Jon Peddie Back Pages - It's all about the pixels

From CES to GDC to NAB - The alphabet tour continues

Posted by Kathleen Maher on April 24th 2015 | Discuss
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As always, the year begins with CES, at least if you work in technology land, and if you don’t, you’re probably not going to be reading this brand-new shiny issue of the TechWatch Quarterly, unless … hi, Mom! This year, CES brought us so many things including connected cars, 4K TVs, and the threat of 8K TVs, robots, drones, intelligent light bulbs, VR helmets ,and 3D sensors. Sometimes it seems like so much stuff we never asked for, and can’t imagine wanting, but as the quarter goes on and companies continue to preach the gospel of technological computing, some things start…

The ultimate selfie and safety - Who’s driving your car?

Posted by Jon Peddie on April 14th 2015 | Discuss
Tags: augmented driving anti sleep pilot phantomalert mobileye ionroad

Autonomous vehicles are coming. In a year or two, three max, autonomous cars will be operating on the highway, but probably not in city and residential streets. However, we won’t instantaneously have highways filled with autonomous cars. About 100,000 cars are built each year, and there are more than 3 million cars on the road, so at that production rate it would take 30 years to replace all the cars. However, we can get our old jalopies to give us some of the benefits by using our smartphones. They won’t take over steering and breaking, but they can warn us if…

Moore’s Law turns 50

Posted by Jon Peddie on April 1st 2015 | Discuss
Tags: intel carver mead gordon moore moore's law

Where were you when it was postulated?  Moore’s Law has been a fantastic observation, and a self-fulfilling prophecy that has spurred us on to do more, do it faster, make it smaller, and cheaper. We do it because we think we can. Moore’s Law has been great for information systems and all the happy recipients of the technology developments as a result of it. However, as great as our 4K TVs, super small computers, IoT, and devices are, the effect of Moore’s Law has not lifted all boats. As William Gibson said, the future is here, it’s just not evenly distributed.…

ROPS, FLOPS, and BOPS

Posted by Jon Peddie on March 17th 2015 | Discuss
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What spec works for you? For as long as I can remember— which is kind of a redundant statement because who can remember longer than they can remember?— we in the computer industry have been quantifying, measuring, and judging the things we make, or use, on the basis of how many times a second they can do something. We used to talk about MIPS (not the company or processor, but millions of operations per second). Or we spoke about triangles per second; we still do to a certain extent. Over the years, as things kept getting faster, we evolved from one…

The week of gaming

Posted by Jon Peddie on March 4th 2015 | Discuss
Tags: gaming google pc gaming android gdc consoles

I’ve been gaming so long, I don’t know when I’m not This is the week of the Game Developers Conference (GDC). GDC has been going on since 1988 when Chris Crawford organized it. Even before that there was the GamePC Consortium started by Ken Nicholson in 1993 (who was at ATI at the time, and is now at GE Global Research). I went to the first GamePC Consortium, and the last. Whereas the GDC conference is for developers, GamePC was trying to establish some standards and stability in the PC gaming industry. Their first proposal, almost a threat, was to develop…

VR Sickness; It’s a real thing

Posted by Jon Peddie on February 19th 2015 | Discuss
Tags: gaming vr virtual reality oculus

After fading away in terms of consumer popularity in the late 1990s, with advent of low cost sensors and optics, and the unmitigated enthusiasm of Palmer Luckey Virtual Reality (VR) has roared back to life with a vengeance. But, it still has the same issue as it did in the 90s—graininess and motion or VR or Sim-sickness. Using the Oculus Riff DK2 as an example, the resolution is 1920 x 1080, split between two eyes, or 970 x 1080 per eye. The refresh rate is 75 Hz, or 37.5 Hz per eye. That produces an acceptable, stereo 3D (S3D) experience, using…

Touch touch, write write, draw draw— the pen is dead, long live the pen

Posted by Jon Peddie on February 3rd 2015 | Discuss
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Steve Jobs didn’t get everything right. When he stood in front of an admiring audience and gave them the finger during the launch of the iPad, he declared no pens or styluses are needed ever again. The vaunted Palm PDA with its little solid plastic stylus was dead. Since then almost every major PC maker has introduced a product with a pen or stylus with every major device. Adobe introduced the Sketch, Sony and Lenovo use N-trig active pens, Samsung Galaxy Note phones have a passive stylus, HP just introduced two tablets with a Qualcomm Duet Pen, Wacom never stopped shipping…

It’s the end of the year as we know it

Posted by Kathleen Maher on January 28th 2015 | Discuss
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Companies position themselves for growth in 2015 and beyond At the end of 2014, the future is looking brighter if you can ignore all the war, disease, and despair that’s going on around our little play land of technology. The technology companies have weighed in with their product strategies, and they’re confidently plotting courses of growth for new markets and new industries. Forward-looking software companies are giddy over the promise of a huge base of mobile users who are taking their work with them via tablets and phones. Mobile has also opened up many more use cases for the cloud. For…

CES no longer a leading indicator

Posted by Jon Peddie on January 20th 2015 | Discuss
Tags: ces peddie

Now what do we do? We thought we had really stumbled onto something when we recognized a correlation between the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and the attendance at CES: when CES attendance fell, so did the DJIA. That gauge worked up until 2013 and then failed in 2014 and again in 2015. Damn.  All things considered, I’d much rather the DJIA went up faster than the attendance at CES. I think CES is too crazy big and unmanageable now. I think it should be broken up into three or four shows: one for cars, one for TVs and hi-fi as…

Predictions for 2015 and beyond

Posted by Jon Peddie on January 6th 2015 | Discuss
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This is the time of year when soothsayers, financial forecasters, conspiracy theorists, and brilliant industry analysts polish their crystal balls and let the rest of you uninformed and ill-advised know what to expect for and during the next 12 months.  None of these predictions will be realized. I could stop here but just want to make the point that predicting the future is about as sensible as trying to undo the past. We continue to attempt both all the time; we’re a bit more successful with the future. 1. We will see the first completely wireless notebook computers: power, second display,…