CES 2013: Healthcare Professionals Won Over By the Cloud

Health professionals gathered Thursday for a panel at the Digital Health Summit to talk about “Why Healthcare Has Its Head in the Cloud.” Unlike many other industries that have been quick to adopt cloud connectivity, the health industry has noticeably lagged, said Don Jones, from Qualcomm Life who moderated the discussion. Panelists discussed the benefits of accumulating data in the cloud for more in-depth analysis and expanding preventative potential. Continue reading CES 2013: Healthcare Professionals Won Over By the Cloud

CES 2013: The Cloud and Digital Disruption in Marketing

“Technology is a continuum. All the technology that you see in those halls will be in a landfill in 10 years,” said Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO of Salesforce.com, at the CES Brand Matters keynote. “We’re all in this industry because we love disruption.” He and a panel of chief marketing officers talked about how technology has changed marketing, noting the various challenges and opportunities as companies transition over to the cloud. Continue reading CES 2013: The Cloud and Digital Disruption in Marketing

CES 2013: CEA Presents Consumer Attitudes Toward the Cloud

Jessica Boothe, CEA manager of strategic research, presented the findings of her recently completed research “Cloud Computing and the Implications for Consumer Tech” at a Monday afternoon CEA Research Summit session. While the majority of online adults are using cloud resources, they overwhelmingly associate the term “cloud” only with storage and primarily use the resources for personal activities, rather than work. Continue reading CES 2013: CEA Presents Consumer Attitudes Toward the Cloud

CES 2013: LG Unveils Theater-Like 100-inch Hecto Laser TV

LG is going big with its new 100-inch class “Hecto” Laser TV, equipped with both smart TV and digital TV capabilities. Launching at CES this week, the 1080p projection system offers an in-home theater-like experience, easily controlled via the company’s Magic Remote, which utilizes voice, gesture, point and wheel control modes. LG’s Laser TV allows users to place the lens just 22-inches from the screen, while providing full HD resolution and 1,000,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio. Continue reading CES 2013: LG Unveils Theater-Like 100-inch Hecto Laser TV

CES 2013: What We Expect to See in the Cloud

In the roll-up to CES it is clear that “the cloud” has become a replacement marketing buzzword for “Internet-based” or “online.” Of the 40+ exhibitors on the CES site who use the keyword “cloud” in their business description, 21 of them are either actually making use of cloud technology or, more likely, are misusing the term but are still of potential interest to ETC member companies.  These exhibitors cluster in LVCC South Hall 2 and 4, the Venetian, and off-site hospitality suites. Continue reading CES 2013: What We Expect to See in the Cloud

CES 2013: LG to Push Cloud and Second Screens in Las Vegas

In a five-minute video interview with Beet.TV, Matthew Durgin, director of Smart TV Partnerships at LG, discusses the LG Cloud designed for interaction with LG Smart TVs, the emergence of second screen apps and new content partnerships for the company’s two-screen API. The API allows users to manage and interact with programming on their televisions using an app on their tablet or smartphone. LG has been making the two-screen solution available to some of its content partners who have been implementing it to enable surfing content on a smaller screen and then pushing the content to the main screen. Continue reading CES 2013: LG to Push Cloud and Second Screens in Las Vegas

Cloud Computing: Predictions That Impact Business and Consumers

Antonio Piraino, chief technology officer at ScienceLogic, offers his predictions regarding the future of cloud computing in a Forbes guest post. The cloud has become a major buzzword in the last year and its strategies have provided companies with many benefits related to budgets, products and applications. “However, despite the fact that companies have begun to embrace the cloud and move toward serious implementations, we are in the midst of a rapidly changing market,” suggests Piraino. Continue reading Cloud Computing: Predictions That Impact Business and Consumers

Amazon Announces Cloud Player Now on Roku, Samsung Smart TVs

Amazon’s cloud-based music storage and streaming service is now available on Roku and Samsung’s Smart TVs, allowing users to play digital music on a single device. The app “finally gives Roku a good response to Apple TV’s iTunes Match,” notes CNET. Months ago Roku announced that the Amazon Cloud Player was “coming soon.”

