$10,000,000 Google Android Winners

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Meet the winners of Google’s $10 million contest for innovative Android apps.


Androd contest


Napster: Why Best Buy Will Play This Tune

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There is a missing link, we believe, in the press reports surrounding Best Buy’s decision to acquire Napster.

No one yet has linked the new Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE is a consortium of Hollywood studios, retailers and tech companies) to the deal.

Warner Bros. Entertainment, Fox Entertainment Group, NBC Universal, Sony, Paramount Pictures and Comcast Corp. with with tech giants Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, Cisco, Philips, Toshiba and Verisign have all invested in the undertaking.

Oh, yes...so did Best Buy.

DECE wants a new standard for the transfer and storage of copyrighted digital content that will knock out Apple.

The new DRM aims to let videos purchased at any outlet be played on any device worldwide, under a unified brand and logo. DECE will allow an unlimited number of copies of a video to be created or burned onto a disc.

Nobody knows much about the new DECE yet. You’ll see all this unveil at the 2009 Consumer Electronics Show in January.

Best Buy foresees Napster acting as their own platform for accelerating their growth in the emerging industry of digital entertainment, beyond music subscriptions. They will leverage existing relationships with the labels, the studios, and the hardware providers.

DECE will (in theory) level the playfield and Napster will allow Best Buy to earn its position in digital music space as it did in selling CDs (a major position in USA.)

The i-Stage Competition

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The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) named their top finalists in the new i-stage competition, a technology event featuring the most innovative new consumer technology products that will soon come to market.

The 15 finalists will unveil their products before a live audience on October 20, at CEA’s 2008 Industry Forum in Las Vegas.

The winner of the i-stage competition will receive $50,000 to develop its product line, as well as free turnkey exhibit space at the upcoming 2009 International CES in Las Vegas January 8-11.
CEA’s i-stage competition creates a powerful competitor to the many conferences like DEMO that charge companies to bring their new products to the limelight for funding and press.

The i-stage finalists are:

  • Amulet Devices, The Amulet Remote

  • Avaak, Vue ™ personal video network

  • Boxee media center

  • Frontline Inc., Fitness Interactive Technology (FIT)

  • GenAudio Inc., AstoundSound

  • Instinctiv Shuffle

  • IPEVO digital photo frame

  • JFDI Engineering Ltd., GridSearch

  • Lightglove, LtWv

  • Next2Friends, People in Motion ™

  • Occipital LLC

  • Pongr Inc.

  • PDT Ltd, Novo, Minora 3D Webcam

  • Taggle

  • YouBundle

The i-stage finalists will have their products reviewed and judged on Monday, October 20, at the Four Seasons Hotel in Las Vegas, by a panel of technology experts including Kevin Kelly, Wired Magazine; Ryan Block, formerly of Engadget and Jeff Pulver. Molly Wood, executive editor of CNET will serve as Master of Ceremonies for the event.

Registration for i-stage and CEA’s Industry Forum is currently open. For more information on the events, visit www.CE.org/i-stage .

IFA Says Up, But Are Appliances Up “Right?”

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If you entered from the South entrance, there was something new this year at IFA Berlin. Berlin’s famous brown good show turned white, white as a ghost.

The ghost of appliances, that is. This year an exclusive exhibition area measuring 25,000 square metres in Halls 1.1 to 4.1 was earmarked for HOME APPLIANCES@IFA.

There’s this photo of Miss IFA precariously perched on a Siemens appliance and what a perfect visual analogy. The relationship between white goods and brown goods has been tenuous at best throughout the years. And Miss IFA won’t be comfortable for the long term on that appliance either.

The ghost of major appliances has haunted consumer electronics ever since an appliance store first decided to add a new product called TV to its product mix. Appliance/TV was one channel, radio/TV another and furniture/TV was a third.


The New Generation, WiFi Photo Frame

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At IFA, Kurt Weiss of CINUX showed us the new generation of picture frame, an easy-to-use, easy-to-configure Pixstar model. 

Photo frames started out as a humble product category, basically as a small screen liberated from further hardware by a memory card and driver. How we underestimated these small screens!



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