Leading the Way from Entertainment to Business

Consumer Electronics

Subscribe to Consumer Electronics: eMailAlertsEmail Alerts newslettersWeekly Newsletters
Get Consumer Electronics: homepageHomepage mobileMobile rssRSS facebookFacebook twitterTwitter linkedinLinkedIn

Top Stories

As the world waits for the first Android phone to appear in the wild (from T-Mobile), questions are being raised again about whether Google’s Android ambitions will stop at cell phones. In a speculative, but well-thought-out piece, VentureBeat’s Eric Eldon reports: Industry sources tell us that although Android will indeed start as a mobile OS, Google intends to expand it to be a sort of universal operating system that will span set-top boxes for televisions, mp3 players and other communication and media devices and services. If what Eldon is hearing is true, that means that Android could one day spread beyond mobile phones and set-top boxes to a multiplicity of devices. After all, if we are moving towards an Internet of things, those things will need an operating system. In this case, however, the operating system will reside partially in the cloud, and application... (more)

Broadcom and Skyhook Wireless Partner To Bring Wi-Fi Positioning To More Mobile Phones

Some of the most compelling apps on the iPhone and upcoming Android phones take advantage of the GPS chips inside those devices to create services that filter information based on your location. While GPS chips are particularly good at pinpointing your location, other techniques are also used. For instance, the iPhone uses cell-tower triangulation and Wi-Fi positioning. No single technology works all the time, so having a couple fallback methods is always a good idea. Although not talked about as much, the Wi-Fi positioning is made possible through a deal with Skyhook Wireless. Now Broadcom, which makes many of the GPS, Wi-Fi and other types of chips in a vast array of phones, is adding Skyhook’s Wi-Fi positioning to its chips as well. That means more phones will be able to take advantage of location-based apps in the future. Skyhook keeps a constantly updated data... (more)

Metacafe Bets Its Future On The Power Of Wikis

Remember Metacafe? That’s right, the video entertainment site which got overshadowed by YouTube’s phenomenal rise? Well, it’s now making a huge gamble on a new product direction and doing so with zero guarantees. The gamble is WikiCafe, a collaborative editing approach for video metadata. To appreciate how important WikiCafe is to Metacafe just take a look at the company’s official R&D resource usage: 60% WikiCafe, 30% revenue generating opportunities, 10% everything else. That says it all. I spent a few hours with Eyal Hertzog, the company’s co-founder and Chief Creative Officer who walked me through the company’s new product vision and the rationale for its big bet on the wiki approach to organizing videos. Hertzog was frustrated that users (he being among them) couldn’t just locate “THE” result when searching for a video. His definition of “THE” being a single v... (more)

LynuxWorks and Avidyne Take Off

LynuxWorks has announced that Avidyne has selected LynxOS-178 as the embedded real-time operating system (RTOS) for Avidyne's next generation Entegra Release 9 Integrated Flight Deck. LynxOS-178 is a commercially available operating system and that enables manufacturers of DO-178B systems to get to market faster and with lower overall costs and risks associated with certifying FAA safety-critical flight systems. LynxOS-178 is a known certifiable RTOS package that allows avionics customers to achieve the highest degree of assurance and DO-178B certification to meet unique FAA requirements. Avidyne's Entegra Release 9 flight deck systems include dual, triple, or quad Integrated Flight Displays (IFD) for general aviation and light business aircraft. The fully integrated design of Entegra Release 9 makes it ideal for high-performance singles, piston twins, turboprops, ... (more)

Thinking Global, Big Chinese PC Maker Allies with NComputing

Lenovo's not the only Chinese PC maker with global ambitions. So has Haier Computer Group, reportedly the country's second-largest PC maker and part of the $16 billion Haier Group, already the world's fourth-largest white goods manufacturer. So, Haier has tied up with NComputing, the American company with the ultra low-cost virtual desktop solution, to jointly pursue large educational and government opportunities such as the one they captured in 2007 in Macedonia to supply 180,000 seats throughout the country's school system for under $150 a seat including hardware, software, and network infrastructure. It was the world's first nationwide "one-computer-per-child" program and the pair won it with Haier's hardware. They underbid what Dell and Wyse were asking by more than half. Now they mean to chase other opportunities, initially targeting 18 countries in Africa, Eu... (more)

Hey, Mister, Wanna Remade Windows Cheap?

