are no longer enough. One has to use the sense of touch either independently, complimentary or supplementary to accomplish a more
satisfying content development or to be just plain “contented”.

Now, with these new “miracles” and counting, when the consumer wants something done, he can type it, mouse it, touch it, say it, and even in some cases, gesture or signal it.  As my barber said in Taglish, “Pag ganyan ang situation, ang consumer mahirap maconsumi.” (In situations like that, it would be hard for the consumer to be frustrated.)

How would the consumer be driven in 2012?

As described by Mr. Shawn Dubravac in his “2012 CES Trends to Watch” presentation, in 2011 we saw a battle of the Portable versus the Pocketable; The Intelligence of Things; “Sensor’ization of Consumer Tech and the transition from Amplification to ‘App’lification.

For 2012, Dubravac says that the “Hottest” trends based on the new products unveiled, some of which I already saw, are: Wireless & Wireless Devices (60%); Lifestyle Electronics (36%); Internet-based Multimedia Services (31%); Connected Home (about 30%); Computer Hardware & Software (29%); Entertainment/Content (28%); Emerging Technology (27.5%); Electronic Gaming  (27%); Video (27%).

The CES Buyers say that the “Hot” ones at the 2012 CES are: Apps (for mobile devices), 90%; Tablets, 90%; Devices for streamed content, 82%; Internet-enabled TVs, 81%; Devices designed to enable sharing content, 74%; Cloud computing, 73%; Smart appliances, 71%; NFC, 69%; Home automation, 68%; Personal cloud, 66%; Electrical vehicles, 62%; Programs designed to personalize content, 61%; Health related technologies, 60%; 3DTV, 57%; eReaders, 45%;  Netbooks, 38%.

It would be the year of Superphones with the Windows Phone, quad-core and 4G (LTE) championed by NVDIA, Qualcomm, Samsung and HTC. The next BIG drive in computing according to Dubravac is interconnectivity. He says, “As technology becomes more omnipresent and ubiquitous, the evolutionary pressures push yesterday’s innovation to the background – providing room for an increasingly natural interaction.” This makes 2012 as also the Year of the Interface.

 This is not only an industry and show OF and FOR the consumer; it is also BY the consumer. That’s why “Device use-case scenarios are increasingly defined by the end-user and OEMs are supporting this by delivering increasingly customizable hardware and services.”

Mostly the consumers themselves have developed software applications and contents.

The consumers will give awards to exceptional and innovative products both in gadgets or devices and applications as judged. I will most likely join and participate in many of the events not just in the judging but in the partying as well.:)

There are new exceptionally good products for the kids, for the Mommy, for the home, for the family, for road, for the office, for the school including Higher Ed Tech, and many others.  Digital Health and Fitness is given greater prominence this year. Going green is also being pushed.

I will be more specific on these products in my next article. I still have to see many of them in the remaining days.

This is one show where the best of mankind has to offer are displayed.  This is where war is fierce and expensive but conducted in peace and ends in cooperation, interconnectivity, and interface. This is where intellectual and spiritual that are seemingly infinite and creative capabilities are translated and demonstrated in material and finite, sensuous but sensible way..

This is why I attend it every year! This is where I witness “miracles” happen!

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