Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Hand Me Down Technology At CES

In case you missed it, currently CES is on in Las Vegas.  

I usually have more than a casual interest in what gets unveiled down there, because often these new things become a part of our lives for years to come.  This year, however, something else caught my eye. Namely, this type of story.

People who know me well, know that I love Japan, especially it's tech.  I can walk into Yodobashi in Umeda, Osaka, and not come out for days as I comb over each item and work out why we either don't have the items they sell there, or our items miss certain features over here in North America.  

Once you've noticed these differences, you can't help but think you're being short-changed in North America because the ignorance of the facts by the every day person allows these corporations to farm out lesser-featured equipment for the same price.

Take Sony TV's, for instance, and how they work with NFC.  In Japan, NFC is everywhere from transit passes such as SUICA, or PASMO, to mobile phones, Sony VIAO computers and TVs.  It is a technology there that is known as Felica (a shortened version of "Felicity Card").

With Japanese Sony TV's, if you want to rent a movie on your TV then no problem; You wave your Felica remote over your pocket containing a card and the money is transacted.  This is the way it's been for years.  Here's Sony's full PDF on the matter and it details where else it's used.

Knowing this, you can't help think that either the journalists covering CES being wowed by an NFC enabled TV are either subject to living in a tech bubble, or they don't do their homework to see what kind of "hand me down" technology we're being shown here.