Turbotodd

Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Posts Tagged ‘CES

The Name Is Snapdragon

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Qualcomm's keynote theme at CES earlier this week was "Born Mobile," but much of the company's message seemingly got blinded by the medium and the blogging pilers on who couldn't get beyond the discombobulated narrative and campiness to see the chips for the trees.

Qualcomm’s keynote theme at CES earlier this week was “Born Mobile,” but much of the company’s message seemingly got blinded by the medium and the blogging pilers on who couldn’t get beyond the discombobulated narrative and campiness to see the chips for the trees.

I explained earlier in the week that I’d never been to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

But that didn’t preclude me from taking in some of the Vegas geek chic tidings from afar, and last evening, take in some, I did.

For the last many years as people can count, Microsoft has been the keynoter that opened the show. But this year, Microsoft decided they had better places to show their wares, so Qualcomm was offered the opening keynote spot.

Qualcomm, yes, the mobile wireless chip manufacturer.

That’s where things got weird.

And it’s also where the Internet memes started going wildly out of control.  I saw some early coverage coming from CNET and the Verge that suggested Qualcomm’s event was going off the rails. Smelling blood on the prosceneum, I ran as quick as I could to the scene of the crime.

When I saw that Qualcomm had posted the full webcast (even before the full event could have been over), I decided to go and watch for myself.

Now, mind you, I’ve seen a lot of keynotes and speeches in my time, and even participated in content development for some, and so I have a lot of respect and admiration for those who effectively pull off such techno theatre.

And after watching the Qualcomm webcast end-to-end, there’s no question there was quite a bit of the theatre of the absurd.

It was a Daliesque technology dog’s keynote breakfast.

From the “Born Mobile” theme that spawned some semi-talented Generation M-sters spouting how they’d die if they lost their mobile oxygen, to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer apparently changing his mind and returning to CES long enough to hijack the Qualcomm stage to tell everyone how wonderful Windows8 mobile devices were, to  some Sesame Street Theatre and kid’s mobile apps to help them learn how to read (where were those when *I* was a kid?!), to director Guillermo del Toro demonstrating how Qualcomm technology had helped make his movies come across even more brilliantly using Ultra HD, to NASCAR to Archbishop Desmond Tutu to Maroon 5 (the rights for whom someone failed to get for the online audience…DOH!)…oy vey, I’d like to have seen some of IBM’s keynote handlers unleashed on this one.

But let’s not forget, this wasn’t theatre intended to have some  Shakespearean denouement with a three-act structure and staged fight scenes. You want  a fancy, well-produced show, head down the Strip and take in a Cirques du Soleil show or David Copperfield’s illusions at the MGM.

If you were just interested in learning what one of the leading mobile wireless manufacturers had to offer in its latest products in the marketplace, well, you could actually learn a few things.  I did.

In fact, as something of a mobile aficionado, I was surprised to learn how much I didn’t know about this key player in the mobile sector, and the Qualcomm keynote, despite some if its failings, I think delivered on the most important, bottom line component of a major tech keynote: to inform and educate me about its products and capabilities, and to set a strategic vision and tone for who they are and where they’re going.

Though “the vision thing” may have been made more murky by the Heinz 57 cast of characters, at the end of the 80 minutes, that itself was a statement, that their mobile technology was impacting all kinds of various and sundry lives and industries.

The information in the keynote also spurred me to want to go read more about SnapDragon and some of the virtual reality technologies Qualcomm’s been working on.

So, I encourage you to absolutely take a look at the Verge’s snarky, if humorous, read on the keynote, but then take a look at the keynote replay itself. 

Because though at some points you may very well cringe, and though may not be nobly entertained, you will also learn a few things about Qualcomm’s recent chip and related technology breakthroughs — none of the details of which seems to have found its way into the Verge’s keynote coverage.

Written by turbotodd

January 9, 2013 at 5:43 pm

Building A Smarter Home

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One of the memes that seems to be jutting out from the first hours of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas centers around this notion of the “Smarter Home,” and IBM has jumped in head first.

