MAKUHARI, Japan – There is one thing I absolutely love about my job covering the high-tech industry.
Naturally, I’m supposed to remain calm and skeptical of marketing types hyping the newest gadgets (often, new-technologies-struggling-to-find-the-right-home is the case, rather than a new gadget finally finding the right technology to solve consumers’ problems). But I sometimes lose my sangfroid when I meet engineers convinced of their own technologies, committed to their cause, and hopeful of their eventual success.
Really, nothing can beat it. I admire people with eyes uplifted and minds unfettered.
For instance, I tend to get this incredible energy whenever I see Yoav Nissan-Cohen, chairman and CEO of Amimon.
Yoav Nissan-Cohen, chairman and CEO of Amimon
Internally nicknamed the “Energizer Bunny” Nissan-Cohen, who has an infectious smile, really is a bundle of energy. He seems always to have a new trick up his sleeve, and an insatiable urge to surprise. He plots tirelessly for new angles to push his company’s wireless HDTV technology in new use-case scenarios. Amimon is a developer of Wireless High-definition Interface (WHDI) technology running at 5GHz frequency band.
Throughout his career, he hasn’t stopped thinking, hasn’t stopped promoting, and most important, he just keeps on innovating.
Amimon was here last week at CEATEC, Japan’s premiere consumer electronics show to announce the WHDI Stick. The WHDI Stick is a new product design that showcases PC-to-TV products, which Amimon claims CE manufacturers will bring to market in 2011.
The stick, about the size about a large USB thumb drive, has one HDMI male port that goes into an HDMI computer port. The stick also features a USB cable.
On the receiving end of the HDTV, there's a dongle that connects to the TV’s HDMI port. These two parts are paired, and work as though they are two ends of an HDMI cable (but without the cable).
The WHDI Stick lets users wirelessly view their netbook PC content on TV, with virtually no latency (less than one millisecond). With this technology, users can play PC games and interactive content on the “big screen,” says Amimon. In addition to all other content, WHDI security and HDCP 2.0 copy protection allow the WHDI Stick to bring Blu-Ray movies and other copy-protected content to the HDTV, the company added.
Amimon's WHDI stick
Both Hewlett-Packard and ASUS already introduced to the market a pair of dongles for WHDI-based Wireless PC-to-TV streaming. The WHDI Stick, scheduled for 2011 launch by OEMs according to Amimon, will be a big improvement to the current dongle design, as its compact USB-based WHDI stick device can draw power from USB socket on a notebook PC.
Amimon’s quick backroom demo on the new WHDI stick here was impressive.
But with all due respect to Nissan-Cohen, I couldn’t help but ask him the 64-million-dollar question: “Is wireless ‘HD video’ home networking still relevant?”
Think about it.
Many of us already enjoy the Wi-Fi connected home. While most of us may not be able to wirelessly stream genuine HDTV from PC to TV, we can already see what’s up on the Web on our TV (equipped with Ethernet) using a home router. Besides, we all know about the imminence of IPTV, Apple TV, and not to mention Google TV. So, who still wants to wirelessly transmit Web content from a laptop in the den upstairs to a PC down in the living room?