A Window to the Future of Software – CES 2013

17th Jan 2013
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The annual International Consumer Electronics Show or CES concluded last Friday in Las Vegas and what a show it has been! Contrary

CES

to popular perception, CES 2013 was more than just a TV dominated event. From bendable screens, indestructible smartphones to table top computers, this CES covered a wide variety of innovative consumer electronics gadgets. With technology players across the world bringing their latest innovations to the table, it is now time for other players in the ecosystem to make supporting technologies which can complement these new technology platforms.The adoption of hardware and software go hand-in-hand. And OEMs are going to do their bit in pushing their devices going by what was displayed at CES, therefore the demand in the future for certain kind of software will surely surge. Here is a list of software technologies we think startups must consider making products on — based on the demos at CES 2013 and the audience reaction to those demos.

Windows 8

The number of touch enabled, detachable screen ultrabooks on display this CES was quite amazing. Clearly, Microsoft has pinned a lot

Windows 8

of hopes on the newest edition of its popular operating system, Windows. Radically different from its predecessors, adoption of Windows 8 has been lukewarm because of the changes required to use the OS. Even OEMs had a tough time coming up with a decent device based on the platform … until now.From the Lenovo Helix to the 27 inch table top tablet by Lenovo, Windows 8 seems to the OS of preference. Two opportunities can be capitalized on. One is to make Windows 8 apps for hybrid devices, i.e. laptops that double up as tablets and the second opportunity is specializing in making apps specifically for large screens. 10 inches doesn’t seem to be the screen size limit anymore and these large screens will be used differently, requiring different designs for apps. You could be the next pioneer for making Windows 8 apps for large screens!

Android

Android is living up to its promise of being more than just a smartphone OS. Since its inception, there has been a fair amount of talk on

Android Fridge

how this ‘open’ OS can be the interface for lot more than just smartphones. CES was abuzz with cars having LTE support, fridge and TVs that can run an OS. Not all of them use Android at the moment, but if there ever was a successful OS that can be the interface for these devices, its Android.The ability to make applications specific to these devices can definitely earn you a couple of extra bucks. Because of the unique nature of these ‘devices’ a whole new wave of app ideas can emerge to support them, giving rise to a new, platform specific app development philosophy. Most importantly, the consumers of such lifestyle products would be more open to paying for apps, which can potentially make building apps for these machines a lucrative business.

Gaming

Gaming isn’t a software language as such, but game building skills will definitely be complemented with a wide variety of hardware.

Games

After an era of TV based consoles, hand held consoles seem to be coming back in vogue. CES 2013 saw quite a few handheld gaming devices, most notable was NVIDIA’s Project Sheild, which will need more games in the future for adoption. Building games for these handheld consoles might not be the most viable thing in India, but there definitely is an opportunity for those who have the skill.Many high performance tablets were also released this time, dedicated to gaming. The Windows based Razer Edge tablet swooped the awards ceremony and can help you swoop you some big bucks if you can make apps that make good use of the platform. If you’re game, there is a great opportunity here as well.

Other opportunities

Samsung’s bendable screens seem interesting from a software point of view. While the prototype devices used in the demos didn’t give

Ubuntu

much insight about the OS they would be using, the flexible device provides numerable possibilities for newer apps that can make the best use of the bendable screens.Ubuntu phone is out, so all you QT developers, get to work! With the coming of BB10 devices which will also support apps made using QT, it could be a resurgence of sorts of the QT developer community in the coming years. With respect to the Ubuntu phone itself, porting Android apps to the platform shouldn’t be much of a problem. The OS itself was demoed on a Galaxy Nexus and the Ubuntu has confirmed that the OS uses Android drivers.

Did you find other opportunities for the software community that we might have missed out? Do let us know in the comments section.

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