There is a lot of stuff here at CES. Hopefully, this is not part of the “innovation.”
LG makes washers, dryers, refrigerators, televisions, smartphones, stoves, and other devices.
LG will make your smartphones work with all of your appliances: Your LG stove, your refrigerator, your television, your washer and your dryer and will make connectivity easier to let you live “the Smart Life!”
…but only if every appliance and smartphone in your home is from LG.
Sorry iPhone, Motorola and Samsung phones!
Dang! I knew there was a catch!
Honestly! Where do these company executives come from? People cannot simply swap out phones every few months!
Hearing aids are not waterproof. Apparently, some make claims to being water resistant.
Unfortunately, you still cannot swim in a hearing aid. You cannot step into the shower with a hearing aid. If it rains on you, you must hide your hearing aid. You cannot even sweat too much while wearing a hearing aid. The water wrecks the electronics.
Siemens won honors in Design and Engineering at CES for creating a hearing aid that is totally waterproof. You can swim in the device and do any water activity without fear of wrecking the electronics.
As an added feature, they have an attachment that allows you to listen to any mp3 music player.
The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is a huge electronics show held annually in Las Vegas. For the third year in a row, Toon Boom will be there.
This time, however, the company is also going First Class, showing their products at the special show “CES Unveiled.”
This will be huge! Check out typical CES events in this composite “Best Events of CES.”
Microsoft is doomed. This is the popular cliché. However, this week, I saw something that made it all so clear.
Our annual Christmas office party was this week. Those attending can best be described as grandmothers and older mothers. Someone brought their iPad. The entire group was thrilled when they saw the iPad. You would think someone just brought out pictures of their new grandchildren. Actually, the pictures came later, courtesy of the iPad. Those without iPads talked excitedly about their plans to buy one this Christmas.
Though they use computers regularly, they merely tolerate them. For them, computers are simply an ugly necessity.
Yet, this group loves their iPads. They are not at all intimidated. They are genuinely excited, even weeks after their purchases. They “love” their iPads in the same way technology addicts like myself “love” our own shiny new computers or gadgets.
While geeks like me debate the merits between Android versus Windows RT versus iPads, this group of technology-phobic people know only one thing: They love their iPad or they want one now. They do not know the meaning of the word “Android” and they have no idea what Windows RT or Windows 8 means. They are not even interested.
Microsoft lost this segment of the market. It is too late. The race is over. The iPad won.
This year, Intel released Ivy Bridge. This offered fans of Toon Boom animation improved graphics performance.
The big issue for Toon Boom Animate Pro and Harmony is video graphics. If your video card is inadequate, the programs will run badly or not at all, meaning they crash.
This creates problems. Windows Tablet PC’s all tend to offer only integrated graphics, except for some models of the HP tm2 (now obsolete) and Fujitsu T901 (also soon disappearing). This created challenges for those who wanted a portable animation platform.
Enter Ivy Bridge with its higher end HD 4000 graphics and promises of OpenGL support in an integrated graphics laptop. Anandtech.com has a good review of the graphics capabilities. I was impressed enough to get a Lenovo X230T tablet, running Windows 7.
Verdict: Harmony runs well on this machine. I am finding no problems!
Is this as good as a laptop with a dedicated graphics card? Of course not…. But you get a portable animation machine!
Key things to look for in a tablet PC:
- Wacom Digitizing Hardware
- Intel Corei5 or Corei7 processor
HD 4000 Graphics (NOT HD 3000!!!)
I am aware of only three tablets meeting these criteria. One each from Lenovo, Fujitsu, and Samsung can be found at this time.
Steven Mussey, MD
Toon Boom Studio seems to be far more tolerant of lower end hardware.
Last year, I made an animation for CES about Steve Ballmer. Using all of the 3D features of Harmony 9, I added a stage, characters, and background. I also added rows and rows of people. The goal was to recreate the “drama” of the big event before making fun of it all.
As the scene was composited, I ran into trouble: Simply maneuvering around the elements made my machine pause and then crash. It became extremely difficult to work with the animation. If I rendered anything other than a 720 by 480 resolution frame, the program crashed. Even though I set my preferences in the program to reduce memory use, the program still stuttered. I was able to create the basic scene before frustration made me stop.
My assumption: Even my well-equipped Intel i7 machine was overwhelmed.
I was wrong. The problem was Harmony 9, which is a 32-bit program, could not handle the memory demands of my complex scene.
