CES 2012, Smart TV, Smart Appliances and Smart Cars

If the previous CES 2011 heralded the post-pc Tablet era, CES 2012 was all about Smart CE (Consumer Electronics) and TV was at the center. Of course another post-pc phenomenon, the Ultrabook, caught the eyes of the crowd as well. The Ultrabook category is an Intel-proposed line of laptops resembling the Macbook Air in all aspects. It’s sure to replace the previous laptops in the market now.

Google TV made a comeback after the demise of its 1st generation last year. This time the 2nd generation came with LG and Vizio on its back. As expected the UI was tweaked. But TV sets with smart functions were in hot competition with set-top box players such as Roku, Sony and . Samsung and Lenovo had their own software based on Google Android. This is Apple’s approach to the smart TV movement.

Fully integrating the processor and required software in the TV set makes upgrades difficult as processors advance every 2 years unlike the 5~10 year TV replacement cycle. But other than the web browsing and application processing on smart TVs there are other important aspects of smart TV here at CES this year. It was the new user interface utilizing voice and gesture that truly made the smart gadgets feel smart.

TV with voice control and gesture motion make a whole new difference and this applies to automobiles and other consumer electronic goods debuted at the show this year. Once again 2012 will not be the year of smart TV of smart appliances but it sure makes a good starting point and the improved UI based on voice and gesture will probably be the catalyst that sparks the growth in smart electronics this year.