NEW YORK – Smartphones are turning the CE industry upside down.
Back at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, 2012, I wrote: "Brace yourself for the dawn of a new consumer electronics era, one in which TV no longer defines itself. Evident in this year’s Consumer Electronics Show was the notion that mobile devices are beginning to redefine what TV must do next – in terms of apps, services and connectivity that hardware will need to accommodate."
That trend has now spread to everything from TV, cameras and car entertainment systems to headsets, set-tops and lighting systems to personal health devices. It is morphing the consumer-electronics industry into something we’ve never seen before. Developing an easy-to-use mobile app to control your new CE device is already a given.
There’s no need to duplicate what a smartphone already does in a new CE device under development. In some cases, there’s no need to develop hardware at all. A smartphone already exists as a hardware platform, on which you can design -- in software -- whatever functions you want it to perform.
What follows are 10 new gadgets, developed with the same design objective: They are meant to function side-by-side with a smartphone.
Smart glasses: Over-the-eye display for your mobile phone
Text, video, audio and all consumers have come to expect from smartphones and the Internet can be displayed on Vuzix’ new smart glasses
Vuzix offers smart glasses M100, billed as “the world's first enhanced ‘hands-free’ smartphone display and communications system." The monocle contains a virtual display with an integrated camera and a processing engine that runs on Android OS. It wirelessly connects via Bluetooth or WiFi to a user’s smartphone (iOS or Android).
The M100, while designed to work in harmony with a smartphone, is powerful enough to connect to the Internet, run applications and games on its own.
Beyond letting a user answer the phone, the M100 enables text messages, email and visual navigation, while allowing video recording and running other basic augmented-reality applications.