Friday

CE Week Contributes to the Changing Media Landscape

CE Week in New York City is billed as the consumer electronics (CE) industry’s annual mid-year, citywide technology showcase and conference. This event brings together a myriad of technology companies from hardware and software ventures. It showcases wares from 3D printing to Ultra HD viewing, from home security systems that monitor even minor changes in your living space to wear-ables that showcase your twitter feeds and from hardware that turns your iPhone into a macro camera to software that turns your iPad into a sketchpad. I am not sure how much I want my medical information to be recorded on an on-going basis. And I am not sure I really need an Ultra HD large screen television that sets off my vertigo. Nor would I choose to ride in a sustainable car that looks about as big as a coffin. But despite my reservations, there are millions of others who are giddy about many of these new innovations. As always, for me, I want to understand how all of this industriousness and in some cases pure genius will impact the media industry. Many of these inventions do seem to have the capacity to transform the media experience – not just through large HD screens, but also via signal capturing that can enhance and expand TV on demand, anywhere and everywhere. And all this new technology is not just transforming the media experience for the consumer. Media companies are also benefiting; There are cameras that cost about $99 that have such high quality and adaptability that even broadcast networks are using them. There are re-chargeable power pack cells that can fit into your pocket can be used to dramatically extend the life of your cellphone, tablet or computer. This can make long form video viewing access-able from remote regions, even without easy access to outlets and without reliable electricity. There is also the ability to adapt technology devised for one purpose to a completely different other purpose. Take for example companies that track your biometrics, whether by a strapped-on medical device or via a personal garment. Might any of this biometric feedback data be adapted to consumer-based neuroscience research for strategic use by the media industry? Sure. Here is a short video of some of the companies represented at this year’s CE Week in New York City: This year the event coincided with the recent announcement about the setback Aereo experienced with the Supreme Court decision. But that didn’t seem to dampen the enthusiasm for accessing over-the-air television content from anywhere, anyhow even right from the CE exhibition floor. For just like the game of whack-a-mole, if you manage to stop one company from capturing over-the-air TV, there will be several others who pop up and take its place. Should Aereo meet its demise, there are others of a similar type that will replace it as a cord cutters option… and are willing to admit it. Once the technology is out of the tube, there is no reining it back in. Here is a short video of one of the companies that can offer over-the-air video capture: What will succeed and what will fade in the fast paced high stakes consumer electronics world remains to be seen. One thing is sure - There are some great creative minds focused on maximizing the application of technology in our day to day lives. Some results might be superfluous, some might be overkill and some might be even creepily intrusive. But many could enhance our lives, contribute to overall general well-being and change the face of media and the dynamics of our business. So get ready, folks.

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