|By Shelly Palmer||
|January 23, 2014 06:52 PM EST||
We’re in the back stretch of January, and there’s already plenty to observe about the TV world worth observing throughout 2014.
Smart TV and Ultra HD TV
Smart TV and Ultra HD sets will up their features in both capacity and capability. The action at International CES two weeks ago in Las Vegas, with a record crowd of 152,000 witnessing display after display, attests to that. Plenty of consequential developments breaking there, including Roku taking its plug-in technology into TV sets and Sony’s Playstation Now service and intent (without much specifics) to launch a cloud-based content initiative before the end of the year.
A few of the more interesting smart TV features unveiled in Vegas, including LG’s decision to make Hewlett-Packard’s webOS that set maker’s operating system, and Panasonic’s call to utilize Mozilla Firefox as a smart platform, ironically, didn’t grab many headlines. They should have. Both could trigger the kind of imaginative interactive applications that ignite consumer demand for smart sets.
As for Ultra HD sets, every set maker promises lower prices at retail, greater upscaled picture quality before true “Ultra” content comes into the marketplace, and advanced smart features as web browsing and side-by-side Web/TV picture display. On the content end, Netflix and Amazon state they’ll jumpstart the drive toward mass making of native, original ultra HD content.
There’s a major divide between the Consumer Electronics Association, which stages International CES, and the set makers about how soon the public adopts Ultra HD continues in existence. CEA maintains its earlier projection of 500,000 sets sold this year and mass appeal not happening until 2016 or 2017, while the set makers look for 750,000 to over a million sets taken by consumers this year, with a sharp adoption take next year. Check back a year from now to see which estimate wins out.
Dear Google and Microsoft: Where Were You?
One more International CES note: two companies with the grandest opportunity to make substance there didn’t. Google had a great platform to showcase both its Chromecast plug-in device and Google TV, the latter reportedly set to rejuvenate as Android TV or Nexus TV. Nothing on both… not a peep. As amazing and out-of-the-box a company as Google is, the Stone Age mentality that comes across when it comes to public relations – as in let the services your products bring to the public do all the squawking, not you – is flat detrimental. Chromecast is somewhat of an exception to the rule, thanks to a delightful TV advertising campaign. (Somewhat because there’s been little follow-through to press and public beyond the ads.) Let’s get straight here, Google: YouTube, Google TV and Chromecast are your products. Don’t treat them as afterthoughts beyond your headquarters. Take responsibility and showcase them.
The other International CES newsmaking absentee was Microsoft. No presence to write home about, wasting the perfect opportunity to alert everyone there about Xbox Entertainment Services, the original interactive programming unit former CBS executive Nancy Tellem. All we know is that a scripted TV series adapted from Halo, executive produced by Steven Spielberg, is in production, while lots of other series ideas are under review… and little else. Not asking to disclose the full house, but Microsoft could have used the event to share more about where it’s going with Tellem’s unit, when we’ll see the programming and if it will be available beyond Xbox One.
In the scripted programming arena, 2014 began on a huge note. More original series launched in the first full week of the year than at any year in a long while. The catch: a good chunk of them debuted with good to outstanding reviews from critics. HBO’s True Detective is touted as an early multiple Emmy contender, while Enlisted pushes reviewers to demand Fox move this mix of military and sibling comedy out of Friday night to a more ratings-generatable time period. Being Mary Jane came out strong on BET, with Gabrielle Union in position for an Emmy nomination, and Hallmark Channel looks like it go two-for-two in scripted series with When Comes the Heart. Helix and Bitten have Syfy launching 2014 with new buzz, and IFC’s picking up the best original audiences in its existence for epic miniseries parody The Spoils of Babylon.
Remember, we’re just in week four of 2014. I have a strong vibe this will be one TV year the mavens of history will decipher in threshold language.
