Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

No strategy and a beige suit

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014

Read more

ENCORE!

Alain Choquette: A Hilarious Magician in Paris

Read more

FOCUS

France welcomes Iraqi Christian refugees

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Emmanuel Macron: A new economy minister with a pro-business agenda

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

More of this year's best Observers stories

Read more

#TECH 24

Changing the world, one video game at a time

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Socialist Party summer conference kicks off in explosive atmosphere

Read more

  • Exclusive: Fabius warns of further sanctions against Russia

    Read more

  • Experimental Ebola drug ‘ZMapp’ heals all monkeys in study

    Read more

  • British killer escapes from French psychiatric hospital

    Read more

  • Ukraine to relaunch NATO membership bid

    Read more

  • Police hunt for British boy with brain tumour taken to France

    Read more

  • Chelsea’s Torres set for AC Milan switch

    Read more

  • France shines in IMF list of world’s promising economists

    Read more

  • Mapping Ukraine: Canada and Russia in ‘tweet for tat’ row

    Read more

  • First case of Ebola confirmed in Senegal

    Read more

  • Obama has 'no strategy yet' on potential Syria strikes

    Read more

  • Netflix to woo French with ‘House of Cards’ set in Marseille

    Read more

  • French businesses ‘hoping for a new Thatcher’

    Read more

  • Syrian refugees surpass 3 million, UN says

    Read more

  • West backs Ukrainian claims of Russian incursion

    Read more

  • Libyan PM resigns as Islamists set up rival administration

    Read more

  • UN says 43 peacekeepers captured in Golan Heights

    Read more

  • The deleted tweets of Manuel Valls

    Read more

  • Peru seizes record 6.5 tonnes of Europe-bound cocaine

    Read more

  • Pakistan army to mediate between PM, protesters

    Read more

  • In pictures: Billions of locusts invade Madagascan capital

    Read more

France

Big talk at Las Vegas tech show, but little innovation

Text by Sébastian SEIBT

Latest update : 2012-01-11

The technology world has gathered in Las Vegas for the annual Consumer Electronics Show trade show but industry giants unveiled few revolutionary products this year.

Technology manufacturers tried to jolt consumers from their current spending slumber with dazzling new gadgets at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this week.

Gathered at the world’s largest trade show, tech giants showed off better connected televisions, new phones, and the latest generation of compact laptops.

But despite lavish and well-groomed presentations, leading software and hardware makers reserved few real breakthroughs for the event.

Smart TVs behind the curve

Wayne Park, president and CEO of LG Electronics USA, told CES that while 2011 "was challenging for economies around the world”, his company had increased revenues in North America.

Park was on stage not just to boast about market share but to present LG’s new line of 3D and Smart TVs, which in 2012 will represent half of all the displays the South Korean manufacturer will produce.

LG’s new TVs will come with a built-in camera that recognises human movements and transforms the body into a de facto remote control or video game controller. It is exactly the technology seen with Kinect, the motion sensing device by Microsoft for its Xbox video game console.

LG’s said the TVs would also include voice recognition, drawing further comparisons to Kinect, which introduced voice input capabilities just a few months ago.

Like Sony in years past, Samsung wants to have a finger in every tech pie. Smart TVs, however, are at the heart of the Korean company’s strategy. Besides high definition images and 3D, Samsung TVs will feature increased connectivity to other electronics, like tablets and phones, but also refrigerators and washing machines.

Samsung said it was also offering a choice of TV content to match that of the Apple’s hugely popular App Store, with television series, movies, video games, fitness programmes and more to match all interests and persuasions.

In 2012 the firm apparently was counting on ubiquity rather than innovation to bring in profits.

Ultrabooks to stay on the shelf

In a 45-minute press conference that harked back to those by the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs, Intel president Mooly Eden showed off Ultrabooks at CES. Coined by Intel, these minicomputers follow on the heels of the ultrathin Macbook Air notebook computer and the iPad tablet.

While Eden has taken more than one cue from Jobs, the Ultrabooks are unlikely to find the same level of success as Apple’s star products.

Intel did not have a specific product to highlight, rather it showcased the technology that allows a new, wide range of lightweight computers to function. The US tech firm’s Ivy Bridge, a next generation laptop processor, will be powering most Ultrabooks.

In short, Intel can spend lots of time and money promoting Ultrabooks, but it must rely on the willingness of other manufacturers to make products to match its ambitions.

Furthermore, as John Herrman writes in the magazine Popular Mechanics, consumers will probably not rush out to buy a novelty computer – at premium price – that can’t read CDs or DVDs and has relatively little memory.

Microsoft goes out with a squeak

Throughout his presentation, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer sat on a chair. It was as if the software giant’s top boss needed to rest after headlining CES for the past three years. In fact, the 17-year love story between Microsoft and CES ends this year. Microsoft said last December that after 2012, it would launch new products with its own event and on its own schedule.

The only novelty Microsoft brought along for its last CES tradeshow as a new line of Windows Phones – smart phones that work with Microsoft’s own operating system Windows Phone 7.5, also known as Mango. Ballmer unveiled the Nokia 900 and Lumia HTC Titan 2, phones that are not even all-Microsoft.

Otherwise, Microsoft placed emphasis on its new desktop operating system Windows 8, which will be available this fall. But once more, Microsoft’s CES team only repeated what the public already knew.

Windows 8 will feature a completely revised and updated interface, called Metro, and will be fully touch-based, whether a desktop or a tablet.

The gaming world impatiently awaits Microsoft’s next Xbox, but no word was heard about it at CES. Perhaps Ballmer hopes to turn heads with the new version of the console at the E3 video game show in Los Angeles in June. In any case, the innovation game was not on at Las Vegas.

 

Date created : 2012-01-11

  • INTERNET

    Yahoo gets new CEO with ex-PayPal boss Thompson

    Read more

  • TECHNOLOGY

    Snooping software on smartphones exposed

    Read more

COMMENT(S)