For all the doom and gloom in technology spending in the United States and Western Europe, IBM's results suggest that there's a world of opportunity in emerging markets. IBM reported stellar earnings - three days ahead of schedule - but it's where the growth is coming from that is most interesting. Writes the Wall Street Journal:IBM Chief Executive Officer Samuel J. Palmisano, said in a prepared statement that the improvement was "led by strong operational performance in Asia, Europe and emerging countries." IBM said it will report revenue for the quarter of $28.9 billion, up 10% from the year earlier level and about $1 billion above analysts' estimates. About six points of the gain came from currency translation, reflecting the decline in value of the dollar against the Euro and other currencies.… Read more
Our Best of CES winner, the Bug Labs platform, generated buzz among both CNET editors and readers with its mix of open-source hardware and software, plus an innovative pricing scheme that encourages early adoption. Though we have no doubt the product will at first appeal to tinkerers and hobbyists, we're intrigued by the prospect of a future filled with modular gadgetry.
Other technologies to catch our attention seemed to … Read more
SpeechGear's Compadre suite of translation software brings us one step closer the sci-fi ideal of a universal translator. The full suite of five programs gives you the ability to instantly translate anything you see, hear, or read into a ton of languages, including Spanish, German, Dutch, Iraqi, Chinese, Japanese, and more.
The most exciting portion of the software is Interact, which lets you have a near-real-time conversation with a speaker of a foreign language. You and your conversant simply speak into a microphone that's connected to your computer; the program uses voice recognition, machine translation, and speech synthesis … Read more
In the midst of the CES craziness, I often fantasize about returning home and spending an entire day in bed, recovering. If only I could stage my recovery in the Starry Night Sleep Technology Bed from Leggett & Platt; not only is it oh-so-comfortable, but it's loaded with enough technology to make even a wide-awake geek drool.
First, there are multiple features designed to help you sleep better--which, after all, is the main point. The bed is divided into two independently adjustable sections, and in addition to setting head and foot angle, each occupant can control the bed temperature, … Read more
With the dust-up this week about Intel leaving the fold of OLPC, it got me to thinking: Will One Laptop Per Child become the TiVo of PCs for emerging markets? In other words, they spark the revolution but gain relatively little from it.
TiVo of course almost single-handidly created the DVR category and market. Their technology was very well executed, they created a user experience that is still unparalleled in terms of ease and joy of use, and with continual roll-out of innovative capabilities that kept stretching the definition of the product.
But ultimately their business model proved insufficient to … Read more
Meraki, a start-up that hopes to bring cheap Wi-Fi to the emerging world, has raised $20 million in a second round of funding.
The company, which grew out of a Ph.D. thesis at MIT, has created inexpensive routers and a back-end networking service that balances available bandwidth between the routers and users. The end result is that the available bandwidth is used more efficiently, according to Sanjit Biswas, Meraki's CEO and co-founder.
"There are a small number of Internet connections, but they are repeated by a large number of radios" in networks based on the company'… Read more
Often, "emerging tech" describes something esoteric, a component or product so far on the cutting edge that its application to everyday life isn't immediately apparent. While we certainly expect to see such technologies on display at this year's CES, the broader emerging category contains developments that are closer to home and easier to grasp--literally.
High-tech homes The allure of the smart home, where everything from appliances to doors and windows to lighting is controlled from a single console (or remotely), grows greater every year. We fully expect to see more home automation products from such major … Read more
HALF MOON BAY, Calif.--Homesick entrepreneurs longing to return to China or Europe may find the motherland is offering more than a warm embrace: funding by eager investors.
China's stock market has climbed fivefold over the past two years, and efforts are under way to create an emerging market that would cater to younger companies.
"The China market has turned over five times, so it's very, very hot. But there've only been a handful of local companies that have done an IPO," said Kuantai Yeh, managing director of Intel Capital and a panelist Friday at … Read more
It's not the amount that counts--it's the first few milliliters.
That's the word from Helen Lee, an associate professor at the University of Cambridge, who invented the FirstBurst, that device you see in her hands. It captures the first part of a male patient's urine sample and seals it off into a tube. Those initial milliliters are the ones doctors need for testing. Lee hopes to see the device get shipped into emerging markets to help health professionals. (She has also invented a device for rapidly testing for chlamydia.)
The FirstBurst testing has been fairly rigorous. … Read more
The Solar Turbine Group is trying to bring refrigeration to emerging nations by harnessing the power of the sun.
The organization, which consists largely of MIT alumni, has devised a solar thermal generator that can be brought to market for $12,000 or less. A typical system can generate 600 watts of electricity or 20 kilowatts of energy for heating and cooling, according to Sam White, director for STG. The same system can also produce both at the same time, albeit less of each.
Like other solar thermal systems, STG uses mirrors. Mirrors concentrate heat from the sun onto a … Read more