Ifvisitors of January’s Consumer Electronics Show, in Las Vegas, believed thegoal of the convention was to convince people to buy something from a brandother than Apple, they can be forgiven. However, attendees quicklyrealized that not all of this year’s great tech innovations are destined tooriginate from Cupertino, California.
Television makers, in particular, are introducing newtechnologies aimed at offering a better picture and easier ways to connect tothe Internet for video streaming and use of other web applications. The mostpromising of these is LG’s new Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) TV, whichproduces gorgeous color and will soon be available in a 55-inch size. And asWiFi video streaming becomes more pervasive, TVs are becoming more portable.Sharp, for example, is introducing Freestyle TVs that can be easily moved fromroom to room; there’s even a handle.
Other products center around programming. For instance,Sony is extending its popular PlayStation games beyond the console for use onother devices. And to continue a trend seen last year, there is now a raft ofAndroid-based tablets competing against the iPad. Nokia, meanwhile, aims tochallenge the iPhone with its Windows-based Lumia 900 model.
The ease with which tablets connect to the Internet isbeing passed along to a myriad of other devices. Canon’s new cameras andcamcorders use an iPhone application to upload photos and videos tosocial-networking sites—and you don’t have to use a computer to do it. Internetconnections are becoming a standard feature in cars as well: Cadillac, Audi,Ford, Mercedes-Benz, Kia and more are offering access to Internet-basedapplications like Facebook and Pandora.
Could this could be the year that proves that Appleisn’t the only big shot in the tech arena?