IFA 2007: The future of Philips

Gadget Shows, IFA 2007


There’s always th chance to see what’s in R&D for the consumer electronics giants at these things, and today at Philips is no difference. They’ve got a couple of interesting products on display, and of course the inevitable 3D screens. Feeling like I’m feeling today, I can’t look at one for longer than about 3 seconds without wanting to curl up in a corner and rock.

One of the other products on display is the Personal TV channel application. It’s essentially a system which Philips are hoping to install in TVs and DVRs, which will rival (and hopefully beat) Tivo. And it won’t just be for Philips – they’ll license it to other companies. Essentially, the system will learn what you like to watch and record you stuff accordingly. This is a massive step forward, since we’ve suffered from Tivo-envy here in the UK for far too long.

The other product is the TagTiles. It’s a table with sensors, split up into a grid. It’s designed for children, and asks them to copy a pattern displayed on an adjacent board, by dropping pieces onto the sensors so they light up. Not only is this fun for the kids to play, but it measure their cognitive abilities. The software is intelligent enough to suggest specific cognitive problems, based on any mistakes the child may make, making it perfect for use in the classroom, and for child development assessments. It also then adapts the pattern to stretch the child, making it a learning tool as well.

So, in both cases, the technology is there and ready now. In the case of the personal TV programming, the overly-complicated broadcast licensing is to blame. In the case of the TagTiles, it’s just a case of finding the market.

Expect them in living room and schools near you soon…

Susi Weaser
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