New York , NY
Let there be no doubt about it – DigitalLife is an end user show. The first day was Industry Day but the place was flooded with end users. This is the 18 – 30 year old crowd, mostly male, that loves games and gadgets. The show floor is only about 1/3 of the Jacob Javits Convention Center, thus relatively small. One has the impression that this is PC Expo in different clothing. Yes, Nokia and Verizon are here, which gives it a mobile and connectivity angle, but the vast majority of the floor is focused on PCs, media devices and game play including a tournament play area.
When it comes to gamers and the connected, this is a slice of New York. Just like a piece of pizza. But it is just that – not a full reflection of New York and the dimensions of society here.
Don MacDonald, VP and GM Digital Home Group, Intel, gave the same talk as he did at CEATEC. As some measure of the end use acceptance of the message, it appeared that at least 50% of the audience was high school students and the auditorium was still not packed.
Peter Moore, Corporate VP, Worldwide Marketing and Publishing, HED, Microsoft, gave the Xbox 360 rally. The auditorium was packed and they loved it. As the video clips rolled of the game titles each got its own response. Microsoft is seizing the high ground of beating PS3 to market and the players are ready. The support for iPod and PSP also got a good response.
Is ATI Worried?
Hardly. With Intel showing off 300mm system-on-a-chip (SOC) wafers that includes graphics, the WAVE wanted to know – is Intel’s SOC for the home a serious issue? When we asked ATI, they said:
TiVo Lines Them Up and Gives Them Away
It is the classic – give the razor away to make money on the blades. TiVo had a mock funeral to bury the VCR which they claim “never lived up to its promise for easy and convenient television recording.” TiVo was giving away 100’s of TiVo Series2 units for those that brought in a VCR tape. All one had to do was to sign up for the TiVo subscription. The new owners were walking out of the convention center in droves carrying their big TiVo boxes. They were all like walking billboards.
The subscription costs $49.99 for one year after the rebate and no early termination service charges are levied if cancelled in the first 30 days.
iPod Accessories Galore
In another example of “ride on the backs of giants”, iPod accessories were all over the floor. Here is a sample from our first scan.
Logitech – G15 – Bringing a Display to the Keyboard
It was cute but lame. However, do not dismiss this as the end of displays on keyboards. Logitech ships G15 in 3 weeks. It is just for gamers to monitor their status in playing games. The keyboard has back lit keys for playing in darkened rooms. The key strokes are heavy for game play. The keyboard has many custom keys that the user can program. The display shows CPU status and game status. Logitech has an SDK for others to customize the display. The price for G15 will be $80 and there will be no bundles. The logic behind no bundles is that most gamers already have a “game mouse” and they want a keyboard to fit their needs.
Right on. Sounds like Logitech talked to their game mouse users.
Digitaldeck – Bringing Electronics to Home Media Distribution
The message sounded much like dlna (Digital Living Network Anywhere):
The specifications include:
At each end point in the home is an eDeck which:
There is a Digital Deck Remote which:
It sounded that an early vision of the future of home entertainment which has been heard about at many venues.
The WAVE asked DigitalDeck a number of questions.
AMD Talks about 64bit and Dual Core
As the WAVE walked into the AMD booth, our heart was trumped by the Acer Ferrari. This is a striking machine but lame due to the lack of the Windows 64bit OS. With that, we began a conversation with AMD.
Universal Electronics Shows Kameleon
Kameleon is not your ordinary remote control. It looked like a soft key remote but had much more. This included the following:
Pepper shows Handheld Computer
This is an 8.4” LCD screen with sides that have a tiny keyboard distributed on each side. Cute. Its features include:
We have our doubts.
Creative shows Face Tracking Web Cam
WebCam Live! Motion caught our attention and many others were lining up to see it. This has motorized CCD camera with VGA resolution that does Pan-n-Tilt, a 76-degree wide-angle lens and face tracking. It can also capture high-resolution panoramic images, 200 degrees, with one click. The camera can be used for remote tracking with images deposited onto a web site and supporting software does motion tracking. The camera is also capable of time lapse video capture. WebCam Live! also supports video IM. Interface is USB 2.0. Price is $149.9.
Belkin – We do not know
Earlier we were struck with the line up of iPod accessories. Now we wanted to know – what sticks in the market?
One only had to look at the attendees to realize this is not the general population. It was not a walk down the aisles of Safeway or Wal-Mart. Thus, one must be careful in assuming that the products, styles and interests shown at DigitalLife are a representative of the buying population. This is a segmented audience.
Maybe the audience at the DigitalLife keynotes was an indicator of the market response. Intel did not fill the room which had significant support from teenagers filling up empty seats. Microsoft, in its xBox 360 keynote, had no problem filling the auditorium. One had not idea what Intel was selling and the other bought the product being sold.
The WAVE saw the flood of iPod product accessories. Consistent with similar observations at E3 on product accessories, here at DigitalLife, the approach was similar – throw it on the wall and see what sticks. The company with the most iPod accessories, Belkin, stated it best, we have no idea what will be successful in the market.
In spite of all the hoopla about dual core and x64, consumers have yet to gain anything. 64bit needs an ecosystem, from components to systems, to realize its potential. In spite of having a Windows 64 bit OS, this ecosystem is just not yet present. It is likely this will not happen until Q2 2006 and possibly not until Vista.
Dual core also needs an ecosystem from motherboards to applications which support the silicon and dual cores. But it also benefits significantly from individual use patterns of the computer. Carrying out multiple compute bound tasks can better use dual core processors. It remains to be seen if individual users gain much from dual and possibly more cores.