Earlier today, IBM, STMicroelectronics, and Shaspa announced a collaboration to tap cloud and mobile computing for manufacturers and service providers to provide innovative ways for consumers to manage and interact with their homes’ functions and entertainment systems using multiple user interfaces such as voice recognition and physical gestures for a smarter home.

Yes, it looks as though we’ll finally be able to do something more productive with our appliances and air conditioning systems than simply yell at them!

A “smart home” brings networking functions together, creating a gateway that connects a television, computer or mobile device with smart meters, lights, appliances, plugs and sensors within the home as well as services from outside. Parks Associates forecasts that more than 8 billion devices will be connected on the home network by year-end 2015.

In Las Vegas this week during CES, the three companies mentioned will demonstrate a TV linked to ST’s Home Gateway, running software from business partner Shaspa, and connected to the IBM cloud.

Through sensors, the system can monitor home parameters such as temperature, carbon dioxide level through a wireless or batteryless IPv6 network, or human motion within the home. The data can be communicated to a smartphone or tablet via a wireless router. I

n this way, the homeowner can offload much of the home management to the cloud and interact with the system using event and time-based preset scenarios.

The companies anticipate that this initiative could allow consumers to use any device capable of running apps to manage a variety of personal activities such as viewing their home’s energy consumption; controlling security, heating and lighting systems; activating home appliances such as washing machines; monitoring health and assisted living conditions; or engaging in e-commerce.

Sony Bravia, Let The Pizza Guy In!

For example, a person with limited mobility could gesture to the TV to unlock the front door, turn up the heat or check vital signs. This project represents the future of electronics technology as sensing devices and equipment seamlessly respond to user needs and requests, emulating the way humans sense their environment.

In this project, ST’s Home Gateway and Shaspa’s embedded software acts as a bridge between the home and cloud services provided by the IBM SmartCloud Service Delivery Platform, which gives electronics manufacturers a cloud platform to manage smart devices and rapidly introduce new consumer services.

The gateway, based on a STiH416, provides the physical connectivity, provisioning and management middleware, application protocols, and interfaces for connecting and controlling the “Internet of Things.” The connected-home System-on-Chip runs software including Linux and a service management system compliant with the OSGi industry standard.

The infrastructure for the gateway-cloud service operation is provided by Shaspa’s GUI and application software.

Going Mobile In Your Living Room

IBM Worklight, in combination with the Mobile Interface of the Shaspa embedded software, is the mobile application platform that enables end users to control and manage their homes from their personal devices. The mobile platform is used to build the application, connect the app to all the sensors within the home, and manage all events that take place.

IBM software such as MQ Series and Worklight helps transmit the data to mobile devices. Data captured in the cloud supports the discovery of new insights through advanced analytics.

“Smarter buildings are an essential part of the journey towards a sustainable world, and this building-to-cloud system shows that connected living is becoming possible today,” said Oliver Goh, Founder & CEO of Shaspa. “This secure, scalable offering with be the enabler for ecosystems, enabling the fast creation and deployment of value-add services.”

The idea of an intelligent home that uses technology to enhance the lives of its occupants is far from new; in fact, it was a major theme in the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair. We are now in a position to realize the intelligent-home dream with systems that feature scalability, interoperability and security built-in from the start. This requires collaborations among leading players across the ecosystem.

The demo will be shown at two venues near the Las Vegas Convention Center: A private, invitation-only suite at The Encore Hotel (ST) and The Venetian, exhibit meeting room 2405 (IBM).

About IBM Cloud and Mobile Computing
Mobility is fundamentally transforming the way people live, work, play and make decisions. As the first new technology platform for business to emerge since the advent of the World Wide Web, mobile computing represents one of the greatest opportunities facing organizations.

With an array of solutions that connect, secure, manage and develop the networks, infrastructure and applications that run the growing number of devices. IBM is enabling governments and industries to reinvent their business and reach customers, employees, partners and other constituents in completely new ways.

