Taming the technology beast

2011-02-04 09:47

We all appreciate ­technology – that’s a given. It makes our lives easier and more convenient.

We love our products, until they become too complicated or break down.

It’s only when our gadgets fail to work that we realise how dependent we are on technology.

For most of us, it’s a love-hate relationship, but at this year’s ­Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the dynamics of this relationship changed – and thankfully there’s a lot more love coming our way.

The CES is a geek’s wet dream. All the biggest electronics brands unveil their latest techno arsenal, and no expense is spared.

It is the most spectacular ­display of brand one-upmanship you could ever witness. But somehow, with all the ­electronic posturing, the needs of the consumer becomes ­collateral damage.

Admittedly, the technologies are mind-blowing, but that’s also when it becomes daunting for Joe Public.

It is the operational complexity of new technologies that puts people off new gadgets.

This year, however, manufacturers seemed to have called a truce and found the perfect balance ­between technical innovation and ­simplified ­human ­interaction.

At the opening keynote address, a ­video containing interviews with people from across the globe on their feelings about technology was shown.

The sentiment was unanimous: consumers today expect technologies, especially broadband and connectivity, to be “like a second skin” and it is this growing demand that is forcing manufacturers to collaborate, rather than compete, to make this happen.

This illustrates the power of ­today’s consumer voice and for the first time the emphasis at the CES shifted subtly from “electronics” to the ­“consumer”.

Now that the dust has settled on the cutting-edge technologies (read: techno jargon that mere mortals can’t understand) that got the geeks excited, here are a selection of the core consumer trends and some of the more “human-friendly” gadgets that emerged at CES.

» Chang is the founder of Flux Trends. Visit www.fluxtrends.com 

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