Only a couple of weeks into 2012 and CES is upon us. The 2012 Consumer Electronics show lets us look at various technological developments and see what new products we will start seeing over the next few years.
It seems like there’s a lot of new display and imaging technologies being exhibited this year and the adoption of these technologies will subtly add to the UC and collaboration packages already available. Heads up display like the Lumus Optical (http://www.lumus-optical.com/ ) and head-mounted computers such as the Golden-I (http://www.mygoldeni.com/) give the wearer an always on screen while they go about their work. The Golden-I also has an add-on camera module meaning that an operative can be streaming video. The collaboration opportunities for engineering work seem obvious here. On the fly access to technical documentation and even procedural video while standing in front of the job! Or how about streaming live video of what you’re doing back to an office or another engineer for collaborative assistance while you work. The move methods we gat of making data and communications available, the richer and more pervasive the collaborative integrations can be.
Telepresence robots like those made by VGo (http://www.vgocom.com/) might not be a new invention but each year we see them getting more capable and streamlined. These may seem gimmicky but the benefits could be huge. Imagine a manufacturing operation spread across a very large site. For an engineer to do an initial visit to look at a fault might involve an hour of moving, only to get there and find he needs to call someone else, or needs specialised tools. Telepresence robots could be installed so that the engineer can have an initial look at the fault without leaving their desk and be more prepared, fixing the fault faster and saving the business money.
Finally OLED Displays, these displays are made by printing the Organic-LED modules directly onto plastic. People have been talking about them for years but this year Samsung are showing off their first 55 inch OLED display, which is proposed to be released later this year (http://www.engadget.com/2012/01/10/samsung-55-inch-super-oled-tv-eyes-on-video/) . This in itself isn’t big news but the fact that the technology is beginning to ramp up is. OLED promised to make displays cheaper and affordable huge display panels possible. One day the panels will be able to be made to near enough any shape and size and when we start to get true “video walls” it’s likely that this is the technology that will be driving the displays. Think Telepresence is cool now, in a few years the whole meeting room wall might become a window to the other side of the world.