Fein-Lines: End-User Technology Show Season Ramps Up

There are several technology trade shows on the horizon, including IPC APEX EXPO, AltiumLive, NEPCON Japan, and SEMICON West. There are many others, but the ones coming up primarily focus on end-user technology rather than the design, components, and manufacturing processes used to make the end product.

Feinberg_Awe_1_Fig1.jpgTwo of these end-product shows have been of great interest to me, and to many of our readers, for decades: the Consumer Electronics Show 2022 (CES), January 5-8 and Augmented World Expo (AWE), November 9-11.

Just a few years ago, XR was all about gaming and entertainment, but the very first XR known to man were black and white movies, with “A Trip to the Moon,” released in 1902.

Feinberg_trip_to_moon_Fig2.jpg

Those in the audience back then were amazed with the lifelike (for the time) virtual reality. By today’s standards, it was primitive XR, to be sure, but that was 120 years ago. Imagine what will be available in the next 25 years. Today’s XR includes UHD 3D, full surround sound, artificial touch and, in some cases, smell and remote control. In other words, not only are you going there, but “there” has come to you. Think about the Star Trek Holodeck, something that was far-out science fiction when it debuted in 1974 (in the animated series), but much of the holodeck functionality is real and available today.

Are there advances in XR gaming? Of course, but I cannot wait to see the new advances in the use of XR in medical procedures, in the military, and for technical service—imagine the technician avatar appearing to stand right next to you and pointing out the adjustments to fix your misbehaving device or appliance. Consider the feeling of being on the field of a Super Bowl as the ball is passed to a player nearby.

How about training in just about any field? Learning to perform surgery, tune or adjust an electronic device, pilot a fighter jet, or control a tank or a submarine all for the first time in a virtual world will seem so real; learning this way will teach you how to do it in real life. It’s safer, easier to correct errors and redo, less expensive (flying a fighter or driving a tank is not cheap). XR is no longer just an entertainment medium, although that arena is growing as well; this is becoming a major industry.

This year I expect to see amazing advances in XR headsets, XR capability, and in everyday use of XR such as being able to “almost” physically attend a virtual event, to control your robot at home while you are away, to do all this and more using new, comfortable, lightweight wireless headsets and haptics. This technology is already being used to demonstrate simple but useful marketing.

For example, perhaps you are refurnishing a room in your house, you have seen new furnishings that you like but now you can sit in your living room, wearing you XR headset, you can see accurate, very realistic examples of your choices right in your own room and you can move them to various locations or change their color to see which looks best.

Feinberg_mixed_reality_Fig3.jpg

One of the XR segments I expect to see advance rapidly is Extended reality (XR), also known as immersive learning technologies, allows you to blend virtual and physical worlds using augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR) in live production, training, entertainment, or even competitive sport environments to create fully immersive XR experiences.

At AWE this year, in addition to the show and the XR playground, there will be many interesting presentations. We usually know what to expect from trade shows, keynote addresses, and various technology presentations, but the demonstrations at AWE are typically a show in themselves. Of great interest to most attendees is the “Virtual Playground.”

Feinberg_virtualplayground_Fig4.jpg

Figure 4: AWE "playground".

This area is reserved for those trying various virtual world games, demonstrations, and other XR activities. As you can imagine, the participants are in a different world, but the simulations, the “mixed reality,” appears to be so real. Figure 4 was taken at the last AWE show almost two years ago so I’m sure we can expect some significant advances in capability and hardware in that period of time.

Just a few years ago, to maximize your experience you had to use a heavy, somewhat cumbersome and uncomfortable headset wired to a powerful computer. Today there are several new, easier to use, and more capable devices at lower prices. Two of the newer ones are the Oculus Quest 2 and the HTC Vive. With the speed of improvement possible with today’s electronic components I would expect to see more advanced devices at this year’s AWE.

Feinberg_OculusQuest2_Fig5.jpgAs we attend these shows, we expect to see which advances have transpired in the past two years; and it starts with the AWE keynote on November 9, continuing at CES in January.

Scams in Late 2021
Now, just a quick update on the scam world. As mentioned in my last column, the online and phone scams seem to have reached an all-time high. Apparently, the number of complaints about scammers claiming to represent government agencies reached 406,578 so far this year. I can attest to this, as the number of such calls that I receive in one day to my main business line has caused me to take the ultimate action: I dropped the line altogether. I have picked up hours of productive time since doing so. Just remember: Government agencies will not call you and ask for social security numbers, bank info, credit card numbers or even your name and address. Please just hang up and/or do what I did.

Feinberg_scam.jpgAnother growing category of scams is based on cryptocurrencies. You know: Bitcoin, the most popular lottery ticket in 2021. Many people worry about missing out on their chance to get rich. The scams take different forms and usually involve investment opportunities as well as prizes, cash or otherwise. The scammers may impersonate celebrities or popular crypto currencies and will try to get you to send money or share personal information. This can be done by email, text or phone.

