Business gadgets

CES Las Vegas – the non report #CES

I’ve been keeping an eye on proceedings at the Consumer Electronics Show in ‘Vegas1 . So far it’s a bit disappointing really. I guess we are all used to a rapid pace of change and when it doesn’t keep accelerating we think something is amiss.

This year I suspect the change is going to come when the next generation of mobile handset technology comes out sometime later this year. Mobile is where it is at.

I want integration of the mobile with the house. Currently we have DECT phones scattered around the place – the kitchen, lounge and TV room all have chargers. Apart from my wife everyone has a smartphone in our house (granted the 11 yr old wants an upgrade from his Nokia N97 which, at some point soon I will see as not an unreasonable request). I see no reason why these handsets shouldn’t replace the DECT ones. Everyone already has their own number. The kids only use the house phone to avoid paying mobile charges. This should all be blended. It’s just about the physical transport medium. It is doable once the mobile networks play ball.

I also see no reason why we shouldn’t be able to ditch the TV remote control and use phones/iPads (ok tablets) instead. From there is it just a short hop to having the heating and alarm controlled by the same device. You might want to allocate a master or have the relevant permissions in place. It is all doable. It just needs to go mainstream.

The Galaxy S2 and iPad already sit by my bed. If my bedside table had a docking station then the phone would also happily act as the main alarm clock and radio. I don’t need it in the bedroom during the day – it can come with me to work.

When I drive to work the same phone should be able to sit in a dock and act as my interface to the car handsfree kit and the satnav (huh who needs one !? 🙂 ) The dock in the back seat would allow the rest of the family to watch streaming movies on the go or that football match that we currently just tune in to Radio5 Live to hear. In fact we would probably tune in to the 5 Live commentary on my phone and the kids can watch the footy on the iPad. We already do this. It just needs to get more integrated and it needs more bandwidth. It’s not far off.

New TV technology seems to be the only big rave so far at CES. I don’t really care if I can get a very thin flat screen 55inch job though more integration with the internet would be good. I need the iPad functionality to get cheaper so that we can have more of them scattered around the house.  The iPad already spends a lot of its time in the kitchen screening recipes or catching up on missed TV programmes. It already effectively provides us with the internet connected fridge though physically the fridge isn’t the best place for that connection. Worktop or table is better and the device needs to be flour proof (other ingredients are available).

This device needs to understand what I am saying. It won’t be long coming. 9 years ago I bought Dragon voice rec software. It didn’t get used much. Now developments are starting to happen.  These are all evolutionary ones though. One day we are going to look back and say wow – when did it get that good? Perhaps we are already there – we nearly are.

We still need to figure out how work mixes with play and we need more security build in to our every day online existence. For example I can envisage every phone having its own security control panel. This would manage the relevant credentials and level of security for everything it is used for.

Work email & voip accounts, home email and voip accounts, work data encryption, personal data encryption, firewall settings to keep social networks and work stuff separate – your employer doesn’t want work info uploaded to the iCloud or to Google+ – it has to be a separate secure area for business specified and controlled  by the employer. Left your job? No probs, old firm kills its data new firm provides new mail/voip/vpn profiles. Easy peasy.

Not much data needs to be on your phone in any case. I use both Google Docs and Microsoft and often find myself cursing (mildly) when I don’t have my laptop open to readily access a document I need. The laptop might not even be with me and I need to access that document from a range of different devices.

I feel sorry for the journos that have trekked half way across the world because they “need” to be there. Jet lag and long days sat in boring presentations don’t make for an exciting life. Let’s hope CES day two has a more thrilling storyline!

1 all that time I spend on business in the USA – just can’t shake it off – just shut your eyes and imagine me with  an American accent 🙂

Trefor Davies

By Trefor Davies

Liver of life, father of four, CTO of, writer, poet,

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