Environmentally and Socially Good Electronics

April 22, 2014
As technology develops and the consumer electronics (CE) industry continues to innovate, consumers often care about more than just the quality and price of their gadgets. Consumers also care if products are environmentally-friendly or have a positive social impact. Companies are meeting these demands by introducing greener and more socially-conscious electronics. Here are just a few. WakaWaka exhibited in Eureka Park at the 2014 International CES and produces a solar charger about the size of a smartphone. It generates enough power to charge mobile devices via a USB port and also has a built-in LED lamp. What makes this product...

The Faces of Innovation: Walter de Brouwer

April 21, 2014
Scanadu makes medical tech devices for consumers. At the 2014 International CES, Scanadu showed their Scout device that gives users readings for heart and breathing rate, temperature, blood pressure and blood oxygenation levels. Company Founder and CEO Walter de Brouwer discusses his vision of the future of home health monitoring. What inspired you to start the company? I’ve been lucky to have several careers in my life from academia and deep space research, to publishing, to telecom. But in 2005, I spent a year in the hospital with my son who had suffered a severe brain injury. I was completely in the dark about medicine...

Innovation Is Key to Automotive Safety

April 17, 2014
CEA continues to showcase its ongoing work to address the public safety issue of driver distraction. Recently U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller, chairman of the Senate’s Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, held a day-long summit entitled, “Over-Connected and Behind the Wheel: A Summit on Technological Solutions to Distracted Driving.” Veronica O’Connell, CEA’s vice president of congressional affairs, joined representatives from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the...

Looking Ahead

April 15, 2014
CEA has made significant progress on a number of legislative issues. Some of our major accomplishments include the Senate passing a strong immigration bill, and agreeing on a way to equalize tax treatment of Internet and brick-and-mortar goods. Meanwhile, the House passed legislation that would substantially end the patent troll scourge. In the states, we faced a barrage of recycling legislation, engaging with and monitoring more than 50 bills. Thankfully, for the second year in a row no state passed e-waste legislation over CEA’s objection. At the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), we ...

3D: On-Demand Customization

April 09, 2014
3D printing faces a vibrant future and can influence new trends in manufacturing technology, consumer production and content consumption. But there are still hurdles to mass proliferation. The technology needs to improve to the point where it is intuitive, simple and as reliable to use as a common inkjet printer. As a disruptive technology, it needs to be stewarded effectively to avoid the angst frequently caused by new technologies and business models. At present, 3D model content is not clearly covered by copyright or patent laws. Legal gray areas will need to be addressed and resolved in a sensible manner...

Made in the USA

April 01, 2014
Brian Kessler and Steve Cashman saw what the exodus of U.S. manufacturing did to their childhood hometowns. Kessler’s Youngstown, Ohio, was devastated by the collapse of the steel industry, and Cashman’s tiny Lakin, Kansas, was scarred by shuttered storefronts. Now running companies, both men bring those images to mind as they decide where to build their products. But much more than sentimentality and nationality are at play as some consumer electronics (CE) manufacturing returns to the U.S. The allimportant economic equation is changing too, leading more ...

The Making of Network: Life Imitates Art

March 07, 2014
"Mad As Hell: The Making of Network and the Fateful Vision of the Angriest Man in Movies," a book that explores the production of an outlandish film about the television industry, is a vivid reminder of how life can imitate art and how the creative process evolves. The book by New York Times cultural reporter Dave Itzkoff takes a deep look at the creative process and the clash of ideas that created an extraordinary movie that has stood the test of time.   To many people, the script is a prescient prediction of what TV became in the subsequent decades. For production and operations insiders, as well as anyone who appreciates the creative process, Mad As Hell presents...

Using PEDs In flight

February 12, 2014
Consumer electronics, our constant companions on the go, now get an easier ride when it comes to air travel. If you have flown in the U.S. during the past few weeks, chances are good that you have experienced this first-hand. In October 2013, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced that it had determined that airlines can safely expand passenger use of portable electronic devices (known as PEDs in the aviation world) during all phases of flight and immediately provided the airlines with implementation guidance. Then it was only a matter of hours before there were announcements from airlines to allow...

Crowdfunding and the Future of Tech Startups

January 31, 2014
For entrepreneurs, crowdfunding is an increasingly popular way to raise business capital. Startups seeking funding can now reach thousands of potential investors through various online platforms, putting countless small businesses within reach of their goals. This has been an invaluable development for tech startups, providing the boost they need to launch their businesses. Entrepreneurs now have a low-risk platform to take their innovative ideas directly to the public, where they can be honed and shaped as potential customers provide feedback on what they need and want.   Unlike traditional venture capital, which requires business owners to seek out accredited investors...
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