by Jim Bennett (January 17, 2000)
Judging from recent developments and the pre-show press briefings, several prototypes and production devices, coupled with services, will start creating a connected world for consumers now. Five of trends are highlighted as follows:
1. Customer demand is increasing for more stable connectivity with higher bandwidth in both the telecommunications and networked worlds. Internet appliances and devices are expected to play a much greater role and will soon outpace PC sales.
2. The Internet and its Web component are becoming more useful to individuals on a daily basis with applications such as e-mail, wireless communications, stock quotes and MP3 players.
3. Open source software initiatives like Linux, Java and Jini are starting to gain traction as noted in the size of their displays, product briefings and demonstrations.
4. Digital imaging, in still and DV modes, are becoming widely available at more affordable prices.
5. The roaring economy, in spite of some dot com weakness, continues to fuel consumer spending to new levels, encouraging experimentation with new consumer technology as long as it's perceived to be cool or affordable. Let's hope the technology and consumer electronic sectors don't disappoint them.
I feel that key end users want a seamlessly connected world of communication and data between home, vehicle, office and personal mobility. It's a lofty goal that could be hard to deliver. Some of the products shown at CES 2000 show that the process has begun.
© 2000 Jim Bennett All rights reserved.