Can you save your pennies and barter your way to the good life?
CES 2011 - Back to the Future
With the added complexities and visual depth of more powerful versions of Windows and its accompanying software, users started hungering for more power than a single core processor could produce. The CPU manufacturers came to our rescue with dual core, tri-cor, quad core and even six and eight core processors. Cell phone manufacturers have started to debut their dual core offerings. We saw some particularly impressive phones from LG and Motorola.
These incredibly powerful processors have allowed us to move from the crayon box of our first digital photos to the exquisite digital pallets of HD video and the addictive fun of 'Angry Birds' (a game app for smartphones). Microsoft has moved on from the debacle of Vista with the rollout of the Windows 7 family of products. Businesses and consumers alike have welcomed this more stable and user-friendly platform.
[We're going to forgo our views on the cyclical nature of the industry until an upcoming article involving the 'cloud' and its relationship to content. Be patient....soon.]
Enough with the History of the Computer Industry
What all this is leading up to is the fact that platforms, both hardware and software, are mature and stable now. No one is moving away from Windows 7 anytime soon, Apple's OS is renowned for its graphic and media capabilities, and even Android is mature enough to handle applications and streaming content.
Last year the manufacturers displaying at CES treated us to the wonders of the quickly emerging 3-D content world. It was all very new and somewhere just beyond version 1.0. This year we saw the maturing of that genre with not only additional content, but more refined and stable platforms and displays for viewing it. Manufacturers like Panasonic, Sony, Samsung, LG and Sharp are offering all sorts of flat panels for your viewing pleasure. Some use active shutter technology, some use polarized lenses, but all of them offer a rich 3-D experience.
Content is King
Therefore, we are hereby declaring 2011 the year where content will be king. Almost everything you will be seeing or hearing about in the news regarding technology will have something to do with content delivery. Whether its net neutrality, Comcast and NBC Universal, blue Ray, 3-D, streaming content, YouTube, Hulu, Netflix (this list could go on forever), it's all going to be about the content and how it gets delivered.
This isn't just about 50 inch displays. This goes all the way down through desktops, pads and smartphones. We watched several demonstrations from phone manufacturers playing HD video on their phone and connecting it through an HDMI cable to a 50 inch flat screen TV with magnificent results (see video above).
The hardware is mature and stable. The price points have come down to where it's safe to jump into the water. So this year it's going to be all about delivering the content. That doesn't mean just the content you can download or get from a movie site, it also means the content you want to create; that may be music, pictures or movies. In business the days, of the plain PowerPoint presentation will soon give way to more charts with videos worthy of YouTube.
We're going to spend some extra time this year reviewing some of the hardware and software you're going to want to use to create, view or listen to that content. This won't just be relegated to a particular cool phone or application, it will also take into account the network in your home or business that you need to support it, the hardware platforms and devices you want to use and some very neat production and editing tools that will allow everybody to produce next year's Oscar-winning content.