Hot Topics

Feature articles on the latest trends and hot topics in technology today.

The Future of the Tablet

The tablet as a computer form is finally emerging after years of effort and many failed attempts. This is singularly the result of Apple’s iPad. With the excitement of 40m iPad units sold up to October 2011 there is a gold rush mentality in tablet activity. Yet, emulating Apple’s success has been elusive.

  • HP TouchPad – lasted only 7 weeks in the market
  • Rim PlayBook–Poor execution in RIMs core business resulted in a $485m write down
  • Adam Tablet – Promises but no delivery
  • Kindle Fire – Numerous execution issues including the User Interface but initial excellent sales
  • Dell Streak 5  Android tablet – Discontinued
  • Motorola Xoom – Poor sales, replaced by Xoom 2 on November 2011
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 – Delayed by Patent disputes with Apple

Given the success of Apple why has competition been so elusive?

Android is not yet effective competition against Apple. There are important UI issues, including consistency across applications and performance lag. Price competition with Apple has proved difficult, and only Amazon's Kindle Fire has taken on Apple from a pricing perspective. Apple apps are just superior, consistent and continually expanding.

There must be a compelling reason to buy a tablet OTHER than an iPad. So far, only Fire with Amazon’s ecosystem has created a significant pull by its pricing and reputation.

The lack of success of Android as a tablet OS means it has not been able to migrate to enterprises and vertical markets. The iPad is doing just that now and it will become more difficult dislodge Apple from these long term markets.

> Read the full blog article The Future of Tablets>>


Touch Screens Market Growth Abounds

DisplaySearch showed that touch screen shipments were at 800m units in 2010 and a market of $4B. This is expected to grow to $11B in 2014. Projective Capacitive is expected to grow to $10.5B by 2014, also. In the cell phone market touch is projected to achieve 50% penetration by 2014.

> Read the full article DisplaySearch FPD 2011 >>


InvenSense Drives Platform for Indoor Navigation

InvenSense has the most complete indoors navigation solution we've seen. Basically a strap-down navigation platform on a chip including a 3 axis accelerometer, 3 axis MEMS gyroscope and 3 axis compass. The key to the success of this platform is Low noise processing of the signals from the sensors, years of experience in the software which does the motion processing and their own MEMS design.

The typical problem with a strap-down navigator is drift. InvenSense addresses this with the inclusion of a compass which will not drift. Another limitation of the platform is an accurate estimate of stride length – an important factor when walking. If it is possible to pick up a WiFi signal, even limited information, will allow for a much more precise estimate of stride. As a result the location prediction improves significantly.

Initially the company entered the market with its technology to provide motion compensation for camera movement in cell phones. This is the most difficult problem due to the high frequency of the movement of the camera – the cell phone not being a very stable platform. Currently the InvenSense technology is in some LG phones and many more in the future.

InvenSense has been working with Google to help it with the inside building mapping API. Eventually this technology will lead to a whole new class of products and services based on accurate indoor navigation.

> Read the full article Mobile World Congress 2011 / 1>>


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