CES - Not Just for Consumers Anymore

Carl Weinschenk
Slide Show

A Humorous Look at the Consumerization of IT

It's been a couple of weeks since the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), but it is worth revisiting to point to the new equipment and services displayed in Las Vegas that are especially relevant to the corporate crowd.

The word "especially" is important. The well-known trend of bring your own device (BYOD) and the consumerization of IT - which more or less are the same thing - suggests that a much higher portion of what equipment and services are sold can be used for business. (It should be noted, however, that not everybody is jumping on the BYOD bandwagon, as this well-written post at Computerworld points out.) Within that landscape, gadgets identified as especially corporate-friendly will be as powerful and functional as those built for business from the ground up.

My colleague Rob Enderle got the ball rolling on looking at these devices and services last week with a post that described offerings as divergent as larger in-vehicle displays, virtualized Windows and, of course, motorized shoes. eWeek also chimed in, identifying 10 mobile devices its reporters consider potentially powerful tools for small business. They are the Toshiba Portege Z830 Series, Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 LTE, the QNAP server, Netgear Universal Dual-Band WiFi Range Extender, Nokia Lumia 900, Canon PowerShot ELPH 520 HS, ViewSonic E70 Tablet, RCA USB Wall Plate Charger, Verizon Jetpack and TrendNet IP Cameras


Meanwhile, InformationWeek's Kurt Marko noted that there were about 3,100 exhibitors offering more than 20,000 new products at the show. Nobody could peruse all of those gadgets, of course. But, from what he saw, Marko identified three "sleeper" mobile collaboration tools. Sanho CloudFTP helps organize and simplify external storage on mobile devices by eliminating cables. Swivl enables the camera on any iOS device to seamlessly track a person wearing a sensor. The LU40i from LiveU, according to Marko, is a:

... a light (25-ounce), battery-powered gateway between one or more wireless data networks and a portable video camera--what LiveU calls a "portable uplink system."

CIO Insight also offered a slideshow of enterprise suspects at CES. The headline - "CES 2012: 10 New Products Every CIO Should Fear" - suggests that these products may not be welcome with open arms. They include the LG Spectrum, Viewsonic ViewPad E70, HTC Titan 2, Samsung Galaxy Note, Sony Xperia S, ultrabooks in general, Sony Walkman Z (as a storage device), Android Ice Cream Sandwich-based devices, Kinect For Windows and the Motorola Droid 4.


The line between business and consumer equipment will continue to fade, as CES proved. On the whole, it's a positive trend, but one that presents many challenges to IT departments.

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