Budding Mobile Video Platforms

August 26, 2015
Move over YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. Live streaming and image-sharing platforms like Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest and newbies like Meerkat and Periscope are gaining attention. Are they the taste du jour—or something else? The grassroots culture that started the craze of posting selfies on Instagram is now shifting to sharing experiences through live video streaming apps on various platforms. While Facebook has let people post videos for years, it says viewership soared from three billion videos per day in January to four billion per day in April.YouTube is evolving from “home-made” videos to offering OTT long and short-form professional entertainment. It is part...

International Focus: Brazil

August 10, 2015
Brazil-based Company Using RFID to Ease Electronics Recycling Sintronics, a Brazilian firm focused on sustainable electronics recycling solutions, is using radio frequency identification (RFID) to determine the materials present in certain consumer electronics devices in order to increase the efficiency of recycling. By using RFID, Sintronics can better separate materials, sending metals to specific recyclers and plastics to other firms where they will be reused. The Sintronics plant is located next to a Flextronics manufacturing plant, which receives...

Why Washington Trade Win Matters

August 07, 2015
In late June, the tech industry scored a win in Washington as both Houses of Congress passed and sent to President Obama legislation allowing U.S. trade negotiators to enter trade pacts and have them voted up or down by Congress. President Obama signed the bill into law on June 29. The votes were close. The Senate bill needed 60 votes to proceed and on June 23 it got precisely 60 votes in favor. Before the final vote on June 24, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch went to the Senate floor and described CEA member and Utah-based company Kimber Cable and its owner Ray Kimber in a compelling statement about the importance of trade to small businesses. As the Senator’s...

CEA Chair and Starpower's Chairman Dan Pidgeon

July 24, 2015
Sophisticated luxury describes Starpower’s sleek showroom in North Dallas where customers can dream of designing their own custom high-end home entertainment and automation systems. Customers are treated to a VIP experience where a company rep is always available to answer questions and turn their vision into reality. Architect Phil White, formerly of Victoria’s Secret and Limited stores, designed the stylish showroom to appeal equally to the female and male demographic who want a premium, custom installation of audio, video, security and home automation and entertainment tied together in a seamless package. Daniel Pidgeon, 46, is head of this family-owned business. As the...

IoT Security

July 21, 2015
The “Internet of Things” has taken off with all of the subtlety of a rocket launching. With everything from refrigerators to smoke detectors to sprinkler systems becoming network/Internet accessible, sales of smart home devices will reach 20.7 million units this year and increase to 35.9 million units by 2017, according to a CEA and Parks Associates forecast. The same study found that 13 percent of U.S. broadband households own at least one smart home device.  But while IoT promises many benefits to endusers it also presents serious security and data privacy challenges. For starters, IoT devices will not incorporate anti-virus and antimalware protection, nor will they...

Who Said Standards Development is Slow?

June 30, 2015
Most engineers shudder at the idea of getting involved in a new standards development project. Getting a group of competitors in the same room to discuss the solutions to industry problems probably means a lengthy time commitment, as these competitors are going to defend their company’s interest. Or does it? In today’s world of fast-paced innovation, can standards be developed quickly to support an industry need while maintaining a consensus-based atmosphere? The answer is yes. In just over two months, CEA’s DTV Interface Subcommittee launched, balloted and published CEA-861.3, Static HDR Metadata...

Cracking the Code for Breaking the Tech Sector Glass Ceiling

June 24, 2015
Media reports indicate that women in technology are dealing with the outdated disconnect of an industry mindset that relegates women to second-class status, rather than maximizing their contributions. I spent the first seven years of my career at what is now the Consumer Electronics Association – working the entire time with Gary Shapiro, who has been leading the organization since 1991. While no one who knows Gary would say that he’s a teddy bear of a boss, I never knew him to lead with any gender bias. While that was nearly three decades ago, I thought Gary might have some insight into practical actions the industry can take to change this dynamic. I dropped him an email...

Everyone Wants To Get Into Wireless Mobile Payment

June 23, 2015
Sitting U.S. Presidents and foreign monarchs usually do not carry cash or credit cards. When heads of state try to use plastic for payment, as President Obama did last October at a restaurant in New York, it doesn’t always work out. His credit card was rejected. He later said, “I guess I don’t use it enough and they thought there was some fraud going on.” Even if you don’t have Secret Service agents on hand to provide a loan, you can still leave your wallet at home by using a mobile phone equipped with Apple Pay, Samsung Pay or Google Wallet (for Android phones). NFC Technology Just place your phone within a few inches of the Near Field Communication (NFC)...

Smart Home Tech Adds Value in Real Estate Market

June 15, 2015
Many of us remember searching for our first home with a realtor. Maybe the granite countertops or exterior lighting was the feature that convinced us this was our dream home. But today things have changed. Technology is connecting homes and it is starting to make a difference in how they are bought and sold.   The consumer electronics (CE) industry is delivering on the promise of the smart home with easier-to-use products, systems and services to help consumers manage their homes often from their smartphones. Connected to the Internet through a home network for remote access, monitoring and control, these devices bring homeowners convenience, security, accessibility, entertainment...
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