Here’s a brief look at some of the major announcements made at the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) held at Las Vegas, USA:
Intel debuted a new smartphone reference design and a low power Atom processor based platform targeted at emerging markets. This platform is codenamed Lexington and includes an Intel Atom processor Z2420 which can achieve speeds of 1.2GHz, support up to two cameras with burst mode and encode/decode 1080p video as well as a XMM 6265 HSPA+ modem which offers dual SIM and dual standby capabilities. The company has tied up with phone manufacturers like Acer, Lava International and Safaricom to develop phones based on this platform.
Intel also previewed the upcoming Intel Atom Z2580 processor platform codenamed Clover Tail+ for high end smartphones, which will feature a dual-core Atom processor and dual-core graphics engine and a new Atom-based processor for tablets codenamed Bay Trail.
Sony launched two new Android flagship phones, Sony Xperia Z and Sony Xperia ZL. Running on Android 4.1 ‘Jelly Bean’, both the phones feature a 5-inch 1080p reality display, a 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, and 13 megapixel fast capture camera. While Xperia Z is a water and dust resistant device, Xperia ZL doesn’t have any such capabilities. The phones are expected to be available globally in Q1 2013, although there is no mention of India availability yet.
Sony also previewed a prototype of its new 56-inch OLED TV with 4K resolution and launched new Internet connected 55-inch and 65-inch Bravia LED televisions and debuted a secondary screen app called TV SideView for Android and iOS smartphones and tablets, which allows users to control select Sony home devices (view demo), browse through an electronic programme guide, view show recommendations and search for content across third party websites like YouTube and Netflix among others. (view demo)
Samsung unveiled a new T9000 refrigerator with an LCD screen, a dedicated Evernote app which allows users to share photos, videos, and recipes with their family and friends and calendar and weather apps.
Samsung launched a new service for its Smart TVs called S-Recommendation with Voice Interaction, which analyses the consumer’s viewing history and the popularity of the television programs to offer a personalized menu of on-air and on-demand content and apps from its Smart TV app store. The service also allows users to ask for movie and television show recommendations via voice and request content for specific artists. In addition, it also announced a new 85-inch Ultra High Definition TV and a new flagship Smart TV called F8000 LED TV.
Samsung debuted an eight core Exynos 5 Octa processor chip for high-end smartphones and tablets. Samsung says this processor chip will include four Cortex-A15 processors to manage intensive tasks and four Cortex-A7 cores to manage lighter tasks. It also previewed a flexible OLED display prototype called Youm and showcased a prototype smartphone having the Youm display, which has the ability to display content along the sides of the device. (view demo)
Indian surface computing company Emo2 has launched a new multi-user multi-touch operating system and cloud platform solution called ‘Emo2 Anywhere’. The company says this solution is targeted towards businesses who are looking to deploy and manage multi-user touch systems at a large scale. Emo2 claimed that Cafe Coffee Day had piloted an earlier version of its solution, following which the cafe chain has deployed 100 Emo2 software enabled tables across their stores. The company is angel-funded and has investors like Blume Ventures, Rajan Anandan, and Zafar Baig among other angels.
During the company’s keynote, Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs stated that the company has shipped around 11 billion chips till now and more than 500 devices are currently powered by Qualcomm processors with more than 400 devices in the design stage.
He introduced a new tiered structure to the Qualcomm Snapdragon processor brand and as per the new structure, the processor brand will have four tiers - Snapdragon 800, 600, 400 and 200. Snapdragon 800 are designed for high-end smartphones, Smart TVs, digital media adapters and tablets while Snapdragon 600 are meant for mid-high range of smartphones and tablets, Snapdragon 400 are meant for high volume smartphones and tablets and Snapdragon 200 are meant for entry level smartphones. He also announced a new range of Snapdragon processors in the Snapdragon 600 and Snapdragon 800 series. While Snapdragon 600 processor is expected to be available in commercial devices by Q2 2013, Snapdragon 800 processor is expected to be available in commercial devices by mid 2013.
Qualcomm announced that its augmented reality solution Vuforia has powered more than 2,500 apps for iOS and Android devices and is supported by more than 40,000 developers in 130 countries. It also revealed plans to add support for real-time text recognition using cameras on smartphone and tablets, thereby allowing mobile app developers to offer various augmented educational experiences within their apps as well as use Vuforia’s text recognition to offer a new data input mode along with on-screen keyboards and speech-to-text.
The company has tied up with Sesame Workshop to build an app called Big Bird’s Words, which will allow kids to search and find new words around them using Vuforia’s text recognition feature.