So, Harmony 10 is 64-bits and advertises faster and better scene handling. Would it perform as advertised? Is it REALLY better?
On that same machine, now running Harmony 10, I loaded up the Steve Ballmer animation. Would it crash? Could I render film resolution frames without the dreaded Windows 7 error message?
The result: The animation is easily handled by my computer and Harmony 10. The animation renders film quality frames with no difficulty. The difference is dramatic.
Harmony has a lot of features. Power users will quickly add complexity to their scenes. If you are stuck in 32-bit, these scenes become unmanageable, even on the fastest super-computer.
Switch to 64-bit and even my first generation Intel i7 runs like a sports car.
Harmony 10’s step upwards is 64-bits and it is a really big deal! Go for it!
Steven Mussey, M.D.
Toon Boom is promoting “Doodle.” “Doodle” is a cool animation program for kids and will allow anyone to make sophisticated animations that can be shared on YouTube, Facebook and others. The folks at Toon Boom were at CES this week and gave us a demo of their product.
CES is not all about cool new televisions, laptops, and smart phones.
One of the more fascinating sections of CES deals with Robotics. Last year, I discovered a company which is using robotics to address a serious healthcare problem: Agitation and anxiety in the elderly who suffer from dementia.
When faced with an agitated patient with dementia, the options for management are terrible. Step number one is to use non-medication means to calm the person. These are often useless and are always time intensive. Step number two, is the use of sedative medication. Unfortunately, such medication is usually not effective and always carries high risk for harm and premature death.
Another non-medication option involves the use of “therapy dogs,” which are surprisingly helpful. Unfortunately, in a nursing home setting, this is only possible for short intervals that render the therapy less useful.
An interesting company called PARO was, again, at CES displaying their “therapeutic robots.” It is a robot designed to look like a baby harp seal. The company calls this a “non-familiar animal” that people “can accept” more “easily without their preconception.” It is covered in “artificial antibiotic fur” with a hard inner skeleton.
It contains sophisticated intelligence circuitry to interact with humans, responding to light, sound, temperature, touch and posture.
It recharges with a pacifier like attachment.
To see these devices in person is remarkable. In a very short period of time, you find yourself petting and interacting with it as if it were a living pet that needed comforting. While the CES show floor does not allow “field demonstrations” with elderly patients suffering from dementia, the hands on experience and online video is convincing.
There is just one glitch: the device is not cheap: $200 per month. Insurance will not cover it.
On the other hand, a month of Zyprexa or similar harmful sedative easily exceeds $200 per month and every study confirms these drugs are always harmful and questionably useful. Yet, drugs are covered by insurance.
For the second year in a row, I walked away from the PARO booth convinced this would be a dramatic improvement in patient care. I do suggest this to families who might benefit, but no one has tried a device so far.
Anyone interested can visit the site: http://www.parorobots.com.
CES is the Consumer Electronics Show. It is the place where innovations from all over the world in the field of consumer electronics are gathered and promoted. It is not a gigantic version of BestBuy. It is a place where companies like BestBuy come to see what is new. Nothing, theoretically, is for sale here. These are products that are supposed to appear over the coming year.
Many have been critical of CES: Why have the show in January, when people are burned out from the Christmas Holiday shopping hype? This completely misunderstands CES. CES is where companies gather to figure out what they will sell you NEXT Christmas. Most of the new products do not appear until mid-year, if they appear at all.
That last sentence brings up another interesting aspect of CES. Most of what you see at CES will never appear on a store shelf and will never be available for purchase. Many of the items are prototypes which are often killed before they can appear for consumers.
As you travel to some of the smaller company booths, you also see something interesting: A huge assortment of really cool gadgets that will never appear in the U.S. Many of these are designed for sale in countries with lower income levels. The gadgets tend to be “almost as cool as an iPad or iPod,” but are more cheaply made. Sometimes, they even have extra cool features like 3D screens. Unfortunately, the build quality, feature set, and software are simply not up to standards demanded in the U.S. Nonetheless, these products are still often really cool. I love traveling through these back vendor booths.
CES is a glimpse into the electronics world of the coming year. It is a look into electronics firms’ efforts to create “the next big thing.” Most of this stuff will fail. In fact, some of the most promoted and loved products will fail badly (Motorola Xoom, Blackberry Playbook, etc.).
CES is all about innovation….and a lot of hype.