CES 2012: It’s All About Motion, Touch & Sound

As usual, the Consusmer Electronics Show (CES) was huge and overwhelming. Too much to see, too little time.

Actually, there may have been enough time, but my feet gave out before I could get to everything. The {complink 4505|Qualcomm Inc.} booth wasn't really a booth; it was a mini-city with two-story briefing rooms. From what I did see, the big trend in consumer electronics this year will be in touch, voice, and motion sensing. All the same products were on display — TVs, tablets, and smartphones — but they're just doing a lot more than they did last year.

It all started for me at the Qualcomm morning keynote. Banking on a commitment from {complink 3426|Microsoft Corp.}, Qualcomm is supporting Windows 8 along with {complink 444|ARM Ltd.} technology. Its move into the x86 arena was showcased on stage with a demo tablet powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon S4 running Windows 8. Furthering Qualcomm's expansion into the home, {complink 9284|Lenovo Group Ltd.} showed off its SmartTV powered by Snapdragon with voice activated remote control. Can they truly get an instant-on device?

Walking the floor, there were many booths displaying motion sensing software. Soon our online shopping experience will be improved as we virtually try on clothes using motion sensing devices that allow us to view the item's fit as well as the color.

Two items that I think will change our “relationship” with electronic devices include TransferJet technology from {complink 5648|Toshiba Corp.} and a nano coating from P2i Ltd., which makes our electronic devices waterproof. First, a recap of P2i's nano coating technology.

P2i has developed a technology that attaches a nanometer-thin polymer layer over the entire surface of a product — for example, a semiconductor chip or the entire board. The layer protects the device from moisture so that when liquids come into contact with it, they form beads and simply run off. The demo consisted of two tissues (yes, the Kleenex kind) — one that was coated, and one that wasn't. They both looked the same and felt the same, but the water on the coated tissue formed into little beads that rolled right off. When it rolled onto the uncoated tissue, it soaked right in. The secret to P2i's technology is a special application process that utilizes pulsed ionized gas that is created within a vacuum chamber to attach the polymer layer.

Aridion is the P2i product line designed for electronic products. It's an invisible liquid repellent coating that does not affect the working components of electronics, and it maintains the look, feel, and functionality of the device. This could substantially reduce warranty failure and repair costs of our electronic devices. Just think — we can drop our cellphones into the toilet, and they would still work. But who's going to reach in and get it? It's a much nicer option than the protective bags that some exhibitors were trying to sell.

Another technology that intrigued me was from Toshiba America. Toshiba announced the availability of its single-chip LSI RFCMOS solution to support TransferJet's technology, which was developed to transfer digital content via close proximity as a download file or streaming. It has the capability of transferring files seven times faster than traditional WiFi, with a physical layer transmission rate of 560Mbp/s and a throughput of 375Mmbp/s. As an example: one hour of TV programming can be transferred in just a few seconds.

Short transmission distance reduces the risk of hacking without the need for complex security and setup. Data transfer can take place between two portable devices or between a portable device and a stationary PC, peripheral, or TV. I liked the idea of transferring information to and from a car or a kiosk.

This will really come in handy when it's installed in every kiosk around the CES floor. It would have been nice to download maps of the CES floor layout right to my phone so that I could tell where I was at all times.

All in all, I don't think there was a revolutionary new electronic device at CES this year, but the enhancements have already enticed me, and probably everyone else, to make a product upgrade very soon.

8 comments on “CES 2012: It’s All About Motion, Touch & Sound

  1. Barbara Jorgensen
    January 18, 2012

    Thanks for drawing attention to the waterproofing material (for lack of a better term). So much of CES is sight and sound, but a practical solution to a universal problem is certainly welcome. I'll miss all the stories about how we got our cellphones wet, though…(It was a rogue wave–I swear!)

  2. SunitaT
    January 19, 2012

    @Joanne, thanks for the CES update. I heard that a company called “HzO” is also providing the technolgoy to protects gadgets from water. HzO nanotechnology seal keeps smartphones from drowning. Infact its been rumoured that Apple is in talks with HzO to access this new technology.

  3. P2i
    January 20, 2012

    Hi Joanne, great article and thanks for writing about our Aridion technology. Hope you enjoyed the demonstration on our booth. If you would like to know more about how Aridion works as well as the benefits it offers you can on our Aridion homepage.


  4. bolaji ojo
    January 20, 2012

    Having personally fished out phones from some watery places in the past, I would definitely embrace the technology offered by Aridion. I read up on it on your website and find it compelling as I bet my mobile phone insurer would once they get OEMs to incorporate it into their products.

  5. stochastic excursion
    January 20, 2012

    Fast file transfer is always a welcome technology.  I recall the old Palm Pilot could send and receive business card files through an infra-red link.

  6. t.alex
    January 21, 2012

    Will Transferjet be integrated into mobile very soon?

  7. jbond
    January 23, 2012

    I am personally looking forward to the integration of the P2i water proofing. This innovation will work well with cellphones and now tablets. Of course my biggest problem isn't water damage, it's dropping my phone.

  8. Joanne Itow
    January 27, 2012

    Dear t.alex,

    My understanding is that Toshiba is currently in talks with cellphone manufacturers regarding TransferJet technology.  Availability in cellphones will most likely be announced by the cellphone manufacturers themselves.  Let's hope its soon!



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