How WhatsApp, SnapChat and Other Social Platforms are Changing the Way We Communicate

May 29, 2014
When Facebook agreed to buy WhatsApp for $19 billion, most analysts focused on the messaging app’s mega-sized valuation and global customer base – about 450 million people, 70 percent of whom are daily users. In March, Facebook was at it again, snapping up virtual reality leader Oculus VR Inc., creating what Facebook Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg called “the most social platform ever,” one that would “change the way we work, play and communicate.” Analysts who focus on the size and scope of these acquisitions are missing the bigger picture: these investments are about community. Like Facebook itself, WhatsApp and Oculus facilitate easier...

Rational Expectations for China

May 12, 2014
China’s growth is slowing. While I don’t believe economic growth will slow enough to produce a hard landing, China’s search for a more sustainable economic model will lead to a changing business environment that executives doing business in China need to come to grips with. Slowing economic growth is inevitable in maturing markets. China’s economy has grown by roughly 10 percent each year since the 1980s, but China’s “Five Year Plan” calls for slower growth. The economy grew just 7.7 percent in 2013 and is targeting 7.5 percent growth for 2014. As China turns its...

Eureka Park: Entrepreneurs In Action

April 18, 2014
For small startups on a budget who want a chance on a big stage, there is no better bet than Eureka Park. Among the more finished products, the Kolibree Bluetooth toothbrush garnered praise. The handheld electric toothbrush pairs with a smartphone app to help track the quality of your teeth brushing session. The Virtuix Omni wowed onlookers with a polished 360-degree virtual gaming demo. Harnessed into a four-foot diameter circular platform, players’ movements are accurately tracked on screen with the ability to actually walk, run or sprint your way through any PC-based video game.   Enabling technologies are always a hit as well. “Li-Fi...

Valuing Unlicensed Spectrum

April 07, 2014
The use of unlicensed spectrum is becoming more prevalent from garage door openers to key fobs to baby monitors. Millions of devices using Bluetooth or Wi-Fi are sold annually—operating within this unlicensed band. The rate of growth of devices and services has grown rapidly especially during the last two years. Unlicensed spectrum also extends communications activities that before used wired technologies or licensed spectrum. For example, Bluetooth speakers enable the wireless streaming of music which previously was accomplished through wired speakers. The use of unlicensed ...

FCC Chair Tom Wheeler

April 04, 2014
CEA was pleased to welcome new Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler to the 2014 International CES. During a lively SuperSession, Chairman Wheeler and CEA President and CEO Gary Shapiro discussed many hot topics before the FCC, including the FCC’s plans for unleashing more spectrum for wireless broadband and the first-in-the-world voluntary TV broadcast spectrum incentive auctions planned for 2015. Below is a condensed, edited portion of their discussion on spectrum issues. Watch the full video at the bottom of the page. Let’s talk about the voluntary TV broadcast spectrum incentive auction...

How Smart Is Your Speed?

April 03, 2014
We are hyper-speeding through the mature, profitable stages of tech-based economies and shifting into our newly anointed “smart economy." Smart however may be an overstatement. For all brands within our new digital economy it is virtual and ubiquitous speed that creates smart opportunity and smart advantage. And for all brands, the disciplined question and company focus should be “how competitively smart is our speed?” I believe America should have a global coming out party to signal our refulgent leadership in this new smart economy. We need to declare our...

Shaking Up Digital Distribution

March 31, 2014
What if “middle-tier” cable TV program channels—the ones that thrive on reruns of old TV shows and movies—dried up? What if á la carte viewing of cable channels, or even specific shows, became a real option? How about a Supreme Court decision on Aereo that overhauls broadcasters’ “retransmission” revenues and further rearranges media economics? Those questions and many more encompassing financial, marketing, operational and regulatory factors have run through the media industries for years but have intensified. Coincidentally, within a fortnight around ...

Seeing Double

March 25, 2014
One screen is never enough, and eight out of 10 people agree that sometimes there is something more to be seen while watching tv. here are the stats to explain the “who,” “how,” “why,” and “what” of our second screen experiences. we already know the answer to “when.”     Sources for all charts: CEA, NATPE, Second Screen—Creative Opportunity or Technological Imposition? and Follow the Eyes—The Second Screen and the Future of TV Viewing Related: Market Beat, The Rise of TV's Second Screen

The Rise of TV’s Second Screen

March 25, 2014
Are two screens better than one? The future of TV may indeed involve more than one big screen. Watching TV with a companion device—or second screen—has been quietly gaining momentum. Perhaps born out of the habit of keeping our smartphones or tablets as close companions, about four in 10 U.S. adults today use a second screen device while watching TV or to access program content when a show is not airing. So what types of content are second screen users accessing? And most importantly, what opportunities exist for the CE and television production industries? New reports from CEA and the National Association...
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