Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Was there anything new at the International Consumer Electronic in Las Vegas (CES 2012)?

The CES is the world's largest consumer technology tradeshow covering global consumer electronics, and it was held in Las Vegas from January 10 to 13, 2012. Obviously, it is difficult to offer a summary of all the products and technologies presented in only a few lines, yet, I will try to provide my general impression and the trends that I observed after many hours of reviewing and touring the show as a human factors and ergonomics professional.
Overall, 3D- LED-TVs were the stars of the show. Major companies such as Sony, Samsung, and LG, as well as a few others, occupied a large showroom floor with their big screen televisions.
The second area that caught one's attention would be the smart home appliances. Major manufacturers were showing intelligent kitchen appliances and washing machines, to name just a few, items with new touch screen panels and fancy interfaces.
Energy saving and management systems were also a highlighted area, where everything from cars to home energy management was being offered. Advances we are sure to see in the upcoming market.
Other noticeable facets included the innovated technology of home networking and sound systems, as well as the new 3D cameras.
Despite the promising advances in technology and smarter appliances that offer a variety of features to consumers, it was hard not to notice that no significant changes in the ergonomics and usability had been achieved in making the smart devices easier to use. As the intelligence of these devices increases, it seems that the usage of them becomes more complicated and the problem solving more difficult. For instance, I counted more than 40 different variables to select and control on one of the new washing machines from a major brand.
Smarter homes cannot be achieved if the systems, as a whole, are not easy to install, configure, and monitor. Hopefully, the necessary changes will be made, so the days of the future will arrive soon…


Published in: AHFEI NEWS- Feb. 2012 - Number 30