Top 5 Techs to Keep an Eye On
The non-stop advance of technology is predominantly a good thing. Products have gotten smaller, faster, lighter, cheaper, and all the while perform better and better. But in our industry, each new technology brings possible risks as well. These five technologies are worthy of keeping an eye on, as they have the potential to disrupt your business, at least on some level.
Sony’s XEL-1 may seem like a novelty product. After all, it costs $2,500 and only has an 11-inch screen. But it is a sign of things to come. OLED, or organic light emitting diodes is a new type of display technology. For years, it has been relegated to cell phones and car stereo displays, but years of research has brought the size and longevity up enough that soon it will start appearing in sizes to compete with LCDs.
What does this mean for you? OLED displays have incredible color, brightness and contrast ratios. These far exceed what is currently possible in regular LCDs, and possibly greater than the best plasmas (we’ll have to wait and see on that). They are also ridiculously thin. Sony’s XEL-1’s screen is less than 3-millimeters thick (0.12-inches).
If you put these next to a normal display, the customer will be drawn to them. The downside? Not every company is getting into the OLED bandwagon. Sony is obviously in, and Samsung has shown several prototypes.
So if you sell the brands that start marketing OLED displays, then upselling a customer to them will probably not be hard. If you don’t carry those brands, it will be hard to convince a customer to go with a less flashy, probably poorer performing, “old-fashioned” flat panel.
For years, Microsoft, HP, Alienware and many other companies have been trying to get a computer into home theaters and media rooms. The benefits are numerous, from content storage, to Web access, to gaming. They can even play Blu-ray and receive and record HDTV. The boxes themselves have gotten smaller, and now can fit right into a normal rack of gear.