Widgets Magazine

The Friday 5

SoftBank Bets on a Robot for the Home-*
Japanese telecommunications giant SoftBank joined forces with IBM to package their robotics with IBM’s Watson’s artificial intelligence. With more and more robots coming into consumer electronics and pro AV (telepresence bots, for instance), SoftBank offers a unique product which incorporates one of the most famous artificial intelligence super computers of all time. One thing to watch is how well these devices will sell; priced at $2000 each they might be too much money for the consumer electronics market and not enough functionality for the pro AV market. One thing that is not uncertain, however, is they are quite adorable.
Read More at the Wall Street Journal
-*Sony will spin off its audio and video business as it searches for-*profitability
Japanese electronics manufacturer Sony announced they will spin off their audio and video business as they search for a way to become more profitable. Previously, Kazuo Hirai decided to spin off the company’s TV business and end their popular line of Vaio notebook computers (Feb 2014). Nearly a year later the company announced it will split the audio and video units into a wholly owned subsidiary; effectively killing the “One Sony” rallying cry from Hirai. This move comes after several years of losses by larger Sony division, such as the entertainment division. It will be interesting to see what this means for AV professionals, many of whom depend on Sony products and components regularly.
In a separate piece, Andy Patrizzo, on-*ITWorld,-*notes Sony’s struggles are long running noting “[Sony] expanded a lot of capital on the high-definition DVD fight, eventually defeating HD DVD in a Pyrrhic victory because streaming has put home video rental stores out of business,” continuing “Home video is in rapid decline and people just stream video now.” {Mostly True}
Read More at The Verge
Now that HDBaseT is Basically Standard, What are-*the Down Sides
HDBaseT Alliance founder Valens debuted their Colligo family of chips which offers native USB 2.0 and HD audio support, enables the transmission of 4K/UHD video over Cat-5/6 cables up to 100m and add single- and multi-mode fiber transport over distances up to 10km (6.2 mi). Running your entire AV System over a single cable would be pretty impressive – so what, if any, downsides to adopting HDBaseT exist for integrators, manufacturers and consumers? Our friends at AVNetwork.com take a closer look.
Read More at AVNetwork.com
XO Infinity Tablet/Laptop-*Lets you Swap Pieces out Like LEGO-*Blocks
One Education has announced the XO-Infinity, a reference to-*the original-*XO-1 laptop from their predecessor One Laptop Per Child, an ambitious program to empower the world’s poorest children through education. What sets this device apart is it is completely modular. Camera, screen, battery, network card, Wi-Fi chips and the like can all be upgraded on-the-fly as needs dictate. Similarly, Google is moving forward with Project Ara, a modular smartphone. Is this the future of consumer devices- chassis-*which are able to support interchangeable-*components?
Read More at NBCNews.com
Chip Firms Put Security Center Stage for the Internet of Things-*
“The emphasis on security at the hardware level is becoming more important as microcontrollers are becoming the brains of connected products,” according to Jim Trent, VP & GM of the microcontroller business at NXP. As more and more devices begin are manufactured to be network ready, and to talk to other devices on the network, it will become more and more important for hardware manufacturers to build in precautions for security. Although, I’m selfishly interested in being able to say ‘My network was compromised because I was tweeting from my dishwasher.’
Read More at Gigaom.com

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