Computex 2014 Gives Glimpse At What’s Coming In Tech
June 5, 2014 by Dave Haynes
A quick hop on Eva Air and I went from Hong Kong to Taipei today, and pretty much straight over to the huge Computex show that covers at least couple of big facilities in Taiwan’s muggy and (today) wet capital city.
Never been. Didn’t know much about it. But I can say it is very big in scale and numbers. Walk the floor and you see everyone from companies focused on USB memory sticks to companies that build custom PC and server enclosures.
This is not a digital signage show, but a much broader nerdgasm that has the latest, fastest, smallest, cheapest stuff coming out of Taiwan and mainland China.
I’m here to speak at the Taiwan-based Digital Signage Multimedia Association conference Friday, as is Paul Flanigan of the Digital Screenmedia Association. We pounded the floor for about three hours Thursday before concluding we were hungry and, umm, thirsty. I’ll be back for a full day’s walkabout on Saturday and have some meetings scheduled, including E-Ink.
Impressions from a first walk-through:
- Intel and Microsoft had huge booths, with Intel showing off a bunch of things including an even smaller, still unofficial NUC, as well as Chrome products.
- I saw no end of digital signage content management platforms, mostly from companies I didn’t know existed.
- There are lots and lots of Android boxes, the most interesting in my quick pass through a $300ish ARM A17 quad-core mini player from a Shenzhen company called RKM.
- I also saw some embedded computing gear that suggests Intel is catching up with ARM products in size, performance and price.
- The display guys are not really here, unless I didn’t hit the right trade hall. But as mentioned there are many, many companies with smaller panels and open frame LCDs. There were also many, many touch hardware companies, some with unfamiliar tech I need to find out more about.
- I saw a company with a kinda neat square, back to back LCD … need to go back and get name.
- the hardware guys are very big on booth babes to draw people to their 40 by 40 stretches of carpet
- overclocking CPUs is apparently a competitive sport – with guys pouring nitrogen (I guess) on computing gear and crowds watching (who knew?)
- there are awards for booths, I think, and winners get big floral arrangements … maybe the norm here, but would look very odd at a North American tech show
- it’s not even possible to count all the companies that have tablets and phablets on the market and at the show
- I saw my first ever reference to a multi-touch display’s being “your Prom Queen.”
There are many, many reasons why digital signage people should be paying much more attention to what’s happening in this region. Broadband is so fast here, and just works. I am writing this using the wifi router/access point designated to my room – not the hotel – but my room. It just lit up and worked. Smartphone penetration seems to be near total, and I saw people in Hong Kong, deep in a subway tunnel, in a subway car, watching streaming video on their phones. North America sometimes feels like the third world with some of this stuff.
Walk by some of little booths on the show floor and you’ll see things that have nothing to do with digital signage, but just make you shake your head. We saw a flash memory card reader that doubled as a wifi access point and router, for example.
What we didn’t see is good content on screens. The companies playing in this space over here have it ALL going on the tech side, but they’re still getting up the curve on what should be on screens, and why.
More to report from here over the next couple of days.