Home Web Apps Meet Consumer Electronics at CES

Web Apps Meet Consumer Electronics at CES

The 2010 edition of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) gets into full swing today and already we’re seeing a big trend emerging: web applications being ported to consumer electronics, from the technology inside cars to Web-enabled TVs.

Yesterday we noted that online music service Pandora will be made available in cars, courtesy of a new Pioneer device that will begin selling in March. The pricey $1,200 device detects users’ Pandora settings via their iPhones. Other evidence of this trend can be found in Ford’s announcement of a new in-car system and Samsung’s latest Internet-connected TV.

Web Apps in Your Car

This morning Ford CEO Alan Mulally delivered an opening keynote address at CES, unveiling Ford’s latest car technologies. One of the things he announced is MyFord, an Internet-enabled “cabin tech” system. As reported by CNET, MyFord will include two 4.2-inch color LCDs: one for vehicle information such as engine speed, temperature, and trip data; and the other for audio, phone, and navigation information. A third LCD screen is added if the system is upgraded to ‘MyFord Touch’. Check out the Motor Trend website for more detailed information.

The online music integration in MyFord is one example of the slick smartphone-like functionality becoming available in cars. MyFord will include HD radio with song tagging, which lets users find more information about an artist or song on the Web.

MyFord also has a unified music library, which lets users browse music from a variety of onboard audio sources.

In December Ford announced that its SYNC-enabled vehicles will become rolling WiFi hotspots – enabling passengers to connect to the Internet when a cellular modem is plugged into the car’s USB slot. At CES, Ford announced it will include a Web browser that displays on the MyFord Touch 8-inch LCD.

Web Apps on Your TV

The car is just one of many consumer products being Web-ized. The TV has been a focus of innovation for Internet technology for a few years now.

At CES Samsung has announced its new LED 9000 model TV, using Samsung’s Internet@TV technology. This television is connected to the internet via Wi-Fi and is able to hold up to 100 apps. Consumers will receive a handful of free web apps when they buy the TV set. Other apps will be released by vendors and may cost money. An early example is one Napster announced at CES – a free Napster TV widget which provides access to the Napster subscription music service.

We know that more and more real world objects are being connected to the Internet – a trend that we track closely called Internet of Things. But this is slightly different.

What we’re seeing at CES this year is more and more mainstream consumer items, such as cars and TVs, having web applications integrated. These are apps that we’ve become familiar with in the Web 2.0 world – Pandora, Napster, iTunes and others. Music and entertainment especially is making inroads, but we’re sure to see web apps from other sectors integrated into consumer electronics too.

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