The Consumer Electronics Show is always a fun adventure held in Las Vegas, Nevada every January, showcasing some of both the best and strangest devices imaginable. Last year we were hit a lot with 3D; this year it was mostly about connected TVs and tablets.
Some of my favorite stuff came from these companies:
Vivitek showed a projector capable of converting any 2D content to 3D. Kind of neat, but I wouldnt run out and buy one just yet. They also showed a tiny HD projector called the Qumi capable of 300 lumen output. It will sell for under $500 and looks like a fun little device.
Here are the specs:
Native WXGA (1280800) resolution
Up to 300 lumens of brightness and a 2500:1 contrast ratio
3D-Ready (via DLP Link) and a DLP chipset from Texas Instruments
1.6 pounds; Dimensions: 6.3(w) x 1.2(h) x 3.9(d)
30,000+ estimated LED hours of operation
Connectivity options include: Mini-HDMI, Universal I/O (24-pin connector for VGA/component input), 3.5mm video-in, 3.5mm mini-jack audio-out
USB and MicroSD slots for content and memory expansion
Built-in 1W speaker
Offered in a black or white finish
Available in May 2011; Estimated street price of $499.00(USD)
In addition to the HD projectors Optoma is known for, they also showed a portable projector/iPhone dock projector that looks good. Its basically a pico projector with an iPhone/iPod dock and some built-in speakers. Called the Neo-i, it should be available soon and sell for under $500.
And the specs:
Native Resolution: 854 X 480 (16:9) WVGA DLP
Brightness: 50 lumens Bright mode
Contrast Ratio: 2000:1
LED / Life: RGB LED, >20,000hrs
Dimensions: 12.8 x 8.9 x 3.1
Weight: < 2.5 lbs
Image Size: 5-120 (16:9 native)
Projection Lens: Fixed Focus Lens, F/1.8
Throw Ratio: 1.8
JVC had a great demo of a 3D camcorder displaying live on a big 3D LCD TV. One of the better uses of 3D at the show, but still active glasses, so be prepared to shell out $100-$200 per person to show your home movies to friends and family.
Panasonic showed their next generation plasma panels, the VT30 line, at the show. They wont be available until summer 2011, but they looked excellent. No word on pricing, but available in 55? and 65? models
One pair of 3D glasses included
Infinite Black Pro 2 panel
1080p/24 playback mode
Short throw phosphors
3D-compatible SD card slot
Viera Connect Internet suite
LG had two concepts that really grabbed my attention. First, they were showing a whole lot of connected TVs that are somehow based on the Plex media server. Although LG didnt say the software was based on Plex, they did say that any app written for Plex would work the LG Smart TV technology.
LG also showed a great use of 3D at the show passive glasses! The 3D apparently actually looked pretty good. It wasnt as good as the 3D on a Panasonic plasma, but lets be fair, what is? It was said to be pretty good, pretty smooth and with very cheap glasses. It looked like they were giving them away like candy.
Samsung was on the connected TV bandwagon as well. They showed a pretty cool integration of a lot of the existing apps out there. The next generation of Samsung connected TVs and Blu-ray players will allow you to search for a movie and see every service where its available, and the price, across services like Netflix, Vudu, Blockbuster, Amazon, etc. It lets you pick what you are willing to pay and what quality youd like to see it in. There are also some social integration aspects that allow you to get recommendations from friends and the like.
Motorola had some really big Android announcements. They announced two next generation android phones, both with dual 1Ghz processors. One for AT&T and one for Verizon. They unveiled the Motorola Atrix 4G which got me all excited. Here is part of the press release:
Motorola ATRIX 4G runs Android 2.2 with access to more than 100,000 apps and games in the Android Market.
Motorola is introducing two industry-leading companion docks for ATRIX 4G:
The Motorola HD Multimedia Dock has three USB ports and an HDMI port enabling connections to a keyboard, mouse, speakers and HDMI-compatible monitor for working at your desk/office, or connecting to an HDMI-compatible television and home theater audio system for interacting with content and enjoying video, music, games and more in your living room.
The Motorola Laptop Dock has an incredibly thin design with an 11.6-inch screen, full keyboard, stereo speakers, 36Wh three-cell battery that delivers up to eight hours of battery life and weighs just 2.4 pounds. Users simply dock their Motorola ATRIX 4G into the back of the Laptop Dock to turn it into an active, connected machine to experience true mobility at work, home and playing on-the-go in a form factor thats lighter and smaller than most laptops on the market.
