Microsoft’s powerful Xbox 360 got a boost in 2010 with the debut of the Kinect motion-sensing control. Players interact directly with games through gestures tracked in 3D space by two cameras. Now the company behind that technology, PrimeSense, is supplying it to makers of HTPCs (Home Theater PCs) to give movie/TV watchers remote control without the remote. Starting in 2011, watch for gesture control to move into the same areas staked out by touch screens, as well. We don’t know if CRE’s iMac rentals will be outfitted in the future with gesture control, but it is clear that through trial and error we will discover which devices are best controlled with touch, and which are best simply to wave “goodbye” to.
“Year of the Tablet”
Research In Motion (RIM), maker of the Blackberry, is set to unveil its entry into the lucrative tablet market in 2011. Its PlayBook will join such products as the Samsung Galaxy Tab, Dell Streak, HP Slate 500, Toshiba Folio 100 and a slew of Android tablets in trying to siphon off some of the cash flowing to Apple’s iPad. With phone makers (Nokia), PC brands (Acer, Asus) and appliance firms (LG) all ready to jump in, watch for tablet power to increase and price tags to decrease. Heading from the Year of the Netbook into the Year of the Tablet makes a certain kind of sense, and if a solid product appears that will be of value to our customers, we will get it – just like we added tablet PCs way back when, and iPad rentals this year. Stay tuned for the next addition!
The WiGig Alliance announced in November that it would partner with VESA – the international non-profit that “supports and sets industry-wide interface standards” for PCs, workstation and consumer electronics – on wireless DisplayPort. It will support the same two-way speeds as wired DisplayPort, carrying both audio and video data for every imaginable display device from tablets to monitors like CRE’s plasma rentals. Such diverse tech firms as Broadcom, AMD, Microsoft and Dell have joined the WiGig Alliance, and some movie studios are already expressing interest.
A great list!
The best, most complete list of 2011 “things to watch for” is at Memeburn.com. Writer Martin Carstens doesn’t describe any of the devices or technologies; he merely breaks it down into 13 categories including Desktop Computing, Mobile Phones, Tablet Computing, Device Interfaces and Peripherals. It’s a fascinating list!