Monday, March 10, 2008

The Future of Consumer Electronics is here...

It’s just unevenly distributed!...

Robert Scoble, formerly of Microsoft and now with FastCompany TV, moderates a wide ranging discussion on what’s driving the future of consumer electronics. Product Development and marketing directors from Seagate, Logitech, Sling Media, Revision 3 discuss.

The question: Where do you guys see consumer electronics going?
  • Everything goes through IP stack…things like Wii’s attached to electronic devices (Like HD TV).
  • Software becomes the common area of focus to integrate hardware pieces. Hardware is easier to build. What’s hard is the software.
  • Open source development is a ‘collective wisdom’ approach to solving hard problems.
  • Techhnology in general is moving toward open environment (as opposed to proprietary schemas…Can you say Blu-ray?).
  • Large blocks of data present challenges to distribution into the home (for instance, HD video), especially over wireless broadband/broadcast.
  • Many of the issues in consumer electronics are not technical, they are regulatory and deal with issues like intellectual property (digital rights management, RIAA, MPAA). But when technology and regulation collide, regulatory usually ends up frustrated.
  • What’s really important in the new electronics world is batteries (True Dat!).
  • The Bug Labs device is interesting. It’s basically a motherboard that allows you to snap in TV screen, Music player, Camera…it’s a build your own consumer electronics device.
  • Everything about it is open source.
  • The user experience becomes the focus of moving design forward. Design of the software to use processing power for presentation layer is trend (like the iPhone..again software is hard).
  • Embedded devices as a future trend (e.g., implants in clothes, under skin). Open source enables the collective intelligence to figure out how to develop the desirable devices and electronics.
  • Notion of productivity of an individual’s time as a purpose that mobile and connected devices serve…not work productivity but doing something when you are doing nothing. (Not the time in a life but the life in a time).
  • With voice commanded devices, what’s the future of buttons? (besides a large 'Mute' button)

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