eSports Opens Global Audience for Consumer Technology Companies

May 18, 2016
If you haven’t heard of “eSports” yet, you don’t have tween or teen kids in the house, and you’re definitely over 40. The biggest thing in gaming and all of entertainment today is eSports, or electronic sports. It’s the global pastime of professional video gaming. That’s right, kids (mostly 16–22 years of age) are now earning six-figure salaries playing teambased games such as Riot Games’ League of Legends, Activision’s Call of Duty, Valve’s Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO), and Microsoft’s Halo 5 in sold out NBA arenas and soccer stadiums around the world. According to research firm Newzoo, the number of...

Connected Car Security

May 16, 2016
Connecting cars to the Internet and cloud-based services has clear benefits for both drivers and passengers with features ranging from navigation systems with live search functions to streaming audio options. But along with connectivity comes a certain level of risk—cybersecurity concerns recently exposed in hacks of a Jeep SUV and the Nissan Leaf EV (electric vehicle). Now, experts say, the same connectivity may also offer a solution to this cybersecurity problem, in the form of over-the-air updates. And better computing power in a vehicle could offer a panacea, as well. Separation Anxiety “The...

CES Asia 2016

April 26, 2016
It’s nearly time for the second annual CES Asia™ which runs May 11–13, 2016 in Shanghai, China. After a phenomenal first show in 2015 that exceeded expectations, the space for this year has been expanded in the Shanghai New International Exhibition Centre (SNIEC). As the premier event for the consumer technology industry, highlighting the innovation value-chain in the Asian marketplace, CES Asia provides key global businesses the opportunity to grow and reinforce their brands by showcasing the latest products and technologies to industry executives, foreign buyers, international media and a limited number of Chinese...

Eureka Park Shines

March 28, 2016
Eureka Park is the heart of CES— entrepreneurs use this technology incubator to highlight their innovative products and technologies to the world and receive coverage unlike any place else. Many of the startups drew venture capitalists and investors looking for breakout products. We take a look at 12 entrepreneurs doing some interesting work. 3DRudder A CES 2016 Innovation Awards Honoree, the 3DRudder is a feet-controlled VR and 3D navigation motion controller. “You sit, lean back and relax. Rest your feet on the platform and by tilting forward you can move forward in the game or the virtual environment,” said 3DRudder’s Stanislas Chenais. “You can move...

Topping Off the EV Tank

March 23, 2016
Like any consumer electronics product, a car powered solely by electricity will work only as long as there’s juice in its battery, and most “battery electric vehicles,” or BEVs, sold to-date have typically provided less than 100 miles of range on a full charge. So, to help buyers overcome “range anxiety”—concern about running out of power in the middle of a commute, for example— automakers have stressed ways to top-off the proverbial tank: offering a variety of home charging stations and working to boost the number of commercial charging venues nationwide. Now, innovations in both vehicles and chargers are affecting change. An emergent class of...

IoT is Getting Much Smarter

March 21, 2016
The Future of Wireless ConnectivityTechnology is on the brink. For years the consumer technology industry has been promising the ultimate in connectivity, the stuff that would change the way we interact not only with our gadgets, but also with each other. There have been hints of what was to come in the form of wireless security cameras, kitchen appliances and smart apps designed to interface with at-home tech on the go. The buzz showed promise but sometimes did not meet the mainstream consumer interest that once made digital music players and flat-screen TVs so popular—until now. A number of factors have merged to create an ideal atmosphere for the Internet of Things (IoT) to...

Silver Nanowires

January 19, 2016
The Transparent Conductor of Choice You may not be familiar with silver nanowires but they are fast becoming essential in a wide array of consumer electronics (CE) products. They are being used in touchscreens, flexible displays, solar cells, OLED lighting, automotive and medical applications. A Brief Primer   You can’t see them. You can’t feel them. A silver nanowire is just a few nanometers in diameter and a few micrometers in length. These high (1,000:1) aspect ratio silver nanowires, when coated in a plastic substrate (typically PET), overlap to create a highly conductive...

The Fourth Dimension

January 14, 2016
A Futuristic Look at the Next Generation of PrintingA chair that builds itself. A toy that reacts to temperature. A shoe that forms to the foot. Welcome to the new world of 4D printing. The newest technology offers many of the same constructs as 3D, but with a fresh combination of smart materials and conduits that will change how we think about additive manufacturing. Today, the term 4D printing may solicit more questions than exclamations, but it essentially refers to 3D-printed objects that have an added dimension—time. These 3D items can actually transform and change shape based upon exposure to certain stimuli, like temperature or water. And while the additive manufacturing...

Talking About the Future

January 13, 2016
Market and technology shifts aren’t the only concerns automakers have when developing new vehicles. They also care about geopolitics, environmental issues and social interactions. And because of long product development cycles, what may happen in seven years is perhaps more important than what’s happening now. So, three global automakers in particular—Ford, Daimler and Volvo—have “futurists” on staff, helping to keep their entire organizations focused on the long view. Recently, i3 gathered Sheryl Connelly, global consumer trends and futuring manager, Ford Motor Co., Dearborn, MI; Aric Dromi, futurologist, Volvo Cars, Gothenburg, Sweden; and Alexander...
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