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2016: The Year of Acceptance

Nine years after the launch of Netflix streaming and the advent of apps from early market entrants such as HBO GO, the TV industry appears to have successfully navigated through the five stages of grief evoked by the disruptive Internet age. Indeed, 2016 is the year of acceptance and an affirmation of a transition from cable to streaming TV.

Boom Beach Takes All In Vegas

The sensory overload of CES 2016 is over and most of us have made it home to appreciate the relative peace and quiet of anywhere except Vegas. As I think back on the sights, sounds and devices that I saw in the past week, few stand out as surprises. This year seemed to be one of incremental advances, rather than giant leaps forward.

Star Wars: Another Powerful Shift in the Force at Hand?

A long time ago, in a suburban movie theatre far away, I saw a little-known “science fiction” movie that changed my world forever. The movie that summer – Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope – captivated my imagination with seamless special effects, fascinating alien creatures, and heart-pounding dogfights in space, raising the bar for all of the films that followed. Star Wars set a new standard for visual f/x, but more importantly, it changed our expectations of blockbuster movies.

Smart Speakers: About More Than Just Music

2015 has been another banner year for the audio market.  While sales of stereo headphones and soundbars have grown 18 percent and 13 percent, respectively, according to The NPD Group’s Retail Tracking Service, so too have wireless speakers.  In fact, the wireless speaker market figures to eclipse $1.5 billion in volume by the end of this year as an array of pricepoints, features, and form factors offer consumers plenty of choice in the market.  There are also options for consumers when it comes to how their speaker connects with an audio source.

Drop Dead Fitness

The checkup started really well. Blood pressure was right on track, blood oxygen was apparently great and my heart rate was, as usual, as slow as an athlete’s. There was just one problem: I'm not much of an athlete. Not that I'm unhealthy: I windsurf when the weather is warm and windy, and get out on a bicycle every now and then. Heck, I've even been known to break into a gentle run on special occasions. But I'm not deluded enough to think I'm in top shape.

Stream me up, Scotty!

On the spectrum of Star Trek fanship, I fall somewhere between devout moviegoer & re-run viewer, and fully costumed Trekkie conventioneer. Some of my most vivid childhood memories are rushing home after school to see which new planet the Enterprise’s landing party would beam down to, and what alien species Captain Kirk and the crew would encounter. Fifty years after the first stardate, it’s only fitting that Star Trek marks its golden anniversary by breaking out of the box again, with new episodes slated to premier on CBS All Access streaming service instead of broadcast TV.

Let's Play Ball

It’s September and the pennant race is heating up here in NY. At the time of writing, the Yankees are just one-and-a-half games out of first place, and the Mets hold a commanding lead in the NL East. Over the coming weeks, more viewers will tune in to the game, and October headlines will be all about the playoffs. Meanwhile, TV industry news has been concentrated on cord cutting; as expected Q2 ’15 turned out to be the inflection point where the first sizable number of subscribers canceled their TV service. Playing off the trend toward streaming video, Apple’s annual keynote included an Apple TV app demonstration from MLB.tv. Any fan watching immediately recognized what it means for the future of the game.

Intelligence Before Automation in the Kitchen

The kitchen refrigerator has got one heck of a challenge ahead of it when it comes to the automated home. Many household appliance advocates talk wistfully of when the fridge will know all about the food inside it and will be able to tell you that the eggs are about to go bad and that little Johnny just swigged the last of the milk and you are all out. And why stop there?

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