January 2012 has proven to be an exciting month of new product launches at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and elsewhere around the world. As I tested these new products in the past month, I realized many of the new gadgets had one thing in common--they are meant to work with cloud computing:
- Samsung Galaxy Nexus and Galaxy Note: These are new smartphones with huge screens that are optimized for consuming videos, images and other content from the cloud. I'm impressed with the 720p high-definition (HD) quality of the Galaxy Nexus' screen as it is clearly meant for streaming HD videos from the cloud.
- Cheap tablets such as the US$79 Novo7 Paladin tablet by Ainovo make it more affordable to consume cloud content on the go. The Novo7 Paladin tablet runs Android 4.0 and, according to my testing, it performs surprisingly well in spite of its low cost. I'm sure we will see many such cheap tablets in the months to come.
- Smart TVs are no longer used just for viewing videos and photos, they can now play console games hosted in the cloud. LG Electronics, for one, showed a Smart TV with cloud gaming capability at CES.
- Cloud-connected healthcare devices such as iHealth can transmit your blood pressure, blood sugar level, weight and body fat level to the cloud.
- Cars are also connecting to the cloud. At CES, Ford showed its Evos concept car that can pick up your appointments and driving routes from the cloud.
- Sitting on my office desk is Karotz, a cloud-connected Wi-Fi electronic rabbit that reads out RSS feeds, recognizes my speech commands, and has a built-in camera that lets me peek at my office remotely through an iPhone app.
- Even pets have become cloud-enabled, with the Tagg dog collar equipped to track your dog through GPS.
With so many things becoming connected to the cloud, 2012 may be the year in which cloud computing for consumers finally takes off.