The impact of consumer technology on current and future IT operations was easy to find or predict based on CES 2012. I was part of a part of a panel session with the CIO of SAP and SVP’s of Verizon and QuickOffice talking about the consumerization of IT and what should be done about it. One of the recommendations was to assign some IT staff to look to see what’s coming and start testing/evaluating things that come out before the execs start bringing them in. ( I commented this should be an easy role to find volunteers for … )

Some of my CES observations based on what I saw and who I met with:

Intel Inside … your Smartphone – After sitting on the sidelines for years, the battle with ARM is on. Intel was demonstrating some amazing Atom based smartphones announced by Lenovo, plus Intel and Motorola announced there will be a line of Motorola devices with Intel Inside. The performance was as best as I have seen. The great news is that Andriod apps built for ARM do not need to be modified or even recompiled to run. Although there is an Atom NDK to optimize for Intel, so we will need to see the full impact of this.

Touch and Feel Displays – Windows 8 will get a boost from all the new touch enabled  displays coming out. There are even retrofit Frames that mount to existing displays to touch enable them some even without an added glass layer. As Brian Madden pointed out there is still some confusion from Microsoft about Metro Apps coexisting with Windows x86 apps. I agree with Brian the mouse and keyboard are not going away , but the future is also touch enabled. Samsung was also showing off the latest table top Display based on Microsoft Surface.

Smart Boards and TVs in the Board Room – Not only will we be touching more PC displays , we will also be brainstorming and presenting in board rooms and conference rooms using touch. Sharp was showing off an 80″ touch enabled display that I couldn’t resist to touch. Some of these devices had integrated PCs others were simply big displays connected to Windows 7 ( &8) PC’ s . Ubuntu also announced Ubuntu TV designed to give OEMs an alternative to Google TV…. Yes there is a Receiver for That!

Thin is In … The Asus ZenBook ultra thin laptop was thin enough to cut you.. And makes a great windows ( & XenClient ) alternative to the MacBook Air. The LG TV was amazingly thin … Expect this to be hanging in lots of high end offices. I didn’t see any conventional thin clients but there were some small Android TV boxes that could be future Thin Client candidates.

Double Sided Tablets John Sculley and Allan Kay would be proud. 15 years after the knowledge Navigator concept was introduced Sony was showing off its folding Tablet P . This looked and felt better than I expected. NEC was also showing its prototype Cloud Communicator prototype running Android as well as connecting to a Virtual Desktop.

MHL Mobile High Definition Link – Perhaps a new term but this is what will solve much of the obstacles from NirvanaPhones and Devices from going mainstream. The ATRIX , winner of last years CES smartphone has been held back from it potential as the breakthrough NirvanaPhone due to the expensive accessories required to connect to a full sized display . This year Motorola was showing off new lower cost connection options that will please many, plus a cool bluetooth keyboard with a slide out trackpad. Others were demoing devices with MHL that allow device USB and HDMI connectivity to displays with a simple microUSB cable. The Galaxly Note for example can output a full 1280×800 resolution though a simple MHL connector.

Cloud Washing Everywhere – In this case it’s more of an IT term … the “Cloud” influencing consumers. Lots of Cloud X branded things everywhere. Cloud Robots, Cloud Weddings , Cloud radios, Perhaps that’s good for raising the awareness of the Cloud to the public ( at least it’s good for the owners of 🙂 )

Let me know what I missed.