While in Vegas I thought CES 2013 was all about TVs: 4K, UHD, Immersion! (Sony 4K TV). Players like Samsung, Sony, and LG all debuted massive screens (think 110” from Samsung) with Ultra HD, 4K and OLED technologies. With the jet lag now behind me, I see this CES was not just about big TVs! Rather it is about providing a stellar video entertainment experience in the connected living room.
The moment the discussion moves to a connected entertainment the role of the most accessible and mobile (smart) screen in your pocket becomes more important than any (immobile) large screen in the living room. Based on technologies I saw at CES and recent TV consumption reports, it is clear that anyone looking to cement a place in the connected living room will do well if they enable a seamless multiscreen video service across mobile and TV screens.
Here are highlights from my CES experience:
For the first time at CES, a non-Microsoft (read, non-PC) executive gave the opening keynote. Qualcomm is a company at the heart of mobile revolutions and represents a changing of the guard in consumer electronics. Mobile drives consumer behavior and is now taking over CES. We’re not in Kansas anymore.
The elephant in the room: Apple the most present non-exhibitor
Arguably the largest consumer electronics company, Apple, has not had a formal presence at CES since it launched the failed Newton there in 1992. Of the 3,000 vendors, there were over 500 exhibitors representing Apple related products in the iLounge pavilion.
Smartphones carrying the torch of connected entertainment:
three examples of how the entertainment balance of power is shifting from TV to smartphones.
- Miracast, from the Wi-fi standards body, was a comparatively small sideshow at the event, but a harbinger of things to come. It allows any two miracast enabled screens to display video (or other media) using a non-internet based wi-fi network. Already MediaTek, one of the largest SOC companies for digital TVs, has implemented Miracast on its TVs.
- NVIDIA’s Android based gaming console and HD video player is another example of a device that is aiming to connect entertainment screens at home and make streaming of videos easy to TV screens.
- Sony, the consumer giant of the days of yore, is making a strong attempt to protect its market by providing a seamlessly integrated entertainment experience. One of the key features on display was one-touch transmission; the ability to pass media from its smartphones to other screens and speakers.
Car Tech: Smartphone in the drivers seat
It’s no surprise to us that the smartphone is becoming the center of connected car entertainment. The coolest platform I noticed was Chevrolet’s Mylink 2. It provides seamless integration with the iPhone including Siri for discovering and accessing entertainment. The other cool development at CES was the enhanced Ford AppLink.