CES 2017: taking connectivity to the next stage

CES 2017: taking connectivity to the next stage

Beyond the myriad of smartphones, fridges, drones and robots, CES offers an annual reminder as to why technology is such a fantastic area of business: by combining creativity with efficiency, we can provide new services that improve our everyday lives in a heartbeat. Yet, it’s important to remember that each of these fabulous new products have required months of development, testing and design to be shown on the Las Vegas show floor – and of course, better connectivity, which has become the crux of technological innovation. Reflecting on this, we are proud to see the level of innovation that we have witnessed in automotive and video at the show:

TV: shinier displays and better integrated solutions
In our CES Preview blog, we reminisced about the evolution of TV over the past 50 years. The days of the black and white, one-channel screen are long gone. Instead, our digital lives are coming to a screen near you, thanks to greater connectivity, sharper contrasts and better forms of integration.

Our main focus at CES was on new services such as NVidia’s The Shield, an Android-powered TV box supporting YouTube in 4K, Netflix in HDR and access to Google Play movies, Amazon Video and games streaming.

As strong believers in the idea that content sources need to be made accessible to consumers in an easy, centralised way, we are very excited about this new advance in aggregated media libraries. Our mission is to enable operators to offer best in class experiences across multiple devices and content sources through products like ACCESS Twine™, regardless of the hardware and infrastructure to deliver this content to the consumer.

Operators that want to ensure that consumers stay within their branded environment for all their media needs will need to combine quality content catalogues with content aggregation and data collection for analytics features within their apps. By using solutions that also support secure media re-distribution across all platforms and HTML5 powered experiences for HbbTV and other current standards, operators can deliver immersive experiences to subscribers on the beautiful displays showcased at CES.

Automotive: concept cars galore
Since the advent of connectivity in the car, CES has been the place to go to discover first hand the latest announcements, concept cars and products in the automotive space, an industry that is reported to weigh about 25% of all activity at CES. While the traditional players showed their innovations, like e.g. BMW’s BMWi Inside Future gave visitors to the show a glance at the future of its autonomous fleet, Mercedes’ EQ’s 24-inch display confirmed that connectivity and User Experience were at the core of its future ambitions.  Besides that, upcoming players showed their new products and concepts. A particularly prominent one is Faraday Future, which was founded in 2014 to rival Tesla. At CES, Faraday Futures presented its FF91 electric vehicle, slated to ship in 2018.

What we found particularly interesting however is the combination of consumer electronics and the automotive industry going one step further with the integration of Amazon’s cloud-based voice service, Alexa, inside Ford’s SYNC 3-enabled cars. This integration will provide advanced features like weathering updates, locking or starting the car remotely. Others, like BMW, Nissan and Toyota, are investing in Artificial Intelligence (AI) to better assist drivers as we transit from our current, driver-centric industry to the far away driverless future.

CES was also a perfect opportunity for us to reunite with other members of the GENIVI Alliance, and to showcase our solutions for the automotive sector: ACCESS Twine™ Car and our HTML5-based NetFront™ Browser family. These solutions enable car infotainment to support media distribution for Head-Units, Rear-Seat Entertainment and Bring-Your-Own-Devices as well as HTML5 based browsing and applications. Centralized control, general usage data creation and complementary cloud components to manage users, devices, content metadata and usage data enable easy service integrations. This provides manufacturers and Tier 1s with readily available solutions to enrich custom in-vehicle infotainment systems.

If you’ve missed us at the show but would like to know more about our solutions, please contact automotive@access-company.com (Automotive) or tv@access-company.com (Video). Alternatively, head to our website for more information.

About the author:

Neale Foster

Neale brings a wealth of broadcast, connected TV and consumer electronics industry experience to his role of spearheading ACCESS in Internet Connected Devices. ACCESS is one of the world’s leading software providers for connected mobile, Digital TV, set-top boxes and other electronic consumer devices. Neale ensures that ACCESS develops software solutions that enable broadcasters, operators and consumer electronics manufacturers to connect the broadcast world with the consumer electronic world to successfully launch new business models and consumer services. Follow him on Twitter / Linkedin

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