Share & Connect
As the dust settles from the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, NV, technologists from around the world have gathered at the IEEE International Consumer Electronics Conference (ICCE) to discuss what’s next for consumer electronics.
This annual event is one of the industry’s flagship conferences known for unveiling a plethora of impressive innovations and highlighting upcoming developments. These futuristic concepts are often brought to life within a few years of their debut at ICCE.
While researchers discuss new innovations and technologies for the consumer electronics industry, IEEE experts highlight the trends from CES 2012 that will dictate the product development cycles of companies all around the world.
Ubiquitous, Nonstop Connectivity
With consumer connectivity demands growing exponentially around the world, companies are focused on manufacturing devices that connect and seamlessly share content and information, while ensuring products are upgradeable and compatible with other brands.
While Internet-connected devices aren’t new, their increased connection capabilities are growing, and changing the way society works as a whole. “A fully connected society will require a shift in the way people work, think and live,” said Dr. Henry Samueli, IEEE Fellow and chief technical officer at Broadcom Corporation.
“It’s not just about the device itself; it’s about connecting all the devices together and sharing content. In a few years, all consumer electronic products will be able to share content – quickly and seamlessly – in a way that is transparent to the user.”
Watch Dr. Henry Samueli discuss connectivity on IEEE’s YouTube page.
With the massive shift to constant connectivity and seamless mobility, there is an urgent need for data storage. It’s no surprise that technology companies and service providers are turning to the cloud for increased storage and computing power, given an almost unlimited capacity.
“Cloud-based services are able to process and access information that would otherwise be impractical to achieve on a small, under-powered device,” said Stuart Lipoff, IEEE Fellow. ”By taking advantage of powerful servers and the wealth of information in the cloud, the little battery powered device in your pocket takes on the power of a super-computer.”
The role of consumer electronics continues to diversify and grow because of cloud-based applications. Engineers are able to make advancements in technologies that benefit consumers, including home healthcare devices, intelligent transportation, and streaming video. Lipoff predicts new applications such as pattern recognition and various forms of artificial intelligence, including facial recognition, will be among the product features consumers can expect in the future.
Watch Stuart Lipoff discuss the growth of cloud-based applications on IEEE’s YouTube page.
Streaming Web-Based Video
A large number of consumers around the globe already access and consume video entertainment via the web. According to Richard Doherty, IEEE Senior Member, 2012 will serve as a tipping point for online video consumption – when even more households will have access to streaming video.
According to Doherty, streaming video is doing very well in geographies across the globe that have access to broadband, and exceptionally well in Eastern European and Asian markets where streaming video is now becoming the standard format for delivery of content.
The upswing in web-based video streaming can be credited to the widespread availability of video-capable internet TVs and external devices,” said Doherty. ”These devices include video consoles and innovative, optimized net streaming boxes.”
Watch Richard Doherty discuss the tipping point for video entertainment on the web in 2012 and how it will impact businesses and consumers on IEEE’s YouTube page.
Safer, faster, more convenient transportation is a growing trend impacting commuters and consumers worldwide. Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) focus on the use of ordinary devices (such as a cell phone or GPS) that are enabled with built-in custom software so cars and buses can “communicate” with roadways and transportation systems.
Developments in consumer electronics for ITS are leading to a future where the technology can help provide a more streamlined traffic flow, better usage of energy resources and fewer vehicular accidents. As such, car companies are partnering with internet software companies to provide innovative technical advances at the touch of a button on a steering wheel.
“Consumers everywhere will benefit from the advancement of ITS,” said IEEE Senior Member Alberto Broggi. “Vehicles will be able to monitor their surroundings and warn drivers of pedestrians, traffic patterns, and other vehicles, resulting in safer commuting. Advanced sensors will allow vehicles to detect and warn drivers of any immediate stops or dangers in the way of the vehicle, which can significantly decrease the likelihood of vehicle accidents.”
Dr. Tom Coughlin, IEEE Senior Member, predicts devices that automatically aggregate and generate data such as location and time stamp information will continue to rise in popularity, helping consumers catalogue their experiences.
“When consumers take photographs or capture video or audio, they will be able to archive and access their information more easily,” said Coughlin. ”The device will capture precisely where and when the photo or video was taken, and the format it was taken in, for quick and easy access. In the future, we’ll see that technology advance even further with the use of social networking interactions and image recognition technology creating new searchable content to enhance the value of the images.”
Automated metadata, or information about the data, will become more common as increased storage capabilities become available, such as those provided through cloud-based applications.
Watch Dr. Tom Coughlin discuss the growth of cloud-based applications from the CES show floor on IEEE’s YouTube page.
Convergence of Home Networking Technologies
Being able to leverage various home networking technologies to create seamless and reliable “always on” connectivity is something consumers can expect to see more of this year.
According to Oleg Logvinov, IEEE Standards Association Member, 2012 will mark the beginning of a new trend: the convergence of home networking technologies. This will enable a rich consumer experience providing the ability to use various types of devices to access multimedia content. Additionally, users will have an easy-to-use interface for home automation and energy management applications.
“As our technologies become unified, consumers will be given the ability to monitor energy usage as a part of their daily routine,” said Logvinov. ”This function will become an integral part of the user experience, allowing them to modify their behavior to become more energy efficient.” Watch Oleg Logvinov discuss the growth of home technologies from the CES show floor on IEEE’s YouTube page.
In addition to devices being connected within the home, IEEE Senior Member Nahum Gershon adds, “We will see more companies leveraging social media with mobile devices to connect people at work across organizational and geographical boundaries. Some organizations are already using these capabilities to varying degrees, connecting people to work and connecting the company to its vendors and customers.”
Watch Nahum Gershon discuss the consumerization of IT from the CES show floor on IEEE’s YouTube page. ”IEEE is one of the leading organizations driving what’s next in the consumer electronics landscape,” said Gordon Day, IEEE President and CEO. ”The technologies our members discuss, develop and showcase at ICCE provide the inspiration that transforms into the products that are released at CES every year.”
For more from IEEE at 2012 CES visit http://www.Facebook.com/IEEEOrg. For more information on IEEE, or to speak with a member about consumer electronics trends for 2012, please contact IEEECES@finnpartners.com.