A great indicator for the latest technology of the day and what’s coming for the future is always found at the International CES (Consumer Electronics Show) which is being held in the US at the moment. This is the last year that BillGates will be so heavily involved and this year he again delivered the keynote address of the show.
You can view the keynote address at Stage 6 which runs for about 67 minutes. I have included the stage 6 video here because it is a lot better quality than you will find on say Youtube or Google Video. The downside is that you might have to install the plug-in and you will need broadband to watch the video.
There is a lot of interesting stuff in here including some goofy light hearted moments including guest appearances by dozens of celebrities from around the world, although you have to remember Bill is no comic.. Bill Gates demonstrates Surface Computing which Peter blogged about late last year. Another interesting technology that Bill demonstrated allows a mobile phone to identify buildings using its camera and allowing you to lookup further information live using your data connection.
Bill Gates points it at the other person on stage and it recognises him and brings up a note that he owes Gates money. He then points it up at a theatre and information comes up with movie listings and it plays a unique video the theatre. He then points the viewer at a random part of the city to try and find a hotel he’s going to and eventually zooms into the venue and shows the reservation time. Gates says this type of device will be in your phone eventually, which can store all sorts of text, pictures, and various pieces of media.
I don’t exactly how this is working but it could possibly be through something like the QR Code, or more specifically the Windows Live Barcode. That allows you to embed small 2d bar codes into signs, billboards advertisements or anywhere you can think and the information. The codes look something like this which is actually a web address to the Wikipedia encyclopaedia:
These little blocks allow you to store up to 4296 alphnumeric characters but whilst there are readers available now for mobile phones their implementation is still quite poor and not ready for the mainstream. But they will be, sooner rather than later and they will be ideal for the real estate industry. We will be able to embed codes into signs and advertisements to provide more information on a property or to link direct to a website with more details.
You can read more about product releases and other news items at the c|nets dedicated CES site.