Archive | Connected devices

Different Looks at AI, Security/Privacy and eSports

Each year, the fine folks at IFA bring in journalists from around the globe (including yours truly) for a preview of the annual IFA confab in Berlin (1-6 September) and to take in a series of presentations from prognosticators and product makers. Nearly every trending tech topic is discussed. Among all the industry forecasts and […]

Will “Surge S1” Make Xiaomi Surge Again?

Given recent activity by smartphone suppliers, it appears that independence from chip suppliers might be the preferred strategy for building international market share. The up-and-coming Xiaomi recently lost its top domestic market share. The company is changing its design and manufacturing plans in hopes of gaining back that share, as well as making headway into […]

The Technology Forest: Don’t Get Lost in the Woods

Believe it or not, there is a somewhat timely pattern to the historical disruption caused by technology advances. Let’s call the individual technology advances the trees, and the profound business and societal impacts from those advances the forest. Individually, these advances may not do much to challenge the status quo, but together, in a compressed […]

Why Google, Not Amazon, Will Win the Smart Home War

Every new technology brings with it a clash of competing standards, formats and operating systems. Veteran observers can recount the (rhetorically) bloody battles pitting Betamax against VHS, HD-DVD against Blu-ray, DVD-A vs. Super Audio CD, Mac vs. PC—we could go on. The format wars, as they’re colloquially called, are by no means over. There are […]

Many Monstrous Notes at CES 2017

While wandering around CES 2017, I was reminded of that scene in Amadeus, in which the Emperor Joseph II decides that the new opera by Mozart had “too many notes.” (The actual quote is “monstrous many notes” and referred to Mozart’s “The Abduction from the Seraglio,” but I digress.) That’s what I felt about CES—monstrous […]

Android Poised to Dominate in Emerging Markets

With the smartphone market looking to emerging markets for growth now that most developed markets have reached saturation, the Android OS is positioned to further dominate in these markets much the same way Microsoft dominates the computer business. The flexibility to develop devices at multiple price points and feature sets, as well as to customize […]

What Is a Portable Computer?

In recent dueling ads about their tablet/laptop hybrids, both Apple and Microsoft ask the rhetorical question: What is a computer? Well, we kinda know that, don’t we? The real question is, what is a “portable computer?” A long time ago, in a marketplace far, far away, when you talked about a “portable computer,” you meant […]

Why Aren’t There 21st Century Flip Phones?

Apparently by the 23d century, we’ll have returned to flipping flip phones. We know this because in the current blockbuster Star Trek Beyond, the intrepid crew of the USS Enterprise employs communicators with lids that have to be flipped up to operate—subspace radio gear still must be pretty bulky in 2260. A couple of years […]

Why Smart TVs Are Like a 10-Year-Old

Today’s smart TVs are smart the way a precocious 10-year-old is smart – smart, comparatively speaking, but not exactly Alexander Hamilton, Warren Buffett or Albert Einstein. Young prodigies can reel off the names of the presidents backwards, Pi out to 314 digits or the “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” by heart. But finding insight from […]

The Dumb Pipe Era Advances

Cable and telecommunications multi-system operators (MSOs) have had one overriding objective since the dawn of the digital era: to avoid becoming a “dumb pipe” — i.e. infrastructure, a mere purveyor of another’s bits. Today, that fate appears increasingly inevitable, with a twist. MSOs have fought the dumbing down of their networks largely through the promise […]