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Talk at Princeton: The Joys and Ploys of Little Toys

I'll be back at Princeton this Wednesday, April 23, to talk about trends and technologies in portable consumer electronics devices. I'll have lots of fun devices to demo, working from the trends and products showcased in my Digital Media Galleries. This seminar series is free and open to the public -- Bring your lunch, but come early for cookies.

The Joys and Ploys of Little Toys
    Wed., April 23, 2008, 12 noon (lunch)

       Princeton University Lunch 'n Learn Information Technology Seminars
             Frist Campus Center, Princeton, NJ

Update - Talk summary and podcast posted
    - Talk Summary - Princeton University - IT's Academic blog
    - Download - Princeton University - Podcast

Frist Campus Center is on Washington Road, downhill from Propect Ave. and the Woodrow Wilson School, and before Ivy Lane and Guyot Hall.
The talk is in Multipurpose Room B on the bottom floor -- go downstairs through the cafeteria in the A Level, and then down one more floor to the B Level -- stairs are on the east end (away from Washington) -- University map -- Google map

Abstract and Bio below ...



Summary: Gadget nirvana -- or device hell? So much fun, or too many choices? One integrated full-featured gadget that does it all, or separate, simple devices for specific tasks?

It's a wonderful, but confusing, world at the electronics store -- for consumers as well as manufacturers. What is the industry to do? -- There's so much new technology to leverage, so many possible features to add, and so much potential in integrating multiple devices. But you can't ask customers what they want, because the new devices have not been invented yet. So instead we see a profusion of different combinations of features, form factors, and price points thrown into the market to see what sticks.

Doug Dixon will explore this messy world of consumer electronics, looking at developing trends, new technologies, and colliding markets:

- Connected home: Purchased content is becoming less encumbered, with DRM-free MP3 downloads and managed transfers within the connected home. But do you really want TV on your PC, or PC features on your TV? And who will control the box that bridges the two worlds, the cable company or Apple TV?

- Digital TV: Flat-screen TVs are hot with consumers, and have finally reached "Full HD" resolution. But there's still major improvements coming in size, design, picture quality, and connectivity -- as well as the new OLED displays. Or is the future in mobile TV on smaller screens?

- Portable and Mobile Media: Portable media players add video and connectivity, while mobile phones add media and Internet playback, both overlapping further with Internet radio, streaming video, and Web access. And both do GPS, while GPS navigators add media and hands-free phone. Now you can watch TV while reading the live map, and talking on the phone.

- Photo and Video Cameras: The picture phone is becoming the dominant imaging device. But still cameras shoot better photos plus reasonable video, and video camcorders shoot HD video and great stills. We'll all be recording and recorded, especially as today's memory-based HD camcorders shrink to the size of a soda can.

- Portable Storage: Storage outstrips Moore's Law, with continued re-doubling of capacity and shrinking size, with solid-state drives (SSD) starting to make sense for laptops. Yet sneakernet still lives, both for sharing, and for moving content within the home.

- Wireless: There's Wi-Fi and WiMAX to the home and neighborhood, wireless mobile Internet to the PC, wireless HD video to the TV, wireless USB to devices, and even wireless power for recharging. Or you can just network over the existing power line. Or can a simple approach like Bluetooth continue to develop to really enable computers, players, phones, and headsets to share phone calls, stereo music, and controls through the air?

Speaker Bio: Douglas Dixon is an independent technology consultant, author, and speaker specializing in digital media. A graduate of Brown University, and previously a product manager and software developer at Intel Corp. and Sarnoff Corp., he consults and provides expert witness services on the digital media market and technology.

Doug is the author of four books and has published over 250 feature articles. He is currently Editor-in-Chief of CDSA's Mediaware magazine and East Coast Technical Editor for Camcorder & Computer Video magazine, and has contributed to DV Magazine, CNET Reviews, and the U.S. 1 Newspaper in Princeton.

Doug has organized and presented over ninety seminars and talks on digital media topics over the past six years, for professional groups and at conferences including CES, NAB, Government Video Expo, and DV Expo.

He blogs new developments and makes his articles and technical references freely available on his Manifest Technology site (www.manifest-tech.com).

Manifest Tech Site

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This entry posted on April 23, 2008.

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