Like its competitor iTunes Match, Amazon Cloud Player charges $25 per year to store up to 250,000 songs. It also includes a feature that automatically identifies music files and upgrades the quality using a 256 Kbps file from the Amazon catalog. “That’s a ton of digital music, although the competing Google Play Music allows you to store up to 20,000 tracks for free and is available on Google TV devices,” explains the post.

The release was announced the same day that Amazon added its Amazon Instant Video app for the iPhone and iPod touch.

According to a related post from CNET, the Instant Video streaming app “allows for access to over 140,000 movies and television shows that can be downloaded for purchase or rental.”

Amazon offers access to its streaming library across devices including the iPad, Kindle Fire HD, PlayStation 3, PCs and Macs. The app is only available to customers who pay for the company’s $79-a-year Prime membership.

Report Predicts the Cloud as Top Consumer Trend for 2013

Cloud computing (and cloud reliance reshaping device needs) will be the major trend in consumer electronics for 2013, according to a new report from Ericsson ConsumerLab. “The electronics firm’s ‘Ten Hot Consumer Trends 2013‘ report suggests that not only is cloud computing becoming increasingly important in our daily lives, but young people’s use of the Internet will drive new businesses and products in the coming year,” reports CNET. Continue reading Report Predicts the Cloud as Top Consumer Trend for 2013

Cloud-Based Gaming Service Playcast Plans 2013 Launch in the U.S.

Playcast is a cloud-based gaming service that runs through pay TV, IPTV, or over-the-top TV providers like Google TV and Roku.

“For the end user, the system operates like VOD or an app, while remote servers actually run the games and stream a video feed of the gameplay in real-time,” reports Engadget. “On the back end, one server shelf can serve up to 15 players an HD (read: 720p) feed simultaneously, and graphical artifacting is kept to a minimum because it streams over the operator’s managed network.”

Playcast differentiates itself from OnLive because Playcast can brand its front-end interface to fit specific customers’ desires and does not need additional hardware. Playcast also offers packages of games for subscription use.

The company plans to launch in Q3 of 2013 with 10-15 packages of 20 games each. The packages will likely cost $10-$15 a month. Playcast will alternate 10 percent new games in each month to keep customers engaged.

“It appears that Playcast will provide casual gamers an intriguing option for getting their gaming fix next year,” concludes the post. “But we’re reserving judgment until we see how well the games run on a managed network, what titles are offered, and just how much it’ll cost.”

CES 2013: CEA Chief Discusses Top Trends Expected in January

Last year’s Consumer Electronics Show broke attendance records, with more than 156,000 people descending upon Las Vegas. This January, the 2013 show is expected to match last year’s attendance and set a new record in terms of show floor space, with more than 1.85 million square feet of booths and exhibits.

“Every day brings more good news. We are bigger than last year, in terms of our footprint. That’s how we measure the size of the show in the trade-show world,” explains Consumer Electronics Association chief exec Gary Shapiro, who anticipates more than 3,300 exhibitors. “The thing I’m really excited about is the startup area,” notes Shapiro. “We did a deal last year for Eureka Park and we thought we’d have 30 companies. We had 100, and this year we have 140.”

Shapiro expects CES to be packed despite Microsoft’s absence. The company has traditionally given the opening keynote to kick off the show, but will be replaced this year by Paul Jacobs, CEO of mobile chip maker Qualcomm.

“That change is symbolic, as Microsoft represented the PC industry, while Qualcomm generates billions on the strength of smartphone and tablet chip sales,” reports VentureBeat.

Anticipated trends include touchscreen, gesture and sensor tech; wireless wallets; Ultra HD 4K TVs; 3D printing and cloud-based services. This year’s show will also feature an increased presence in terms of digital health, green technology and the automotive industry (including connected cars and electric vehicles).

“Another big draw will be anything connected to Apple,” explains VentureBeat. “Apple employees are coming, but Apple traditionally doesn’t exhibit or speak at CES. But the iLounge section devoted to Apple-related products built by other companies is now going to have 440 companies across 120,000 square feet.”

Trends for 2013: Internet of Things, The Cloud, Big Data and More

David Alan Grier, professor at George Washington University and president-elect for the IEEE Computer Society, suggests five ways the computing world will change in the coming year.

