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Cloud’s Presence Is Clear at CES 2013

January 21, 2013 No Comments

The 2013 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) featured just about everything you ever wanted to know about mobile technology, cloud computing, Ultra HDTVs and the current and future state of nearly everything that requires a power source. And CES more than likely also offered up a few bits you really didn’t need to know about (like those Bedazzled iPhone cases).

Within the mishmash of CES, however, the cloud’s presence gave a glimpse of where the technology stands now and where it likely is heading. At CES, several products and services backed by cloud computing and cloud storage stood out from the others.

One slick product coming from Netgear revolves around the smart home.

Netgear is looking to help do more with the home network, and thanks to new mobile devices that work in the cloud, connectivity options have expanded.

“This year at CES, we shine a spotlight on how we’re ensuring seamless connectivity and control of your home network. This includes more products that take advantage of the cloud to incorporate mobile controls and apps so that you can monitor, set, manage and do more, wherever you are,” said Patrick Lo, CEO of Netgear, according to an article on “We help you to connect TVs to the Internet, supercharge and extend the reaches of your network, and monitor what’s going on at home via the cloud, whether you’re at home or away. We want to help you make your house the smartest home in the neighborhood.”

Netgear announced at CES it expanded its Netgear VueZone Home Monitoring product line with the Netgear VueZone Add-On Night Vision Camera (VZCN2060), a CES Innovations Award honoree. You can play back your recorded videos from anywhere on Apple or Android smartphones and tablets, or on PCs or Mac computers.

You know what they say about small packages, and a new device called the Transporter seems to have heeded that well-worn expression.

The Transporter is essentially a cloud in a cone, according to an article on Pop it somewhere it can connect to the Internet (preferably in a different building than your computer) and it acts as offsite backup or a file-sharing device, requiring no setup or computer connection. Transporter founder Geoff Barrall first envisioned his customers as lawyers and other professionals, but at $200 for a bring-your-own-drive version or $300 for a 1TB version, he sees the product catching on with consumers who want to share files within a small group.

Barrall said his campaign on Kickstarter, the micro funding service, hit 200 percent of its milestone recently, and the company will start shipping Transporters by the end of the month.

When it comes to the world of automotives, nearly every automaker at CES was showing off some type of connected-car technology. The specific features vary from one system to the next, but all of them are built around wireless technology and the mobile Web.

Hyundai Motor Group’s Blue Link system allows car owners to communicate with and control their vehicles remotely from a computer or smartphone. They can start, lock or unlock the vehicle via a mobile app, even send a diagnostic report on the car’s condition to their local Hyundai dealership. Blue Link also tracks the vehicle’s location, enabling police to find it if stolen.

Once inside the vehicle, drivers and passengers remain connected to the outside world and can access a variety of music and video entertainment services, Hyundai Telematics Engineer Hussein Zaarour said.

The next generation of Blue Link will include an audio-only version of Apple’s Siri “personal assistant” app, a voice-recognition security system, cloud-computing services for Android mobile devices and other features, Zaarour said.

“We’re trying to get what the customers need or want in one package,” he said.

Another  neat product comes from Nuance. Wintermute is a cloud-based assistant that follows your every command and stores it in the cloud, then projects commands on your device of choice.

For example, The Next Web writer Matthew Panzarino tested the assistant where he asked an Android phone to show the score of the Notre Dame game. It did so flawlessly. From there, he turned to a Dragon TV-enabled television and instructed it to “Put the game on.” He didn’t specify which game, but since the last request to the smartphone was to display the score of the Notre Dame game, the TV automatically turned on that particular game.

Nuance would eventually like to expand the tech into cars, according to an article on

Patrick Burke

Patrick Burke is a writer and editor based in the greater New York area and occasionally blogs for Rackspace Hosting.

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