Remember, be skeptical and stay tuned for more scam updates in future columns.

Dan Feinberg is an I-Connect007 technical editor and founder of Fein-Line Associates. 

 

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2021

Fein-Lines: End-User Technology Show Season Ramps Up

11-04-2021

There are several technology trade shows on the horizon, including IPC APEX EXPO, AltiumLive, NEPCON Japan, and SEMICON West. There are many others, but the ones coming up primarily focus on end-user technology rather than the design, components, and manufacturing processes used to make the end product. Two of these end-product shows have been of great interest to me, and to many of our readers, for decades: the Consumer Electronics Show 2022 (CES), January 5-8 and Augmented World Expo (AWE), November 9-11.

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Fein-Lines: New Product Review—What's in Your Wallet?

10-13-2021

With the trade show season looming and with AWE right around the corner followed by CES and then IPC APEX/EXPO just a few months out, we are starting to see announcements regarding new and updated devices.

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Fein-Lines: PCEA Presentation—Latest PCB Fab Processes

09-16-2021

As someone who started his career as a PCB fab process engineer in the early '60s I find it interesting that many of the processes for PCB interconnects are still in use today. Yes, we had eyelets then, but, hey, we did start using plated through-holes too.

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2018

Fein-Lines: Who is Your Customer?

03-13-2018

Who is your customer? The answer depends on your goal and whether you’re talking about the short term or the long term. Are you in sales or marketing and therefore looking to sell or assist in selling your company’s products? If so, then you might say that your customer is XYZ Circuits or ABC Assembly or even Ace Distribution. But are they really your key customer?

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2017

Fein-Lines: So Much Virtual Reality, So Little Time

12-11-2017

It is hard to believe that the holiday season is upon us and that means that it is almost CES time again. CES marks so many new announcements as well as the unveiling of advances for technology that is truly gaining ground, such as autonomous vehicles, drones and augmented/mixed/virtual reality or, in some cases just the opposite, flash-in-the-pan trends such as 3D TV are also evident by their sudde

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Fein-Lines: Virus, Phishing, Ransomware…Oh My!

05-25-2017

Malware, the collective name for viruses, Trojan horses and other malicious software that can infect your computer, has been in the news lately, probably more than at any time I can remember. Over the years, malware has evolved; it can affect smartphones and tablets as well as all computers.

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2016

CES: Day One

01-05-2016

CES Unveiled is the official media event for CES. It is the first official happening of what promises to be a very busy and fascinating week. At this event, members of the press get to preview a number of innovative startups as well as some new products from a few established global brands.

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2014

Fein-Lines: Computer Security Tips

11-17-2014

Many scams are perpetrated on unknowing computer users. They come in all flavors and no one--no matter what type of computer you use--is immune. This month, Columnist Dan Feinberg focuses on the "I am from Windows and I'm calling to fix your computer" scam.

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2012

Fein-Lines: Dealing with Problamatic Links in E-Mail

09-11-2012

For the last several months Dan Feinberg has had a number of students, friends, and clients ask for help with e-mail links that do not take them to the desired website. This webcast describes what he thinks may be the issue, and also provides a fix that has worked for him 100% of the time.

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2010

Fein-Lines: 32-Bit Versus 64-Bit--What's the Difference?

06-09-2010

One question Dan Feinberg often gets during his seminars is: "What is the difference between a 32-bit and a 64-bit operating system and why should I use either?" In this issue of Fein-Lines, he explains the difference and what choice you should make--and why--along with things to consider when making your choice.

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2008

Fein-Lines: Copper Dissolution Interview, Part I

06-18-2008

Dan Feinberg begins a series of interviews, with Michael Carano, Global Business Development Manager of Cleveland, Ohio-based OMG Electronic Chemicals, tackling the topic of copper dissolution with lead-free solder--an issue that is certainly not new to the industry.

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Fein-Lines: Friends and Business Do Mix

05-08-2008

Senta Wong, of WKK Trading Company Ltd., is a man considered to be one of the fathers of the PWB and electronics assembly industry in Hong Kong and China. Dan, who's known Senta since the mid 1970s, discusses how Senta successfully mixes business and friendships--a fact evidenced by his most recent gathering of close friends and associates at APEX in Las Vegas.

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Fein-Lines: Me Too

04-24-2008

In Dan Feinberg's latest audio column, he joins others in our industry in giving his opinions on the recent IPC Printed Circuits Expo, APEX and the Designers Summit 2008 and Nepcon China. Dan also fesses up about Los Angeles and vents about the growing number of regional shows--are there just too many?

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2007

New Column: Dan Feinberg

10-24-2007

Listen to Dan Feinberg's newest audio column.

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Fein-lines: An Interview with IPC President Denny McGuirk

10-10-2007

I-Connect007 Columnist Dan Feinberg and Steve Gold speak with IPC President Denny McGuirk. Their conversation addresses changes in the focus of IPC's Government Relations committee, as well as the effect of globalization on IPC's mission.

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