Observations From the Passing Parade:
***Nice MIT Enterprise Forum event January 14 here in New York, offering a “think tank” session on TV’s future. Representatives from all sides of the medium participated (including yours truly), responding to a variety of subjects from finding content to a la carte, diversity and interactive services. The idea was to find common ground among the audience, without engaging in uber-bloviating (60 seconds was the time limit for anyone speaking). Loved the give-and-take and how respectful people were to each other. Would love to see this at every TV industry gathering. On a separate note, I’d love to see MIT do a showcase for TV content/technology startups that brings together venture capitalists, angel investors and incubators/accelerators. They’re doing a general startup showcase next month and may do one on healthcare this spring.
***Founders Space, a San Francisco-based organization connecting startups with that investment ecosystem mentioned above, is starting Fusion, a new project assisting startups with landing funds from that ecosystem and other sources, including government grants. FS co-founder Steve Hoffman, on my Tomorrow Will Be Televised radio program last Friday, said he’d like to see TV startups involved in Fusion. What’s more, there’s other TV-centric incubators/accelerators coming to light, including Sprockit, organized through the National Association of Broadcasters. Check out my interview with Hoffman, and the full details about Fusion.
Until the next time, stay well and stay tuned!
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome,” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
Aug. 30, 2015 10:00 PM EDT Reads: 344
While many app developers are comfortable building apps for the smartphone, there is a whole new world out there. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Narayan Sainaney, Co-founder and CTO of Mojio, will discuss how the business case for connected car apps is growing and, with open platform companies having already done the heavy lifting, there really is no barrier to entry.
Aug. 30, 2015 05:00 PM EDT Reads: 133
As more intelligent IoT applications shift into gear, they’re merging into the ever-increasing traffic flow of the Internet. It won’t be long before we experience bottlenecks, as IoT traffic peaks during rush hours. Organizations that are unprepared will find themselves by the side of the road unable to cross back into the fast lane. As billions of new devices begin to communicate and exchange data – will your infrastructure be scalable enough to handle this new interconnected world?
Aug. 30, 2015 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 151
SYS-CON Events announced today that Micron Technology, Inc., a global leader in advanced semiconductor systems, will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Micron’s broad portfolio of high-performance memory technologies – including DRAM, NAND and NOR Flash – is the basis for solid state drives, modules, multichip packages and other system solutions. Backed by more than 35 years of technology leadership, Micron's memory solutions enable the world's most innovative computing, consumer,...
Aug. 30, 2015 01:30 PM EDT Reads: 219
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies leverage disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advanced analytics, and DevOps to advance innovation and increase agility. Specializing in designing, imple...
Aug. 30, 2015 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 283
SYS-CON Events announced today that HPM Networks will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For 20 years, HPM Networks has been integrating technology solutions that solve complex business challenges. HPM Networks has designed solutions for both SMB and enterprise customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Aug. 30, 2015 10:30 AM EDT Reads: 873
Consumer IoT applications provide data about the user that just doesn’t exist in traditional PC or mobile web applications. This rich data, or “context,” enables the highly personalized consumer experiences that characterize many consumer IoT apps. This same data is also providing brands with unprecedented insight into how their connected products are being used, while, at the same time, powering highly targeted engagement and marketing opportunities. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nathan Treloar, President and COO of Bebaio, will explore examples of brands transforming their businesses by t...
Aug. 30, 2015 10:15 AM EDT Reads: 224
With the proliferation of connected devices underpinning new Internet of Things systems, Brandon Schulz, Director of Luxoft IoT – Retail, will be looking at the transformation of the retail customer experience in brick and mortar stores in his session at @ThingsExpo. Questions he will address include: Will beacons drop to the wayside like QR codes, or be a proximity-based profit driver? How will the customer experience change in stores of all types when everything can be instrumented and analyzed? As an area of investment, how might a retail company move towards an innovation methodolo...
Aug. 30, 2015 09:15 AM EDT Reads: 440
Through WebRTC, audio and video communications are being embedded more easily than ever into applications, helping carriers, enterprises and independent software vendors deliver greater functionality to their end users. With today’s business world increasingly focused on outcomes, users’ growing calls for ease of use, and businesses craving smarter, tighter integration, what’s the next step in delivering a richer, more immersive experience? That richer, more fully integrated experience comes about through a Communications Platform as a Service which allows for messaging, screen sharing, video...
