Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Progress

Image: Wiki
The International Consumer Electronics Show is taking place in Los Angeles this week and offers us a fascinating glimpse of what may lie in the future for us. Pride of place was taken by a new Ultra High definition TV from Toshiba measuring an extraordinary 84 inches – that is an astonishing 7’ or 2.13 metres in new money. I don’t know about you, but I have always had a bit of an issue with a television that is bigger than I am. However, even if I didn’t, I suspect the eye watering price tag of $20,000 might prove an obstacle! Notwithstanding this is, of course, the question of content. This has proved the nemesis of 3D televisions which have struggled to maintain any meaningful relevance in the lounges of the nation.

One area that has grown, however, has been Smart TV. Recent research from DisplaySearch indicates that 40% of sales in Western Europe and China have been of internet connected TVs, although overall the global market of flat screen sets fell by 6% in 2012 and are likely to be flat this year. Smart TVs have found themselves in competition with set-top boxes and consoles (think Sky+, Virgin Tivo and Xbox), which are proving far more popular for watching online video in the UK. The dark shadow across the whole sector is Apple. Rumours have abounded for a few years now that Apple is looking at developing its own TV and who would bet against them once again re-defining a sector in the way that they have with the iPhone and the iPad. It is certain, though, that existing leaders in the field such as Samsung, will not simply sit by and watch this happen.

My innovation award goes to the French invention of the Smart Fork in what would seem to be the first example of connected cutlery. HAPIfork measures and monitors your eating habit, enabling you to upload the data onto an online dashboard and track your process. Another giant leap forward in human technology beckons!
Rob Burgeman
Divisional Director

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