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FirstIn Rocks CES!
A few members of the FirstIn team were fortunate enough to jet off to our version of "The Greatest Show on Earth" - the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas in early January.
This is where we get to keep an eye on the latest trends and products coming to market in 2012, and is a great place to get a feel for the current state of the electronics industry.
Whilst there, Adam was asked to write a wrap for the Dominion Post newspaper, outlining the show experience and the market in general.
The article was published in the iDom section of the paper on January 26th.
Adam Brown was at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
The booths are packed up, the keynote speakers and attendees have jetted off, and the gadgets have been shipped out following the close of CES - the world's leading showcase of emerging technology and gadgets. This year, the word that dominated the show was Android and Google's Android operating system software was at the heart of a lot of 2011's new gadgets.
Unknown to many, tablets existed prior to the iPad. So inevitably there was a plethora of them vying to compete with Apple's wildly popular gadget. All of the big names in technology had their models on display, including Samsung and Motorola along with the usual assortment of "me too" competititors.
Despite seeing hundreds of different models, the overall selection was quite disappointing. Most models I tried delivered a slow and clunky user experience, illustrating that the majority of manufacturers still have a lot of catching up to do. The only unit that came close to an iPad was the Samsung Galaxy, which I thought outperformed Apple's flagship gadget in both form and functionality. Interestingly, out of the hundreds of models that I saw on display, all of them were running on Google's software.
Another emerging product range for 2011 was Android-powered media-PCs. These are tiny desktop computers designed to connect to your TV, and are designed primarily for playing videos, managing documents and web browsing. Price-wise, you're looking at around $300NZ (US retail) which is pretty reasonable.
"Connected home" was also being touted widely at the show, with an array of home appliances displaying their ability to connect and interact with each other to maximise home convenience and save power through energy efficiency.
The evolution of existing technology was also strong, with 3-D TV and LED displays showing great advances since last year's show.
The CES experience isn't fully complete until you see a product that really makes you scratch your head. A few of the more unique products this year included remote-controlled balls, computer-controlled pet monkeys and "tactical canned bacon".
2011 appears to be Android's year of emergence, and potentially signals the beginning of the end for the likes of Microsoft, which may begin to lose some of their dominance over the operating system market.
Adam Brown is the buyer for firstin.co.nz and is the former TVNZ Good Morning gadget guy.
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