CEA Now Wants to Standardize 3D Shutter Glasses – In a quick turnaround the Consumer Electronics Association is calling on TV manufacturers to band together to create interoperable 3D active shutter glasses – the superior 3D eyewear – which work with any 3DTV. As it now stands most manufacturers equip their 3DTVs with proprietary 3D active shutter glasses, and a pair of, say, Samsung glasses will likely fail to work on a Sony 3DTV, and vice versa. This is wrecking the effort to make 3D be in the forefront of media consumption. The CES hopes getting some cooperation from the manufacturers wiill lead to increased 3DTV penetration in the home. Dissolving the current fragmentation of 3D eyeware will help 3D to become more universal and natural, as well as cheaper (the shutter glasses are currently the most expensive by far). So it looks like the 3D electronics market is coming to its senses at last.
Electronics – Another Casualty of the Japanese Disaster – A large part of the Japanese economy is driven by electronics, particularly in components manufactured on the island nation. While such things may be the last thing on many minds in this disaster, the world hasn’t stopped its consumption of electronics in any way, and their supply lines have often been cut off now. The Japanese government has mandated power outages to their whole system isn’t overloaded. The infrastructure is suffering as a result. Major auto makers are already showing the ripple effect. The impact on power, transportation and manufacturing is a domino effect. Hitachi had to suspend six manufacturing facilities in the quake-struck areas and they don’t know when operations can resume. Several memory chip makers are also in Japan, as well as makers of components used in display panels: glass and light-emitting diodes. Sony has closed factories which were making Blu-ray discs, CD-ROM players, PlayStations and batteries. Panasonic, Fujifilm, Canon and Nikon have all shut down factories in the affected regions. However, there seemed little likelihood of disruption in the supplies of data-storage components known as flash memory – chips needed for products such as the iPad and iPhone.
Sony Consumer Products Has New Boss – Current PlayStation boss Kaz Hirai will take over Sony’s realigned Consumer Products division next month. He led a successful turnaround of the games business by expanding the PlayStation Network which now has more than 74 million registered accounts worldwide. In his new position he will extend his focus to development of a new generation of compelling products, thu which Sony plans to deliver seamless and compelling entertainment experiences to consumers in both the home and mobile spaces.
Kinect – Fastest-Selling Consumer Electronics Device Ever – The Kinect motion control device for computer gaming on the Xbox 360 has set a new world record since it was released last year. It made a grand total of eight million units sold in its first two months alone. It even beat out iPhone and iPad for the period after its launch. The next Guinness World Records Gamer’s Edition – early in 2012 – will have figures for the Knect device. The Human Computer Interaction Group at the University of Konstanz has created Navigational Aids for the Visually Impaired based on the Kinect’s perception of depth to guide visually impaired people in buildings. The Kinect “sees” spaces around the user and provides guidance via a vibrating belt, a bit like a bat. The developers are also working with the color camera of the Kinect, which can read barcodes, while its depth camera tells the application how far the barcode is from the user. It becomes a sort of radar for the visually impaired.