LAS VEGAS – ARM CEO Warren East sat down with EE Times during the Consumer Electronics Show this week to discuss the radically changing landscape for TVs, the slowly unfolding "Internet of Things" and whether the world's largest processor IP vendor should offer RF IP modules to get IoT off the ground.
Here’s an excerpt of our conversation with East during at CES:
EE Times: What’s the purpose of visiting CES for a CEO like you, besides meeting with customers? What are you looking for?
East: I’m not here to find market trends, because at ARM we already know them. I’m here at CES to see the evidence of what we already know, validate it and make additional connections that create opportunities for ARM.
EE Times: What evidence have you seen so far?
East: In the smart digital world, smart TVs are now turning into 56-inch [screen] smartphones. Greater functions for home automation and home security systems are now performed in software, not in hardware. Usability is becoming increasingly important. Automation is now becoming 'connected automation,' transitioning from 8-bit to 32-bit.
So I look for a range of real products at CES – which even someone like mother, for example, would understand as tangible products – and to see if there are encouraging signs. I am here also to see how really usable these products are.
ARM CEO Warren East at CES.
How usable are today’s smart TVs, which you called 56-inch smartphones?East:
User experience is not satisfactory. While technology is in place, the usability is clunky. More evolution must happen to make it easier to use. With the explosion of ARM, what happened in the phone space is now applied to TVs. But today’s TVs are still closed. When consumers want to go to the Internet sites, TVs are still trying to take you to their Internet site. That’s not satisfactory. When things are too much hassle, consumers don’t use them.EE Times:
What has to happen next?East:
We see it as an opportunity. CE companies are going to solve these problems. If they can’t make their products easier to use, consumers will stop using their products.