Key features and specifications:
A dual-core processor capable of opening web pages twice as fast as most other smartphones, rendering games faster and displaying HD video on big-screen TVs
A full 1 GB of RAM for twice the RAM of most smartphones to deliver effortless multi-tasking, such as watching a movie while receiving and responding to email
The worlds first qHD display for a smartphone, offering high resolution and 24-bit color, making it easier to read indoors and outdoors
Front- and rear-facing cameras and the ability to record in HD
Convenient biometric fingerprint reader for easily unlocking your phone while providing extra security
Up to 48GB of storage (16GB internal and optional 32GB MicroSD card) enough to store thousands of songs, photos and movies
2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi 802.11n support, enabling as much as 50 percent faster download and upload speeds in WiFi mode compared to most other smartphones
Optional AT&T Mobile Hotspot service for connecting up to five additional Wi-Fi-enabled devices
Under 11 mm thin with an extra large 1930 mAh battery for extended standby and talk time
Two microphones for noise-reduction technology so your calls will be heard loud and clear in even the noisiest environments
Supports HD video capture and replay for most multimedia standards
My favorite part is the laptop dock.
And of course everyone is still waiting for a real, honest iPad competitor, so Motorola is hoping they found that with their Xoom tablet. Its the first Android 3.0 device and boasts some pretty impressive specs. Should be out this quarter on Verizon, but only on 3G; 4G comes later this year.
10.1 inch display
Dual Core 1 Ghz CPU NVIDIA Tegra 2
32 GB inbuilt memory with microSD Card slot
1280800 resolution display
5 megapixel camera with 720p video recording
2 megapixel webcam
1080p HDMI output
Pretty awesome stuff if you ask me. Hope you all enjoyed. I am already ready for CES 2012!
This weekend my wife and I were invited to a Shriner event. Rens company, A Sassy Stitch, does all of the embroidery for the Shriners here in Charleston. She started working with them a few months ago, and since then we have been invited into this new world. This event was the installation of the new Potentate. This is like the Mayor of the local Shrine Club; this happens once a year and is a five year journey for anyone looking to serve in this position. This comes with lots of sacrifice from both the person and the family. It is a great honor to have this position.
What are the Shriners known for? Mostly for their work with children with diseases or children badly burned. I can tell you, from what I know, these folks like to party and have fun! But it is all for the kids! Each time they party, they are raising money to support the kids. The dedication these folks have is hard core! They dedicate their time and money for the greater good. This really got me thinking about my company and my employees.
Over the last 3-4 months, we have really been working on rebuilding our company from the inside out. I think too many folks focus on getting their company working from the outside then working inward. I think this is the wrong way. I believe that if you find the right people, than everyone should have the same values and beliefs. So when it comes to customer service or getting the job done right it just gets done. Kind of like the Shriners. They all are focused on the same values or belief. I am by no means saying that my company is like the Shriners. I just know that for 2011 I want to do better than we did in 2010. I am always looking for a better way to do ANYTHING. This, by the way, drives my wife crazy. It does not matter what it is. A new recipe or something I built, I always look at it with a watchful eye. So the next time I can do it better or faster than I did before. Always learning!
I am speaking this month at the 1st Annual Small Business Success Summit. I am going at this with the mind of a Jedi Warrior. Asking myself, how can I focus on my life and business this year to make it everything I want it to be? I mean honestly, why do we go to work every morning or why do we kiss our kids and send them off to school every day? We want the best for us and for our kids. It got me thinking of a saying from a friend of mine a while ago. He said, Neadom, kids these days dont have the WANT TO. You have to have the WANT TO, to make anything out of yourself. I asked him what does that mean? He said simply You have to WANT TO get up in the morning and go to work or school. So I ask you this. Why do you get up each morning? Why do you go to work? What are you doing this year for yourself and your company to do better in 2011?
Well as you all know, when calling on a customer you have never meet before, selling Managed Services, you must have the skin of an armadillo, and the courage to continue, rejection after rejection. It can only make you stronger, or crazier, whichever comes first. After being in Sales all my adult life, and having a rather easy time being successful, getting into a field that is ever so changing (it seems daily), can be mind boggling at times. Things I thought I knew about networks and computing in general are very benign. The past few months in this industry, I have become a sponge learning all that I can. What Ive really learned is how much money most companies are wasting by having an IN-House IT department, or the ones that have none at all.
