CES Day Three: Innovative communications and platforms

The DTG takes a look at the latest developments in wireless communications and smart platforms at CES 2015, driving innovation in the entertainment industry.

THE WI-FI ALLIANCE PUSHES NEW PLATFORM THAT WORKS WITHOUT WI-FI

The Wi-Fi Alliance has announced plans to develop a platform that will allow devices to share data, even when no Wi-Fi network is available. Edgar Figueroa, CEO of the Alliance, has discussed this new system and its future potential at this year’s CES.

The platform, dubbed Wi-Fi Aware, would have devices share small snippets of data directly to enable applications like multiplayer games. This system would function through existing Wi-Fi hardware and would require no new kit to be purchased.

Figueroa said Wi-Fi Aware has potential beyond a developed and urban environment, in rural settings worldwide where access to mobile broadband and Wi-Fi may be limited. The Alliance has said it wants to spread the technology into developing regions and use it to connect people in remote areas by distributing alerts and notifications

WAM PITCHED TO REPLACE UBIQUITOUS QAM-BASED MODULATION

Innovation in wireless communication has been a popular pitch at this year’s CES 2015. Startup MagnaCom has announced a technology that promises better spectral efficiency and higher capacity.

Those claims are based on what the company calls WAM, which it’s pitching as a possible replacement for the ubiquitous QAM-based modulation.

QAM is a standard modulation scheme in which amplitude and phase are combined to represent as many as 256 states. However, as the number of bits increases, the signal-to-noise ratio deteriorates capping the capacity of QAM schemes.

MagnaCom claims it’s created a modulation scheme that’s both backwards-compatible with QAM, but offers significantly higher spectral efficiency.

NEW OPEN-SOURCED STREAMING STICK

After a successful Kickstarter drive for a Chromecast-style streaming stick based on Firefox OS, Matchstick has announced Flint, an open-software and open-hardware streaming platform, at CES 2015.

A streaming stick transcends the need for in-built smart TV platforms, as they are plugged directly into the HDMI slot present on all HD and UHD TV models.

Matchstick’s Flint provides open source hardware and software capability for manufacturers, content providers, MSOs and others looking to easily integrate screen to screen streaming and interactivity.

“The overwhelming response to Matchstick signified that the market was ready for an open source streaming solution,” said Jack Chang, US General Manager of Matchstick. “Inspired by Mozilla’s Firefox OS, Flint leads the way to transform how Internet video can be organized, managed and consumed.”

STREAMING DEVICE ROKU TO EXPAND INTO ULTRA HD TVS

Roku, maker of the popular video-streaming devices, announced at CES 2015 its plan to expand its line of TVs with integrated Roku software to a range of 4K Ultra HD TV models.

Roku first unveiled Roku TV—televisions with Roku's video-streaming software built in—at last year's show. Roku partnered with Chinese electronics companies Hisense and TCL to begin selling Roku TV sets in late 2014.

Roku said it has created the Roku TV 4K reference design, which will allow its TV partners to begin building 4K high-resolution TV sets capable of using its Roku software. Already, TCL has signed on to deliver a 4K Roku TV.

DTG Staff  |  07.01.2015

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