CES still hasn't bridged the continental divide

10 January 2016 by Steve Blum
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A lonely outpost.

This year’s rebranding of the tech extravaganza formerly known as the Consumer Electronics Show saw “International” dropped from the name. It’s now just CES, although it still bills itself as a “global technology event”.

Looking just at attendees and media, it certainly is an event with global pull. But the products on display overwhelming come from companies based in developed or near-developed countries, even though the actual manufacturing is often done in the developing world.… More

CES exhibit floor grows in size but not in global reach

11 January 2015 by Steve Blum
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The eyes of the world.

The Consumer Electronics Associations warns journalists that it produces a global technology event called International CES and that none should dare speak the name Consumer Electronics Show. The problem is, it’s still a consumer electronics show and it’s still noticeably weak on the global, if not International bits. At least where exhibitors are concerned.

African and South American participation is painfully slim. South Africa-based Geco Action Cam – was the only representative from that continent: same count as last year and down from 2 in 2013.… More

CES needs to bring global partners to the dance

3 January 2014 by Steve Blum
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The “global technology event” which is officially – whatever that means – called “International CES” isn’t living up to its name even as well as it did (or not) last year. Exhibitors from Africa, South America, South Asia and Southeast Asia are even thinner on the ground in 2014, judging from the pre-show floor guide.

Last year, 23 companies from ASEAN nations exhibited products, this year the total is only 18. Hanoi-based Tosy is thankfully back – nothing like a dancing robot to perk up the day.… More

Don't predict African broadband growth with consensus and conventional wisdom

2 June 2013 by Steve Blum
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African traffic coming thicker and faster.

Cisco’s latest Visual Networking Index (VNI) shows global data traffic tripling over the next five years, growing to a level of 121,000 petabytes per month. North America and the Asia-Pacific region are the the big hitters, then and now, each accounting for roughly a third of total Internet traffic. Africa and the Middle East, on the other hand, barely registers. The report projects faster growth there, but even so that region’s share of global data movement will only go from about 2% of the total to 3%.… More

Leaving CES, entering the future

Developers jump on a new mobile platform.

If mobile, desktop and other devices like TVs converge on a single operating system, it'll be a Linux variant. When processing, display and input technology get to the point that the size and form factor of a device is irrelevant, an open source ecosystem will provide a cross-sector point of convergence for developers and manufacturers. Service providers will follow. It's an entrepreneurs' world.

Windows 8 will survive as a mobile operating system.… More

Proud and few, African companies at CES

10 January 2013 by Steve Blum
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Nemotek brings Moroccan manufactured products to CES.

More than three thousand companies from 52 countries are exhibiting at CES, but only two are from Africa.

“There's a lot of manufacturing going on,” said Philip Guttentag, CEO of South Africa-based Vivid Audio. “It's just not very well marketed.”

Vivid was showing its sleek speakers in a high-end audio group display. The company makes its products near Durban.

Nemotek designs and builds its tiny CMOS camera modules in Morocco.… More