1) “New companies and applications will bring the long-held vision of the Internet of Things closer to reality,” Grier writes for Forbes. By 2020, there will be an estimated 100 billion Internet-connected objects, triggering “an explosion of new uses by consumers and enterprises alike,” he predicts. “New types of sensors, new ways of connecting devices, and new strategies for embedded computing must be rolled out to bring IoT’s vision to the forefront.”

2) “Visualization and analytics will help solve the challenges of big data.” More and more data is collected and generated than ever before, but analyzing big data has become a significant challenge. Federal agencies and large corporations have launched research programs to address the problem of overwhelming or quickly outdated data.

3) “Enterprises will deploy hybrid clouds and consumers will embrace personal clouds.” Looking for energy-saving green approaches, companies will increase the demand for cloud computing; cloud interoperability and standards will also advance.

4) “The battle over Internet censorship and control will reach new heights,” Grier writes. “In 2013, expect to see these battles continuing, in the form of Internet filtering versus circumvention, surveillance versus anonymization, denial-of-service attacks and intrusion attempts versus protection mechanisms, and on- and offline persecution and defense of online activists.”

5) “Researchers and companies will develop new tools and approaches to help unleash the power of multicore computing,” which will be a “critical priority” in the age of parallel processing.

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Steam Takes on the Console Competition with Launch of Big Picture Mode

  • In a challenge to console makers, Valve has officially launched its “Big Picture Mode” for its cloud-gaming platform Steam, enabling users to play titles on their televisions by simply connecting their computers.
  • “Steam has been offering its users the option to put the service on their television since September in beta mode,” the Washington Post reports, “but the company has deemed it ready to lose that testing tag. The mode makes it possible to use almost all of Steam’s features including its Web browser, social network and — of course — its games in a way optimized for television screens.”
  • To promote the new mode, Steam has put the compatible games on sale. “All the sale titles have full controller support, which means that users won’t have to tote their mouse and keyboard to the living room,” the article notes.
  • “There are also quite a few partial support titles, such as ‘XCOM Enemy Unknown,’ ‘Hitman: Absolution,’ and ‘Call of Duty: Black Ops 2.’ Steam is very clear about which titles have full support and which do not,” explains the article. “Titles with partial support may need the keyboard and mouse during installation or for ‘limited interactions’ throughout the game.”
  • Because Valve has established itself in the gaming community, the company could move further into the console territory currently dominated by Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo. “Some see this step into the living room as a test for bigger things in the future,” the article suggests.

New IDC Study: Will Microsoft Purchase Netflix and LinkedIn?

  • A study from IDC predicts that Microsoft may consider purchasing Netflix and LinkedIn next year in an effort to cash in on “the convergence of mobile computing, social networking, cloud services, and big data analytics.”
  • “Look for Microsoft to buy a content/media cloud, like Netflix, to provide a marketplace for its apps and content,” says Frank Gens, senior VP and chief analyst at IDC.
  • Gens refers to the platform built on mobile computing, cloud services, social networking, and big data analytics as the “3rd Platform.”
  • “The industry’s shift to the 3rd Platform will accelerate in 2012, forcing the industry’s leaders to make bold investments and fateful decisions,” predicts Gens. He suggests companies including Apple, Microsoft, HP, SAP, RIM and others will face “crossroads moments” next year.
  • Is Computerworld blogger Preston Gralla convinced? Not really. “Building an app store directly into Windows can serve the same purpose. If the price is right, buying Netflix might make sense. But I don’t expect the price to be right.”

Mossberg on iTunes Match: Store Your Songs without Slow Uploads

  • Walt Mossberg favorably reviews Apple’s iTunes Match service. For $25/year, you can create a music locker in the Cloud that allows you to play your music collection on up to 10 devices.
  • In contrast to similar locker services from Google and Amazon, you do not have to upload your entire collection — iTunes Match scans your iTunes library and matches it with its 20 million song library.
  • The service only works for digital music currently, and not for movies, TV shows or audiobooks.
  • Your locker can include up to 25,000 songs. It’s worth noting that, “Match is an optional addition to an existing free service called iTunes in the Cloud, which covers only songs you bought from Apple’s iTunes store.”
  • “In all, I like iTunes Match, and can recommend it to digital music lovers who want all their tunes on all their devices,” writes Mossberg. “It’s another nice feature of iCloud, priced reasonably.”

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