Aug. 30, 2015 09:15 AM EDT Reads: 616
The Internet of Things (IoT) is about the digitization of physical assets including sensors, devices, machines, gateways, and the network. It creates possibilities for significant value creation and new revenue generating business models via data democratization and ubiquitous analytics across IoT networks. The explosion of data in all forms in IoT requires a more robust and broader lens in order to enable smarter timely actions and better outcomes. Business operations become the key driver of IoT applications and projects. Business operations, IT, and data scientists need advanced analytics t...
Aug. 30, 2015 08:30 AM EDT Reads: 394
A producer of the first smartphones and tablets, presenter Lee M. Williams will talk about how he is now applying his experience in mobile technology to the design and development of the next generation of Environmental and Sustainability Services at ETwater. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lee Williams, COO of ETwater, will talk about how he is now applying his experience in mobile technology to the design and development of the next generation of Environmental and Sustainability Services at ETwater.
Aug. 30, 2015 07:00 AM EDT Reads: 120
SYS-CON Events announced today that IceWarp will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. IceWarp, the leader of cloud and on-premise messaging, delivers secured email, chat, documents, conferencing and collaboration to today's mobile workforce, all in one unified interface
Aug. 30, 2015 01:00 AM EDT Reads: 392
WebRTC has had a real tough three or four years, and so have those working with it. Only a few short years ago, the development world were excited about WebRTC and proclaiming how awesome it was. You might have played with the technology a couple of years ago, only to find the extra infrastructure requirements were painful to implement and poorly documented. This probably left a bitter taste in your mouth, especially when things went wrong.
Aug. 30, 2015 01:00 AM EDT Reads: 436
As more and more data is generated from a variety of connected devices, the need to get insights from this data and predict future behavior and trends is increasingly essential for businesses. Real-time stream processing is needed in a variety of different industries such as Manufacturing, Oil and Gas, Automobile, Finance, Online Retail, Smart Grids, and Healthcare. Azure Stream Analytics is a fully managed distributed stream computation service that provides low latency, scalable processing of streaming data in the cloud with an enterprise grade SLA. It features built-in integration with Azur...
Aug. 28, 2015 07:45 PM EDT Reads: 208
Akana has announced the availability of the new Akana Healthcare Solution. The API-driven solution helps healthcare organizations accelerate their transition to being secure, digitally interoperable businesses. It leverages the Health Level Seven International Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (HL7 FHIR) standard to enable broader business use of medical data. Akana developed the Healthcare Solution in response to healthcare businesses that want to increase electronic, multi-device access to health records while reducing operating costs and complying with government regulations.
Aug. 26, 2015 07:00 AM EDT Reads: 130
For IoT to grow as quickly as analyst firms’ project, a lot is going to fall on developers to quickly bring applications to market. But the lack of a standard development platform threatens to slow growth and make application development more time consuming and costly, much like we’ve seen in the mobile space. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Weiner, Product Manager of the Omega DevCloud with KORE Telematics Inc., discussed the evolving requirements for developers as IoT matures and conducted a live demonstration of how quickly application development can happen when the need to comply wit...
Aug. 2, 2015 11:15 AM EDT Reads: 553
The Internet of Everything (IoE) brings together people, process, data and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before – transforming information into knowledge and knowledge into wisdom. IoE creates new capabilities, richer experiences, and unprecedented opportunities to improve business and government operations, decision making and mission support capabilities.
Aug. 1, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 477
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Red Hat's Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems, described how to revolutionize your archit...
Jul. 30, 2015 07:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,564
MuleSoft has announced the findings of its 2015 Connectivity Benchmark Report on the adoption and business impact of APIs. The findings suggest traditional businesses are quickly evolving into "composable enterprises" built out of hundreds of connected software services, applications and devices. Most are embracing the Internet of Things (IoT) and microservices technologies like Docker. A majority are integrating wearables, like smart watches, and more than half plan to generate revenue with APIs within the next year.
Jul. 30, 2015 02:30 PM EDT Reads: 278
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Opening Keynote at 16th Cloud Expo, Sandy Carter, IBM General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, and a Social Business Evangelist, d...
Jul. 30, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,228