Managed services, if you can get your foot in the door, not only helps you and your company to make a living, but really helps a business owner save a tremendous amount of money. Let me try to explain in my best Street Smart Business Ideas. First take a company of 10 to 50 users (PC workstations), they have Chad, the computer guru, thats been hacking and playing on computers since he was 13. Hes now 30 and making $5000.00 per month as the head of the IT department. Hes usually busy all day long because most of the computers have a problem at least once a day. This is unfortunately because he thinks he knows more than he does, no offences to Chad, but you know the tech Im talking about. Now as a business owner, if he had just a few minutes to asses whats going on with his company, trying to cut all the costs he can in these trying times, he has no idea of outsourcing his IT department, to Kotori Technologies My IT Department. Lets say for $4000.00 per month, you can have an IT department outsourced and Managed Service without anyone else in the company who is getting paid to do nothing more than mess with the computers all day. Be able to rest easy knowing all your data is safe from disasters, monitored 24/7 and Down time Free. That would be worth way more than just the savings of $12,000.00 a year that was going to Chad, after add in the money from the down time from the other employees when they werent able to do the job they are paid to do.
Now lets take the example of the smaller company that has less than 10 workstations, but a very busy office. The office manager Sally is paid to be an office manager; not an IT Tech. She has absolutely no knowledge of networks, but is learning fast on her own. Everyday its something new, if its a printer not working, a slow internet day, or just PCs freezing. She is now spending most of her day messing with the computers and not getting her job done. Not only is it costing you money, but your customers are suffering from lack of customer service that Sally does want to do, but cant. Heres where Kotori Technologies My IT Department comes in. Maybe we can help this company for $1000.00 per month. How much would the owner save throughout the year? How much would it cost him if all the data was destroyed through a disaster? How much is he spending with Sally wearing 12 hats in the office? But lets remember its not all about cost saving, although that is important to the owner and business, its also about efficiency.
For many people December is the most favorable month of all. It is the month of celebration and a time to enjoy family, friends, giving gifts, and bringing in a new year. For the small business owner, December can also be a painful time of the year. Money, money, money...too much going out and not enough coming in. Businesses in the Low Country have tightened down on their spending, cut cost, cut payroll, screen invoices, and have cut out marketing or have found new creative ideas to market with little to no cost. Many businesses have completely cut out their IT spending.
Lets look at the Computer and Network spending. Information Technology is not to be a burden, but to make your job and the jobs of your employees easier. The idea is to use technology as an advantage that allows your company to accomplish more and produce it more effectively.
Think about it, if one computer fails, how much will it really cost you? An invoice from your IT company? Typically that is not half of the issue. The employee spends 30 minutes trying to figure out what happened to the PC. Then she asks her coworker who spends another 30 minutes trying to help. Then they call in the office manager or someone else that know more about computers and networks. This takes up even more time. Finally, they get approval (another 30 minutes) to call their IT company. They accept the call, however all of their technicians are on-site or with other clients, so there is a 45 minute delay before they can respond, due to escalation procedures. The technician finishes his appointment and tries to access the computer remotely (30 minutes), and he is denied. He then leaves to travel to your office. (30 minutes) He arrives on site, investigates the situation and tries to boot up the computer several ways. (30 minutes) He narrows the problem to the hard drive. He then has to drive back to the computer companys warehouse to pick up a new hard drive. (Another 30 minutes) He brings the crashed computer with him to install the hard drive at their office. He then spends 3 hours installing Windows on the new hard drive. By now, it is after 5:00, so he goes home for the night and the next morning, he drives back to your office (30 minutes) and spends another 3 hours installing the programs and personal settings onto the new hard drive. Assuming everything went without a problem, this is at least 10 hours. What was your employee doing during that time? (You paid her for the full day and a half) What did she not accomplish that could have been billed to your clients?
Be glad this was just one computer, if it had been your server, it would have affected your entire staff and your business was probably closed for at least two days. (Hard drives on servers take MUCH longer to replace.)
This scenario could have been avoided, along with many others. This was what we refer to as a break-fix example. This client also pays their IT company by the hour to fix their computers when they break. However, we offer an all you can eat preventative program. If the client had been on this program, we would have monitored the hard drives of all the computers, and realized three weeks ago that this hard drive was going to crash, and would have had it replaced with an hours work. (We could have copied all the programs from the old hard drive before it crashed.) This client also pays us a flat monthly fee to monitor and fix their computers, so their bill for the month would be less than the previous clients.
This all you can eat program also allows us to replace and update your computers and servers as needed to prevent crashes and maximize uptime and profitability.
If you want a way to reduce your IT costs, give us a call and let us know you want the All You Can Eat.