You can learn more about IBM’s Mobile Enterprise solutions here.

IBM has also helped thousands of clients adopt cloud models and manages millions of cloud based transactions every day. IBM assists clients in areas as diverse as banking, communications, healthcare and government to build their own clouds or securely tap into IBM cloud-based business and infrastructure services.

IBM is unique in bringing together key cloud technologies, deep process knowledge, a broad portfolio of cloud solutions, and a network of global delivery centers. For more information about IBM cloud solutions, visit www.ibm.com/smartcloud. Follow on Twitter @cloudchat and on our blog at www.thoughtsoncloud.com.

CES: The Running Of The Gadget Geeks!

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I’ve lived in New York City on two different occasions. First, while attending New York University in the mid-1980s, and a second time, from 1999-2001, while working for IBM.

Running with the gadget geeks at Consumer Electronics Show 2012? No thank you, says Turbo, who would much prefer to monitor the memes online from the safety of his mancave, where he runs little risk of being trampled on over cheap and unimaginative tchotchkes!

In neither instance did I ever visit the Statue of Liberty.  I did take the Staten Island Ferry a couple of times, and we floated by Lady Liberty.

Does that count?

So it’s with some tremendous guilt that I admit I’ve also never attended the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the 2012 edition of which kicks off tomorrow.

It’s quite embarrassing as a self-admitted tech geek to make such an admission, but it’s the truth.  I guess I’ve never had a really good business reason to attend, for one.

But I also get more than my fair share of time at trade shows and events, especially those for IBM, which anyone who’s a regular reader of this blog knows full well.

However, I also remember what it’s like to attend those big IT-related events in Las Vegas.  For IBM’s Personal Systems magazine in 1994, I attended once, and only once, the massive COMDEX event.

IBM was prominently launching its new version of the OS/2 operating system that November 1994, “OS/2 Warp,” and I knew the moment I left McCarron Airport and saw the massive video screen featuring “OS/2 Warp” that I was in for a wild ride.

When I arrived at the Luxor hotel, where I was staying, and witnessed the room key cards and toilet banner wrap featuring “OS/2 Warp” — well, let’s just say that was as appropriate a way of prognosticating the fate of OS/2 as any I could think of, and it was only a short couple of years before CEO Lou Gerstner flushed the ill-fated operating system down its toilet of misery.

The feature piece I wrote about my experience at COMDEX was entitled “The Running of the Geeks.”  And I can still remember the experience like it was yesterday.

Remembering this was during the days before ubiquitous cell phones and broadband Internet, this was still very much a face-to-face event. All the news was largely broken in company-initiated press conferences, and there was still plenty of buzz to be found on the massive show floor (think plural show floors, actually).

But what I also remember about COMDEX was how ridiculously crowded it was.  For everything from making a pay phone call to grabbing a bite to eat for lunch to waiting for a cab, COMDEX was all about waiting in line.  It was like trying to grab a loaf of bread in Moscow, pre-breakup of the USSR.

You had to wait in line for everything (including to take a bio break)!  I joked at the time about how I was going to bring Roller Blades the next time I showed up for COMDEX, as that was the only sane way to get around.

Flash forward to 2012.  I have friends who are attending the conference, poor suckers, and I feel for them.  Because they, too, will be waiting — for everything.  Because CES is pretty much on the same scale, only you also have the world’s most eager gadget hounds to fend off.

Not Turbo.

Here’s my CES strategy: Create a new dashboard on Netvibes using the keyword “CES,” then simply plan on following all the action remotely.

I can run downstairs from my home office and grab a cold beer if I need to (only after business hours, of course!).  I can order a pizza and have it delivered straight to my man cave. Most importantly, I don’t have to worry about being stampeded as Intel rolls out its latest ultrabook line.

It’s perfectly fine by me if I never get to go to CES…

As for Lady Liberty, however, I still aspire to someday stand inside her crown.

Written by turbotodd

January 9, 2012 at 6:55 pm

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