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System Integration for the Connected Home

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Mobile Devices Distracting from TVs

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According to Nielsen, the use of tablets and smartphones while watching TV is becoming increasingly common, especially among viewers based in the UK.

tv tablet smartphoneNielsen held a Q4 2011 survey tracking behavior patterns in the UK, Germany, Italy and the US.

The analyst says 80% of tablet and 78% of smartphone owners in the UK use their devices while watching TV at least once during a 30-day testing period-- with 24% using their devices several times a day.

On the other hand German and Italian TV viewing is more serious business-- 29% of participants in both countries never dual-view tablets and TVs together. The same goes for 35% of Germans and 34% of Italians when it comes to smartphones.

The final revelation on viewers in the USA being easily distracted might not be too much of a surprise... 88% of American tablet and 86% of smartphone owners prefer to multi-task (at least once during the 30-day period).

In all participant countries, the most frequent mobile device activity is checking emails during either advert breaks or shows. Nielsen says device users also "engage with content relate to the TV," checking show- or advert-related information.

Either way, it is heartening to know Europeans have (relatively) longer attention spans than Americans do, right?

Go Double-Vision: Global Trends in Tablet and Smartphone Use While Watching TV (Nielsen)

From the Hospital to the Networked Home

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Stu LipoffCommunications consultant and IEEE fellow Stu Lipoff speaks with us about the rise of network-based home health care devices, as part of a talk on the growth in home networking.

Recently pushing the growth in broadband connectivity is the increasing demand for multiple video streams to be moved around the home-- from multiple connected HDTVs to the recording of HD streams on DVRs, smartphones and tablet devices. One has to keep in mind each HD stream requires around 20 Mbps of data, which can easily bring data demands to the 100s of megabits.

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Seeing is Believing: rAVe NOW Videos

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CoptermotionWhat did you miss at ISE 2012? Our friends at rAVe NOW captured nearly 900 videos and you can search for what you’d like to see…or use these links to categories below to zero on companies or products.

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The ECI 11 for 2011

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2011There are no doubts-- it has been quite a full year. From natural disasters to protests and ousted dictators, there was truly something for everyone on the headlines. And as for our business, well, we're about to take a look at what went on during past 12 months, with a Top 11 for 2011...

1. Farewell, Steve Jobs: The biggest story this year was certainly the untimely demise of Steve Jobs at age 56, following a 7 year struggle with cancer. During those years, Apple brought us the iPhone and the iPad. Jobs had already stepped down as Apple CEO on Aug. 24th 2011... and most of us knew the only only reason he would walk away from the company would be his ultimate demise.

One cannot understimate Jobs' effect on the industry-- his return to Apple in 1997 turned a company Jobs himself described as weeks away from bankruptcy into one of the the biggest in the world (and the biggest for a few weeks), fuelling customers' lusts for technology in the process.

2. Motorola Mobility goes Google: Is Google planning to duplicate Apple's success in hardware, or simply hoarding patents (of which Motorola Mobility owns 24500?). Either way, Google will now be able to make a whole variety of devices-- not only smartphones and tablets, but also Bluetooth-based accessories and, more importantly STBs. Google insists Motorola Mobility will be run as a separate entity and Android will remain open source-- but one has to read between the lines...

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Ingram Micro’s Gerhard Schulz for ISE Keynote

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Gerard SchulzISE will now have its first Keynote Address and that will come from an IT distributor: Gerhard Schulz, Senior VP Central Europe, Ingram Micro, will share his vision for how we can respond to the challenges posed by the transition from analogue to digital.

In his Blueprint for Business Growth in the Digital Age, Schulz will show how Ingram Micro has broadened its offering to become not just a supplier of products but a partner to manufacturers, integrators and resellers throughout the world.

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What's the Dirtiest Device of Them All?

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"That" time of the year is back-- soon enough (if not already!) people start getting sick, as germs and viruses run amok with immune systems everywhere. But how does one prevent microbe attack? According to Keeping it Kleen, one needs to wipe... their devices.

Dirty RemoteIf one is to believe the organisation, a lot of devices are, well, filthy. And full of bacteria. Keyboards, apparently, are 5x dirtier than a toilet seat (and carry 150x the "acceptable limit for bacteria limits") while 16% of mobile phones "were found to have poop on them." Eek! Switches, microwave buttons and even door handles are also found to be germ havens.

But what's the dirtiest device in the home? You'd be surprised-- it's the humble remote. Far from being a convenience of the modern era, the TV remote is a "hotbed for contagious germs and viruses." Oh dear.

It gets even worse when away from home, since the typical hotel room remote "is considered dirtier than the toilet, sink handles, door handles and even the infamous bedspread." It makes one want to never touch anything again, ever.

Other germ-harbouring devices including tablets, laptops, media players and game controllers.

The solution? Wiping, preferably with either clorox wipes or rubbing alcohol. And here's an opportunity-- start offering UV light cleaners to your customers. Either way, breathing on a device before wiping with a tissue just doesn't appear to be enough any more.

So, remember to wipe... and keep that those electronics clean!

Go Tech Germs Infographic (Keeping it Kleen)

What's So Smart about a Smart TV War?

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You are cruising on the high seas in a ship stuffed with 3D TVs... Suddenly, a shout goes up, "Connected TV off the starboard bow..."

..and everyone aboard rushes to starboard and the entire ship starts to tilt dangerously towards the water line, endangering all...

LG Smart TVWelcome to the Smart TV Wars.

It's the Age of Disruption. And all the traditional forms of content delivery have been sunk. The web disrupted the news business by firing a broadside volley against newspaper publishers. iTunes fired a shot from the good ship Apple's armoury, blasting the traditional music business model out of the water. The App Store and the humble app torpedoed the packaged software business for everyone. PC gaming is now under siege from disruption.

Everyone in the Age of Disruption suffers from Apple envy. CE companies like Samsung, Sony, LG and others would like to claw back market share, with each introducing app stores that mirror Apple's tried and tested model.

Incumbent TV makers have watched apps...the next-generation of software...already alter the mobile phone business forever (henceforth... the smartphone business.)

That's why LG joining the Net TV consortium is so important.

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