Hello Mobile Wallet

January 26, 2015
The buzz about mobile transactions began when Apple introduced Apple Pay in the fall and assembled major players in its ecosystem. With great fanfare, Apple Pay announced it was working with retailers from Office Depot to RadioShack and Walgreens. Apple Pay allows for in-app payment for brands like Groupon, OpenTable, Target and Uber. Apple has also partnered with American Express, Master Card and Visa, and banks like Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citi and Wells Fargo. In fact, Chase announced that Apple Pay could be used at more than 220,000 retail stores. Imagine paying your bills by pressing your finger against a Touch ID fingerprint scanner. After initially entering credit...

International Focus: Germany

January 21, 2015
Fraunhofer Institute Demonstrates Optical Communications Technology Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute recently demonstrated an optical-based wireless communications technology capable of transferring data at speeds of up to 1 Gbps. The Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems (IPMS) showcased its light fidelity (Li-Fi) communications modules in Munich in November. Many are studying Li-Fi technology in hopes that it will offer an alternative to crowded RF spectrum and allow greater transmission speeds. Bosch Predicts Fuel Cell-Based Cars by 2025 German automotive component manufacturer Bosch believes that...

GoPro's Nick Woodman

January 05, 2015
The concept in 2002: a camera to self-document extreme sports. Net worth in 2015: $1.3 billion. Nicholas Woodman, the founder and CEO of action camera maker GoPro, grew up in the Silicon Valley community of Atherton as the son of an investment banker who had a passion for surfing. Going to school surrounded by tech startups may explain his entrepreneurial DNA. Today he is wildly successful and leads one of the most popular consumer electronics companies in the world. He also is an accomplished amateur racecar driver, surfer and mountain biker in addition to being the inventor of the GoPro line of HD cameras designed for rugged, wet and harsh environments. But it wasn’t always that...

Remembering Jack

December 18, 2014
Ninety-two years old. That’s a long life by any measure but when it’s lived with the panache of Jack Wayman it’s a cause for celebration. As Jack said last year during his swansong at the CE Hall of Fame (HOF) dinner where he received a standing ovation, “You know 91 is the new 90.” As we honor the 2014 HOF class in New York for the first time, it is bittersweet that we also are remembering Jack, a member of the inaugural 2000 class, at his memorial service on the same day. Jack was passionate about the HOF. He served as a judge each year and we spent hours talking about the nominees. He had personal...

Disruptive Commercial Drones

December 09, 2014
Commercial uses for drones aka unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are poised to make a big impact across diverse industries. The implications are virtually endless. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos sparked people’s imagination in 2013 when he discussed Amazon’s UAV aspirations for shorthop deliveries on 60 Minutes. Today, Amazon is experimenting with the eighth generation of its Prime Air UAV. Similarly, Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg says he wants to employ UAVs to bring affordable Internet access to the five billion people in the developing world who lack connectivity. The company then purchased U.K.-based drone maker Ascenta, while Google scooped-up Titan Aerospace, a two-year old...

Ubiquitous Sensors Collect Data

December 05, 2014
Sensors are to CE products like water is to fish. Inseparable. And that’s a good thing because sensors are helping to ensure a steady flow of improvements to enhance the operation of devices such as smartphones (driving a new wave of mobile apps for health and fitness), tablets, IoT- (Internet of Things) enabled appliances, gaming systems and wearable computing products. Indeed, the user appeal of new CE offerings now depends, to a large extent, on the quality of their sensors. The new Apple iPhone 6, for example, uses a new sensorbased co-processor (M8) designed for fitness apps that let it know...

Fitbit's Woody Scal

December 02, 2014
CEA’s Health and Fitness Technology Division was created in 2013 to explore where health and fitness intersects with consumer technology. The division leverages CEA’s resources to advance its goal of increasing awareness of health and fitness electronics. The group is open to all CEA members interested in shaping the future of the consumer electronics, health and fitness industries. Leading the board as chair is Fitbit’s Chief Revenue Officer Woody Scal. With more than 20 years of experience with highgrowth consumer product companies on both the management and investment side, Scal has been leading Fitbit’s growth since he joined in 2010. Before Fitbit, he was EVP...

International Focus: Vietnam

November 07, 2014
Samsung to Expand Investment in Ho Chi Minh City Samsung group will invest a total of $1.4 billion to build a factory in Ho Chi Minh City’s Saigon High-tech Park, according to Vietnam’s Thanh nien newspaper. the factory—which will cover 70 hectares of land and employ between 4,000 and 5,000 workers—is expected to open in 2016. According to Thanh nien, the factory will focus on manufacturing electronic household utensils. The investment has doubled the GDP growth of the Thai Nguyen province to 15 percent in just six months according to the local people’s committee. As part of a $1.5 billion investment plan, LG...

2014 CE Hall of Fame: Tim Westergren

November 04, 2014
(1965- )Founder, Pandora Internet Radio  The phonograph and the radio were revolutionary ways to listen to music. Tim Westergren innovated another way – Pandora Internet radio. Using a complex algorithm, Pandora enables users to create targeted, personalized streaming radio stations and now attracts a monthly audience of more than 75 million listeners through its seemingly ubiquitous and de rigueur mobile and more than 1,000 other connected devices.   Born four days before Christmas 1965 in Minneapolis, MN, Westergren took up the piano as a seven-year old while living in France where his family had just moved. He learned about blues and jazz, and then got swept up in 80...
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