29th February 2012
The atmosphere of Day 2 felt much more business-like, with some of the novelty of Day 1 wearing off and the serious business of client, partner, supplier and analyst discussions being the focus for attendees.
My day started by attending a briefing by a market research company Strategy Analytics on what they see as key dynamics in the marketplace. The presentation focussed on the predicted huge growth in network traffic over the next few years, driven in the main by content consumption via a continually fast growing tablet market. They predict almost 1 in 2 homes in the US and 1 in 4 in Western Europe will own a tablet by 2016, and made a plea for a review of network pricing plans sold with tablets (and online gaming products), which they suggest could be too expensive and thus contributing to the large proportion of Wi-Fi based sales. This all bodes well for Wolfson and our significant share in android tablets, as publishers of multimedia content are working hard to deliver better consumer experiences on these form factors (i.e. better audio). Given some of the less than enthusiastic coverage of new tablet announcements at the show (or lack thereof), this was very encouraging.
We left the briefing for a really exciting presentation from a company who have some really nice audio algorithms which would complement our own suite of software. As opposed to adding any new effects or enhancements, their value proposition is that they can recreate the original sound of a recording, “repairing” or “replacing” anything that was lost on the way from the recording studio to the device. They demo’d their product on a very popular smartphone made by one of our customers, and it’s the closest I’ve heard to listening to vinyl on a digital device – my first “retro” moment of the day.
This theme of resurrection of good technology continued as I had a play with the Galaxy Note and its stylus. I could imagine replacing my paper notebook with it, having not used a device like that since Palm Pilot days.
We had a couple of meetings with press and customers focussing on our noise cancellation headphones, which generated great interest as usual. My day was rounded off with a really exciting meeting with a start-up handset firm who have a vision to deliver very affordable high quality smartphones to emerging markets and by doing so stimulate economic and social growth. It was a good way to end a day which had saw some of the best of today’s technology augmenting some of the best from the past.
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