CES (Computer & Electronics Show), which is the world’s largest technology event, was held in Las Vegas from the 9th to the 12th of January. Unfortunately, Calibre One did not get the opportunity to send anyone to attend this year. However, we wanted to share our research on some of the latest technologies that were unveiled, and what we thought were relevant to our readers and customers.
Dell Laptop XPS 13
I thought we would start by looking at laptop devices, as this is relevant to many of our customers. Dell launched a series of new devices at the CES show, however the XPS 13 caught my eye. Dell has not done an upgrade on this model series now for the past three years. The new model coming to market early this year will have the new eighth generation Intel either i5 or i7 chip. With so many updates coming through on the CPU in computers though, stating something as eighth generation may not tell you much about why this is important, well this is why.
Dell is claiming up to a 20-hour battery life on the device, so for anyone out there that travels a lot, requires their device unplugged for long periods or just wants to be more mobile, then this is an important point.
Added to this, if picture quality is important, the device comes with a 4K screen and is very easy on the eyes. This could be important if you conduct graphics work, or even just enjoy watching Netflix or a movie. Dell has also managed to decrease the existing model volume size by 24% while still keeping the same screen size and keyboard sizing.
In a recent interview with ZDNet,Frank Azor, the general manager for Dell’s XPS and Alienware line, said “It’ll be smaller than the current XPS 13, it’ll be thinner than the current XPS 13, it’ll be lighter in weight, and unlike a lot of our competitors, who have compromised performance in order to deliver smaller, thinner, lighter products, we’re actually going to increase the performance profile of the XPS 13 by as much as 80 percent.”
The device will have options for 4GB to 16GB Ram, and from 128GB to 1TB in storage, so plenty of options in both pricing and performance for all users.
IBM 50-Qubit Quantum Computer
IBM showed off a world first with their latest 50-Qubit Quantum computing technology. Now if you are like me, this didn’t mean a tremendous amount, so I decided to do some research on what Quantum Computing is going to change compared with how computers and supercomputers work today.
Firstly, to try and explain Quantum Computing, it uses the quantum-mechanical phenomena, such as superposition and entanglement, to perform operations on data. To give an example of what this means, Google’s Quantum Computer is 100 Million Times Faster that your Laptop would be today. In Quantum Computing, quantum bits (or ‘qubits’) can simultaneously hold values of 1, 0, or both, rather than being set to 1 or 0 as traditional electronic bits are.
So, the practical application of this, Quantum computers will disrupt every industry. They will change the way we do business and the security we have in place to safeguard data, how we fight disease and invent new materials, and solve health and climate problems. Forbes talks about five specific practical applications that the power of Quantum computing will directly affect including;
- Online security
- Artificial intelligence
- Drug development
- Improve weather forecasting and climate change predictions
- Traffic control
IBM 50-Qubit Quantum Computer with Jeff Weiser (pictured), vice president and lab director at IBM Research, Source: CRN
Internet of Things (IoT) and this year’s Connected Devices
The world of IoT is certainly exploding like predicted, and as we have discussed in previous posts around cloud computing and in our recent Microsoft/Telstra/C1 Road show events, I thought we should take a look and see what IoT devices may prick your interest this year.
The first device is aimed at the consumer market, and if I am to be honest, probably more towards the ladies rather than men, however, I believe there will be similar options coming for the guys.
L’Oreal launched its new range of wearables at CES called UV Sense. These devices are acrylic nails that attach to your fingernails and detect the UV from the sun. They do not require batteries and connect to your smart phone, they use location services and the cloud to give you a hole lot of information about your sun exposure. The practical applications are to try and proactively manage sun exposure and hopefully the avoidance of skin cancers and premature aging.
The second device that caught my attention was one launched by Belkin called the ‘Phyn Plus’. This device will connect in to the water pipes in your home residential or commercial building. The device will be able to detect either leaking or frozen pipes, and if there is a leak it will even be able to automatically turn off the water and of course it notifies you via an app on your smart phone.
The product was created through an initiative with Belkin and plumbing supplier Uponor. The particle applications of this are substantial, today in Adelaide it is estimated we lose 40M litres of water through leaky pipes and burst mains, technologies like this will hopefully play a part in reducing that number in to the future.
In summary, another great year of interesting ideas and the use of technology to solve problems we have today. Looking forward to a great year in 2018 of these technologies and more coming to market.