Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is not just back, but it’s back with a bang! CES 2016, the name that’s trending all over, this time promises to be not just a platform for all high-tech smartphone, tablet, TVs, robot, and concept car launches, but also bring out the inside scoop on the technology world. Some of the biggest tech scoops of this year are:
Goodbye, Moto(rola): Yes, you read it right. After Nokia, it’s time for another of the world’s iconic brand names to die. Motorola, known to give wireless a start, saw a lot of ups and downs in the last couple of years, and is now in its final death throes. Lenovo, which bought Motorola Mobility from Google in 2014, is planning to kill the the Motorola brand and rebrand it as ‘Moto by Lenovo’. Motorola chief operating officer Rick Osterloh, in an interview to CNet, said, “Lenovo will unify its two phone businesses under the Lenovo name. It’s going to use Motorola’s Moto brand for high-end products and its homegrown Vibe brand for budget devices. We’ll slowly phase out Motorola and focus on Moto.” (cnet.com)
Netflix’s grand international debut: Netflix Inc, the world’s largest video streaming company, rolled out its services in 130 countries including India. Announcing the launch at CES 2016, Reed Hastings, co-founder and CEO, Netflix said, “Consumers across the globe are ready to pay for content, if provided at a right price.” Netflix is offering three packages for Indian consumers starting with a basic plan that would cost Rs 500 a month and allow users to access all content on any one device at a time with standard definition quality. The other two higher subscription plans allow users to watch content with HD or ultra HD quality and a choice of 2-4 devices at the same time. The topmost package is priced at Rs 800 a month. (techcircle.vccircle.com)
US marshals raid. No, not a CES publicity stunt: A show meant for geeks witnessed an unexpected raid by US marshals. But, hang on! The raid had nothing to do with any criminal activity but a patent activity. At CES 2016, two US federal marshals raided a Chinese hoverboard-maker’s booth, and walked away with all the company’s one-wheeled self-balancing skateboards — called Trotter — on display, as well as took down its sign and fliers promoting the product. The raid against Changzhou First International Trade Co. was the result of a patent infringement claim filed by an American startup Future Motion that claims to have invented and patented an electric skateboard that looks very similar to the Trotter. Future Motion sent members of its legal team to accompany the marshals in the raid. (arstechnica.com)
Project Tango: It’s tango time! Chinese IT giant Lenovo is partnering with Google to release a Project Tango smartphone, which it will retail for less than $500. The smartphone, powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, turns the screen into a magic window that can overlay digital information and objects onto the real world. Google’s Project Tango is a technology platform that uses advanced computer vision, depth sensing, and motion tracking to create on-screen 3D experiences, allowing users to explore their physical environments via their device. Specialised hardware and software combine to let the device react to every movement of the user, when they step forward, backward, or lean side to side.
Limelight! LeTV announcements & LG rollable OLED TV: China-based Internet conglomerate LeTV showed off what it claims to be the world’s thinnest TV, Super 4 Max65 Blade. The sleek TV is just 3.9 mm thick, which the company says is the equivalent of two coins put together. The Super 4 Max65 Blade has a separate speaker. The company also unveiled its latest flagship smartphone, the Le Max Pro, announced as the world’s first phone that runs on Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor. In addition, the company partnered with Faraday Future, a new and emerging electric car project in America.
LG showed off an 18-inch OLED display which is just 0.18 mm thin, and can be rolled up like a poster. No point writing realms on it, instead see this mind-blowing picture.
And, lastly, this piece of news will make you heave a sigh of relief: Do you keep your stuff somewhere and then forget? In that case, Trackr might become your best friend. This Bluetooth tracking tag helps you find anything, from keys to pets. TrackR has two products, the Bravo and the Atlas, intended to help you keep tabs on your prized possessions. The TrackR Atlas, which plugs into any wall outlet, uses Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to map a floor’s layout so you can keep track of multiple Bravo trackers at once. And it’s voice-activated, so you could ask “Where are my keys?” and the Atlas app will respond with the location. Smart, isn’t it!