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How hi-tech is changing the world Part 3: 20 new technologies.

Technologies that will change the world, or at least prove to be disruptive, range from medical devices using advanced microchips; a universal availability of open-source software; all DRM-free music and the recent change in encryption licensing allowing consumers to download and burn their own media.

World’s largest HD plasma-screen display from PanasonicThese were some of the predictions for future disruptive technologies made at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas last week in a SuperSession entitled “Big Thinkers, Disruptive Technologies – Today’s Thought Leaders, Tomorrow’s Technologies”.

The common theme of the panel was a future where consumers enjoy the democratization of information and technology.

The big trend at CES was the rapid roll-out of new display technologies, larger displays and cheaper displays, with the likes of Sharp and Samsung competing head-to-head with traditional display leaders like Sony and Panasonic.

Here is a sampling of the new technology and devices unveiled at CES 2008 that captured the attention of the world:

1. The Eye-Fi SD card that wirelessly sends photos to a PC or any of the online photo sites,
2. GM’s Cadillac Provoq, which uses GM’s fifth-generation fuel cell with a lithium-ion battery to produce an electrically driven vehicle that uses no petroleum and has no emission other than water.
3. Toshiba TDP-EW25U (wireless DLP projector),
4. Philips’ Eco TV, which won CNET’s top Best of Show award for its ecofriendly features,
5. Motorola’s Moto Rokr E8 phone, which shifts from music player to phone to imaging device at the touch of a button.
6. Sony’s 11 inch Organic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) HDTV,
7. Panasonic’s record setting 150 inch plasma HDTV,
8. Mitsubishi’s Laser TV,
9. iRiver’s GSM phone,
10. Intel and Monsoon Multimedia’s Wireless HD technology,
11. Bug Labs’ open source modular gadgets,
12. Comcast’s AnyPlay portable DVR,
13. Sony’s Rolly speakerbot,
14. Intel’s 2-way Wi-Max technology,
15. Samsung and Motorola’s next generation portable TVs,
16. iRobot iLooj (robot to safely clean your gutters),
17. WowWee’s Rovio, a Wi-Fi-enabled home-surveillance robot equipped with a video camera,
18. Casio’s EXILIM Pro EX-FI, a new camera offering the world’s fastest burst shooting performance at 60 frames per second
19. NEC and Alienware’s curved gaming DLP gaming displays and
20. LG’s MPH handheld personal DTVs.

In addition, the International CES Innovations 2008 Design and Engineering award honorees were showcased onsite at the 2008 International CES. A list of honorees can be found here.

“No event on earth launches more new technology and devices than the International CES. This year was bigger than ever, with the latest innovations, from new next-generation digital televisions, including OLEDs, 150-inch plasmas and laser TVs, to wireless HD, the coolest new multimedia phones and ultra mobile PCs, all on display,” said Gary Shapiro, the president and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association, the producer of the International CES.


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The Big Change is a business strategy blog and newsletter published by Arthur Goldstuck, managing director of World Wide Worx, a leading technology research organisation based in Johannesburg, South Africa.

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