Microsoft has priced Windows 7. At retail the Home Premium version will list for $200, Professional $300, and Ultimate $320. That's the full kit and Windows rarely sells for list. The upgrade prices are supposed to run $120 for Home Premium, $200 for Professional, and $220 for Ultimate. Microsoft has cut the price of the Home Premium, expected to be its most popular retail product, 10% below what Vista Home Premium theoretically went for when it came out. Considering the economy plus the hash it made of Vista, Microsoft, obviously nervous about the response to 7, evidently sees itself currying favor this way. Folks who pre-order Windows 7 from, say, Amazon, Best Buy, or Microsoft direct can theoretically get a better deal: better than 50% off either the Home Premium SKU or the Professional edition or for $50 and $100, respectively but the offer will only run until ... (more)

Nine Out of Ten Visited a Social Networking Site

Social Media Journal comScore released the results of a study into U.K. social networking site usage by age of visitor, based on data from the comScore World Metrix audience measurement service. The study found that 29.4 million people accessed at least one social networking site in the U.K. in May, averaging 4.6 hours per visitor during the month, with Facebook.com ranking as the most visited social networking site. Social Networking Reach High Among All Age Groups Social networking has become a mainstream online activity among all age groups, with 80 percent of the total U.K. online population having visited a site in the category in May. Penetration was highest amongst 25-34 year old Internet users, 89 percent of whom visited the category during the month, followed by 15-24 year olds (86 percent). Category penetration was somewhat lower among the older age groups... (more)

Challenger Mobile Joins the Google Android Movement

Challenger Mobile, the white label mobile VoIP technology company, has announced the launch during the fall of its ground-breaking platform for Google's Android mobile operating system. Challenger Mobile will allow mobile operators, wireless ISPs and related service providers to now deliver mVoIP services to customers switching to Android-based mobile phones, which utilize the innovative operating system developed by one of the tech world's biggest companies -- Google. As the primary competitor to Apple's iPhone operating system, Google's open source Android mobile operating system is made available at no cost to phone manufacturers including Sony Ericsson, Nokia, Samsung, Motorola, HTC and others. Android allows for a range of different touch-screen cell phones and smartphones to offer the user-friendly experience that is often associated with the iPhone. Android ... (more)

Mobile App or Mobile Web

Since the launch of iPhone the mobile industry has been in a flux. It has witnessed lot of innovations since then. Today, more choices are available to the user than ever before which has resulted in a fragmented market. It has complicated matters for every organization which wants to reach out to their consumers through mobile. There are too many platforms to be supported and there is no standardization. Some industry segments have not made any significant move to reach out to their consumer through mobile platform and are playing a waiting game – waiting for the technology to mature. However, travel industry cannot afford to do that. Mobile phone is a personal device – more personal than the “personal” computer. You might lend your PC to coworker or a friend for few hours but can you imagine lending your mobile phone? Travel is also a personal activity. Nobody else... (more)

Essential Mobile WiMAX Devices 2009 Update Now Available

Research and Markets (http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/3d123b/mobile_wimax_devic) has announced the addition of the "Mobile WiMAX Devices—2009 Global Mid-Year Update" report to their offering. This report provides an update to In-Stat's annual 802.16e, mobile WiMAX, device forecast. Due to the rapidly changing nature of the market in terms of vendor and service provider support for the technology, In-Stat will start updating the forecast twice a year. Some changes since the last device forecast, published December of 2008, are: Alcatel-Lucent's repositioning its WiMAX infrastructure as an "enhanced DSL" service versus a true mobile technology Deployment schedule for India and the US Increased momentum for LTE Nokia cancelled production of its N810 WiMAX-embedded mobile Internet device (MID). This report provides global 802.16e device forecasts (as well as ... (more)

Starbucks QR Latte

The New York Times reported on the use of QR Codes by Starbucks. The code is used to trigger a mobile payment and is part of their myStarbucks app on the iphone. An analyst quoted doubted whether using mobile tags for payment in this way will catch on when compared to the option to use near field technology that reads passive RFID tags. ... (more)